The end of summer in Beijing sees galleries launching their fall exhibits. Luckily, you’ve still got time to catch these artists’ solo shows before the sun sets on them in China.
Lucy Sparrow’s Felt Art Imaginarium
M Woods, the newest museum in Beijing’s 798 Art District, hosts British artist Lucy Sparrow’s first exhibition in Asia: “Lucy Sparrow’s Felt Art Imaginarium.”
The 33-year-old artist works with felt and wool to create slightly oversized versions of everyday products, from blocks of Anchor brand butter and half watermelons to a VHS tape of Dirty Dancing.
For her China debut (to October 7), Sparrow and her small team spent nine months hand-sewing 70 felt replicas of famous artworks — think Vincent Van Gogh’s Starry Night, Yayoi Kusama’s black-and-yellow pumpkin, Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa and Ming dynasty vases.
Anthony Browne’s Happy Museum
British children’s book author and illustrator Anthony Browne brings 162 of his paintings to Beijing’s National Museum of Classic Books in his first solo exhibition, “Anthony Browne’s Happy Museum,” to China through September 22.
Expect selfies galore against large, vibrant murals and larger-than-life paintings of Browne’s characters, including a smiling gorilla. After viewing framed illustrations from the artist’s books, try your hand at cartooning with a handful of painting classes that go along with the show.
Beijing’s a bit scant on activities for children, but this cheerful exhibition with its colorful murals is a fun way for kids to pass some time. The museum is also a quick walk from Zizhuyuan park, Beijing Zoo and Beijing Aquarium.
At German cultural center Goethe-Institut China‘s gallery in 798 Art District, Swedish digital designer Marco Buetikofer and German multimedia artist Lotte Meret Effinger are showing “Datafiction,” an interactive, family-friendly installation, until September 28.
Step inside a video game and design your own narrative, choosing animation and video, text and audio, which then will be projected. With their installation, Effinger and Buetikofer want to explore how technology influences our everyday behavior and how society produces and consumes data at every turn.
Where To Stay
Make the head-turning InterContinental Beijing Sanlitun your base in China’s capital and you’ll be just a 17-minute cab ride from 798 Art District.
The modern hotel sits in Sanlitun, a neighborhood full of trendy bars and restaurants serving every dish from Peking duck to power bowls.
In the sleek stay’s 299 rooms are bedside USB plugs, free-standing tubs and, for accommodations on floors 12 and higher, views over the tree-lined embassy district and the skyline. Between shows, be sure to enjoy a dip in the fifth-floor pool, where floor-to-ceiling windows frame picture-perfect outdoor scenes worthy of their own art show.