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By SHELLEY TOPP

If you have ever wanted to visit China but have been put off by the long journey and overcrowded, polluted cities, take a shorter trip to Oxford for a different perspective.

The “Enshi Charm in Oceania” photo exhibition on display in Emma’s at Oxford book and gift store is a real eye opener.

The exhibition contains 48 of the 100 colour photographs supplied by the Enshi Prefecture Photographic Association for the original exhibition held at the ARA Institute in Christchurch from April 29 to May 1 this year. Waimakariri entered into a “sister city” agreement with Enshi, last year and the exhibition was held in recognition of the new connection. Enshi city, in western Hubei is small by Chinese standards with a population of 800,000.

The exhibition reveals the lush, green, remote rural areas of Enshi and the people who live and work there. Image 043 “Green paddy” by Lin Quansheng, is a lovely example of this as is image 58 “Get Married “, by Zeng Hui.

The photos provide a charming glimpse of life in Enshi but would have benefited greatly by providing more information about each image and the photographers who took them.

The “Wellness Paradise-divine Abode of Enshi” is a captivating image showing two young people walking hand in hand on a narrow bridge across what looks like an irrigation canal towards a cityscape of high-rise buildings all encased in a giant bubble of some kind.

It is a curious image crying out for more information. There is a booklet accompanying the exhibition available for $20.00 but unfortunately it does not reveal much more information about the images.

The owner of Emma’s at Oxford, Emma Gillard, said she was asked by members of the Oxford Promotions Action Committee, chairman Barry Cuttance and secretary/treasurer Shirley Farrell to host the exhibition and was happy to do so.

“It was great to be able to do it,” she said.

There had been a great deal of interest in the exhibition.

“A lot of people have come in to have a look at it.” Shirley said she and her husband, John have visited China twice.

“It is just such an amazing place.”

They have another trip planned for next month when they are hoping to visit some of the places featured in the Enshi exhibition. Barry said he is hoping the exhibition, which ends at Emma’s at Oxford this Sunday, on July 2, will be put on display in other areas of Waimakariri so more people will get the opportunity to see what an amazing place Enshi is.

“It is the Queenstown of China with spectacular scenery and exciting business opportunities,” he said.