Sugar Jar

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Sugar Jar, a Beijing underground music store

Close now! according to rumors, Sugar Jar in 798 is also close down :(



SUGAR JAR | Dashanzi Studio (closed now)

E-mail: /

Address: 2, Jiuxian Qiao Rd., Chaoyang district, Beijing (opposite Galleria Continua in 798 Art District) 酒仙桥路2号 798 艺术区 D06-6-3

Tel: +86-10-64331449 or +86-10-66406620

Open: Tues.- Sun. 13:00-21:00

SUGAR JAR | QINGHUA University Store (closed now)

Address: 3, Shuimo Xinqu, West gate of QINGHUA University, Haidian district.

Tel: 010-62573351

Open: 13:00-21:00 [please call in advance]

Further information

In Beijing’s 798 Art District, 150 square feet goes a long way. That’s the size of Yang Licai’s home and headquarters for what he refers to as his “indie culture transmission studio,” Sugar Jar. Although the space is tiny, Yang has filled it with one of the world’s broadest selections of CDs of independent Chinese music.

sugarjar_4story_spacerYang moved to Beijing from Liaoning in early 2003, seeking to surround himself with like-minded people who yearned to promote an authentic youth culture in China. Espousing the mantra “our life is sweeter than honey,” he and then-girlfriend Chen Zi began spreading their optimistic outlook on the creative life through Chinese indie music by opening Sugar Jar in a 36-square-foot storefront near Beijing’s Tsinghua University.

The Tsinghua shop is still in operation, but in 2005 Yang made the jump to 798, the center of Beijing’s burgeoning art world. During the mid-1990s a group of local artists occupied a cluster of abandoned 1950s-era electronics factories near Beijing’s northeast Fifth Ring Road. State Factory No. 798 became nomenclature for the entire complex. The combination of plentiful studio space, inexpensive rent, and a semi-secluded location made 798 ideal for exploring artistic practices without the watchful eye of state censors. Recently, however, rapid globalization and skyrocketing rents have driven many tenants out in search of more affordable digs. The irony of an independent culture’s success being the cause of its own undoing is something that Yang struggles with. “Business dealings in 798 have been like two barbaric hands wrapped around the throat of the artistic community,” he muses. “The future of 798 could go one of two ways: either the true art which once thrived will be squeezed out or the Chinese government will recognize the value of the arts and cultural variation and apply measures to support its continued growth.”

Let’s hope that the latter prevails and that Sugar Jar continues to provide the best of what China’s music scene has to offer. From the latest releases on Beijing’s indie heavyweight Modern Sky Records to hand-burned and numbered recordings from local newcomers, Sugar Jar features some sweet treats indeed.

taken from Theme Magazine - link

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