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New China, the big picture
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1981, a youth brandishes a bottle of Coca-Cola in the Forbidden City. Ever since Deng Xiaoping's reform and opening-up policy, China has been riding an economic boom, attracting huge investment from abroad. Coca-Cola, which was first sold in China in the 1920s, set up its first plant in Beijing in 1980. [China Daily] 

"This single exhibition gave me an insight into China and its people in a broad context."

Young Chinese visitors like Xie Nan, in her early 20s, also found the exhibition inspiring.

"It looks like a vivid visual history textbook, brief but informative," she says.

As Xie was born in the 1980s "so many pages in the history of our motherland appear so faraway and strange to me," she admits. Having a new understanding of the country's turbulent past may give youngsters like her "a clearer understanding of how China has come to be what it is today".

Curator Liu invited most of the participating photographers to an opening ceremony of the exhibition that coincided with the 30th anniversary of China's opening up and reform.

"I sincerely hope this revealing exhibition may open a new discussion among Chinese about how our country has come to be where it is today," says Xiao Zhuang, a 74-year-old photographer from Nanjing, Jiangsu province, who has several photos on display.

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