ARTIST RESIDENCY CHINA — BEIJING, no. 14
At first I regretted choosing to visit the longest remaining section of Ming Dynasty city wall in Beijing. My first view of the wall was squeezed between new hotels, apartment buildings, and a major rail station. But after passing the Marriott in the northeast corner and a ten minute walk through a recently improved wooded park next to the mostly hidden east wall, the true relic emerged. Built circa 1436, the bulk and size of the restored southeast corner guard tower and ramparts remain formidable. They were used in defense of the city as recently as 1900 against the armies of the Eight-Nation Alliance. Thirty-eight acres of manicured park is being enlarged along the east wall and provides a strolling view along the entire south side. The first private contemporary art gallery in Beijing, Red Gate Gallery founded in 1991, is incongruously located within the tower. Along with contemporary paintings and sculpture it contains an exhibition of the history of the city gates.
looking east from within the guard tower
Red Gate Gallery first floor
paintings under every eaves
Dun Tai (Ma Mian) — buttress, one of the largest in Beijing
apartments across the street from the wall, looking east
looking west toward Chongwenmen gate, now a traffic rotary
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