Songzhuang: Travel Tips
Public Transport: Take Metro Line 6 to Dongxia Garden, then take the bus to Xiaobao Commercial Plaza and go north to the first red street light to go east. You will pass a traffic light where 50 meters to the north of the gray building is “Beijing Contemporary Art Museum.” Alternatively, take the Batong subway line and get off at Tongzhou Beiyuan Station (A Exit). Walk to Chengtong Tongzhou Beiyuan Station and change to Bus 2 to get off at Lama Road Station. The walk from here is around 400 meters.
Driving: Jingtong Express – Ximazhuang Toll Station – Tongyan Expressway – Exit of Xinzhuang, turn left and turn left 1 km to see the big red light at the intersection, turn east, cross the 6th viaduct and the second traffic light (Songzhuang Xiaobao Village) See the large-scale building in Songzhuang, China.
Xiaobao Village, Songzhuang Town, Tongzhou District is home to 508 villagers and a population of 1,722 people spread over 249 acres (the village was integrated into the Ming Dynasty). In order to prevent the Chaobai River from impacting their people, the ancestors piled up dunes of sand on the east, north and west sides of the village to form a sand castle, which gave its name Xiaobao Village. Take the word “Bao” apart and look at people, mouth, wood, and soil, meaning that the people have land. In order to survive, the people lived off the trees that grew with the land, reflecting the harmony between people and nature in Xiaobao Village.
In 1994, a painter stayed in Xiaobao Village with few and simple belongings and had what is now a famous dream, he then opened the art tour of Xiaocun. For more than 20 years, cultural and artistic paintings from all over the world have been accumulated in the village for a long time. Today, there are artists from all over the country and over 30 nationalities residing in the village. These include Yu Ren, Fang Lijun, Yue Minjun and many other contemporary artists and art critics. There are more than 200 cultural institutions, and over than 30 art galleries totalling more than 2,000 square meters including the first village-level art museum in China, the Songzhuang Art Museum and the first farmer’s Han Yan Gallery. The most fascinating art district where artists live, create and display – The National Defense Art District is one of the most fascinating areas where a large amount of the artists live, create and display their work. The construction of these platforms is not only the result of the gathering of artists, but also the inevitable result of artists showing themselves and perfecting the industrial chain. Xiaobao Village has become the world’s largest collection of contemporary art because of its sheer scale and in 2009 won the honorary title of ‘Best Village in Beijing’.
Walking into Xiaobao Village you can feel the artistic atmosphere everywhere. Modern art museums with different colours of green, yellow, purple and gold glaze glaze, all various shapes. Banyan swings, pavilions and cloisters and a quiet and simple quaint farmhouse. These works of art with different styles and colours are all perfectly blended into one within the village. Wandering through exhibitions the unique architecture only adds in bringing people to admire the charm of art. All flowers and trees, mountains and rivers, statues and buildings all contain artistic elements, their own style. The charm of fascination exudes a rich artistic fragrance; wandering in the leisure and entertainment area. One step at a time, a variety of old and new jewellery, items displayed to provide a sweet and warm touch.
The beauty of Xiaobao Painter’s Village lies in its natural environment and humanistic atmosphere. The blue sky, white clouds, jungle and flowers often deliver an expanse of smells which bird song swiftly accompanies. The lake is light and the weeping willow gives shade to local fishermen. Look at the artists, three or five in groups, and say goodbye to the wine. Talking to the sky, it is a different kind of scenery in Xiaobao Village.
Songzhuang Art Festival
The Songzhuang Art Festival, held in Songzhuang from September to October each year, attracts nearly 100,000 visitors and has been successfully held for 8 sessions. Through various exhibitions and academic lectures, the festival highlights the characteristics of Songzhuang’s contemporary, original, ecological and cutting-edge community and has become an internationally renowned cultural art exhibition.
During weekdays the village is immersed in its busy art scene. Artists often go to the village to create works on the spot. Art venues in the village filled are with a variety of colourful exhibitions, with the most valuable part being that most of the exhibitions are open to the public free of charge, allowing visitors to enjoy sample a varied collection of art.
A Bite to Eat
- Under the Apple Tree Restaurant
- Mina restaurant
- Shennong Stone Pot Fish
- Persimmon Red Themed Restaurant
- Old Guan Huaiyang soil dishes.
The ‘Picasso’ and other dishes at under the apple tree restaurant use a special method in their cooking with their distinctive name and interior decoration aims to combine art and food together for everyone. Wonderful.
The owner of the Mina restaurant is an artist. The restaurant’s specialties include soft fried mushrooms, bean curd, hairy blood and squid tea tree mushrooms. Together with the owner’s homemade peppermint plum soup its a good place to cool off and gather with friends.