Cultural Evolution

Not so long ago, visitors to China were told to go to Beijing for culture, and Shanghai for style. And while that was naturally a generalization, it was easy to see the reasoning. Beijing, after all, has the palaces and the history. Beijing also has one of the coolest arts quarters in the world in the form of 798 — the East German–built military factory complex now transformed into a thriving community of painters, sculptors and designers (not to mention trend-seeking tourists desperate for a taste of China's SoHo).

In a boom economy, however,...

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