Beginning in 2002, artists and cultural organizations began to divide, rent out, and re-make the factory spaces, gradually developing them into galleries, art centers, artists' studios, design companies, restaurants, and bars.
Bringing together contemporary art, architecture, and culture with a historically interesting location and an urban lifestyle, "798" has evolved into a cultural concept, of interest to experts and normal folk alike, influential on our concepts of both urban culture and living space.
798 stands for much more than a three digit number: in Beijing these numbers symbolize the country's cutting edge art movement led by the Chinese vanguard, unchained artistic personalities with alternative life goals. The largest, most influential art district in China - the 798 - hosts world-class international and Chinese exhibitions in the midst of former weapons factories. The number of visitors to the 798 Art District now stands at 75 million and counting."(taken from the 798 home page)