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Today Art Museum | © Republic of Korea / Flickr
Today Art Museum | © Republic of Korea / Flickr

7 Top Art Galleries You Can't Miss in Beijing

Picture of Yufan Lu
Updated: 23 September 2017

In recent years Beijing’s art industry has blossomed, with several new art galleries rising in popularity. In this guide you will meet Beijing’s best art museums and galleries, including ones featuring traditional and contemporary art.

The National Art Museum of China

One of the cultural landmarks of New China, the National Art Museum of China is located in central Beijing, with a collection of over 100,000 pieces of art, with paintings and calligraphies by Chinese masters including Qi Baishi, Xu Beihong and Wu Guanzhong. The museum has hundreds of works by international artists too, including four oil paintings by Picasso. The building’s exterior perfectly matches the interior, the pavilion-like front with roofs adorned with golden glazed tiles – the traditional Chinese architectural style.

1 Wusi Street, Dongcheng District, Beijing, +8610 64001476

Opening Hours: Tues – Sun 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. (Last entry at 4 p.m.)

National Museum of China

Art lovers wanting to learn about Chinese art should head to the National Museum of China (NMC). Built in 1912 next to the Tiananmen, the museum building became the NMC in 2003, when the National Museum of Chinese History and the National Museum of Chinese Revolution merged. Which is why you’ll find an extensive collection of historic Chinese artefacts. As the leading museum in China, it also regularly exhibits some of the art world’s most prestigious figures like Rembrandt.

East side of Tian’anmen Square, 16 East Chang’an Avenue, Dongcheng District, Beijing, +8610 65116400

Opening Hours: Tues – Sun 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. (Last entry at 4 p.m.)

#秦漢文明 #国家博物馆

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Today Art Museum

The Today Art Museum is one of the oldest art galleries in Beijing and features contemporary art. Located deep in the Pingod Community, you can easily spot the gallery by its avant-garde exterior. The museum has promoted contemporary Chinese art since its opening in 2002. Its collection includes works by Chinese contemporary artists like Yue Minjun, the “Cynical Realist” who is known for painting himself as a laughing man in various settings; or surrealist painter Zhang Xiaogang, who is famous for his ‘Bloodline’ series. The museum holds exhibitions on international contemporary artists, too. One of 2017’s most anticipated shows is the first solo show of Japanese horror Manga artist Junji Ito, which is on from September 24 to December 17, 2017.

Building 4, Pingod Community, No. 32 Baiziwan Road, Chaoyang District, Beijing, +8610 58760600

Opening Hours: 10 a.m – 6 p.m. (Closed every Monday and during the Spring Festival) Free Open Days: The first Saturday of each month; May 18th (International Museum Day)


M WOODS suddenly rose to its fame in 2016, with its exhibition on Andy Warhol. The contemporary art museum was founded in 2014 in a former munitions factory in Beijing’s 798 Art Zone. According to the introduction on its official website, it doesn’t blindly chase after “new” art, but abides by a set of guiding principles that attach more importance to the artwork’s essence rather than its styles. Its special curation that sometimes combines artworks from different times and places will certainly inspire you on “what art is”.

D-06, 798 Art Zone, No.2 Jiuxianqiao Road, Chaoyang District, Beijing, +8610 83123450

Opening Hours: Tue – Sun 10:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.

#MWOODS⬅️⬅️⬅️🚶🚶‍♀️🚶🚶‍♀️ @anni_suen

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PACE Gallery Beijing

The New York-based PACE Gallery opened its branch in Beijing in a Bauhaus-style factory building adapted by architect Richard Gluckman in the 798 Art Zone in 2008. The contemporary art gallery is dedicated to promoting Asian art. In 2012, the great photographer Hiroshi Sugimoto held its first solo exhibition in China at PACE. It has held solo exhibitions for Chinese contemporary artists like Yue Minjun and Zhang Xiaogang. PACE is 2017’s hot gallery, thanks to its ‘teamLab: Living Digital Forest and Future Park’ exhibition, in which visitors can interact with the digital installation and later post photos on their social networks.

798 Art District, No.2 Jiuxianqiao Road, Chaoyang District, Beijing, +8610 5978 9781

Opening Hours: Tue – Sun 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Three Shadows Photography Art Center

There’s probably no photography lovers in Beijing who don’t know Three Shadows. Founded by Chinese contemporary photographer RongRong and his Japanese photographer wife Inri, it is China’s first independent organisation that specialises in contemporary art photography. It has a collection of works by international and Chinese photographers, from Man Ray, Robert Frank to Ekoh Hosoe, Daido Moriyama to Liu Zheng and Chen Lingyang. It also promotes new photographers by hosting an annual photography contest, as well as annually co-hosting a photography festival with the world’s prestigious Les Rencontres d’Arles (Arles Photography Festival) starting 2015 in Jimei, Fujian Province.

155 Caochangdi, Chaoyang District, Beijing, +8610 64322663

Opening Hours: Tue – Sun 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Minsheng Art Museum Beijing

If you had one reason to visit the Minsheng Art Museum, it would be “its latest exhibition on the Dusseldorf School of Photography”. Just imagine how thrilling it is to see the works of Bernd and Hiller Becher and their students! The gallery is solely funded by China Minsheng Bank; and together with the other two galleries funded by the bank, the Minsheng Art Museum Shanghai and the Shanghai 21st Century Minsheng Art Museum, together they join forces to promote and stimulate China’s contemporary art industry.

Universal Creative Park, 9 Jiuxianqiao North Road, Chaoyang District, Beijing, +8610 53232111

Opening Hours: Tue – Sun 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

我们这一代 #beijing #photography

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