Those looking for cultural artifacts in Dalian (and China in general) may be surprised at a lack of depth. The Cultural Revolution—Mao Zedong’s purge between 1966 and 1976—had devastating effects on Chinese art preservation. However, there’s a burgeoning contemporary art scene and the Dalian Art Museum is at its forefront. Inside this 1902 Russo-German gothic red brick building with a Chinese tiled roof you’ll find pieces—from ceramics to large-scale paintings—by contemporary Chinese artists. Once the offices and dormitories of the Chinese Eastern Railway Company, the creaky wooden stairs and early 20th century interiors make for an interesting juxtaposition with the modern work adorning the galleries.
Take a 10-minute taxi ride to Shengli Street and walk from the Russian Quarter across the Japanese-built Shengli Bridge.
DALIAN ART MUSEUM: 35 Shengli Street, Xigang District, 0411-8254-0584; open daily; admission is 10 RMB