Originally appeared in The Define Yourself Issue, Fall 2010
Zhou Xun is a knock out. Boasting a successful career as an actress and singer, she embodies the sizzle and pop of what’s happening in cultural Beijing right now.
i-D’s Guide to Beijing
1. Yugong Yishan
Zhou Xun’s favourite music venue is situated in Beijing’s fun Gulou area. The venue hosts everything from scratch battle nights, to hip-hop, indie rock and electronic. Ebony Bones, The No Name Quartet, Pet Conspiracy and Beijing’s electronic artist Dead J have all played here.
3-2 Zhang Zizhong Road, Dongcheng
D22 is the premier punk spot in Beijing. Expect to hear edgy, experimental noize, metal and guitar from homegrown Beijing bands such as Joyside (check out the band documentary Wasted Orient directed by Kevin Fritz), Hedgehog and Carsick Cars who played SXSW 2010.
242 Chengfu Lu, WuDaoKou
3. Mao Livehouse
This grunge bar with graffiti’d walls is the watering hole for the great, the bad and the scruffy, offering live music by Chinese bands such as Trash Cats, Discord, Hell City, Early Bus, Nazidog and The Unsafe.
111 Dongdajie, Gulou
4. Mesh Bar
OK so it’s a bit chi-chi but sometimes a well-made cocktail goes down a treat. A feat of modern architecture, Mesh Bar has a huge, almost unimaginable central atrium, and is part of the Opposite House hotel designed by renowned Japanese architect, Kengo Kuma. It’s big, it’s Zen, and you’ll go ‘Wow’.
The Opposite House, Building 1, 11 Sanlitun Road, Chaoyang
This basement party place, hosts DJ Yan Jun’s night, Waterland Kwanyi. Yan is arguably the king of experimental music in Beijing and runs Sub Jam records.
21 Liang Ma Qiao Road, Chaoyang