A rural success story

By Yang Yang | CHINA DAILY | Updated: 2023-12-05 08:15
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The Panli Building in Liyuan Garden built in 1926 in Kaiping, Jiangmen, Guangdong province. [PHOTO BY YANG YANG/CHINA DAILY]

Bookstore brand targets isolated areas closer to cultural traditions, helping them open a prosperous new chapter, Yang Yang reports.

Five years ago, Qian Xiaohua, founder of Librairie Avant-Garde, a bookstore brand based in Nanjing, capital city of East China's Jiangsu province, came to Kaiping, a county-level city of Jiangmen in South China's Guangdong province, to look for a site in the countryside that might be transformed into a modern bookstore. He came here at the suggestion of Li Yuxiang, a photographer who had spent decades preserving Chinese people's memories of rural areas, especially ancient villages, with cameras.

About a two-hour drive from Guangzhou or Zhuhai of Guangdong province, Jiangmen is one of the first places in China that, in the mid-19th century, saw its poor residents emigrate overseas to pursue their dreams. It is also the hometown of Liang Qichao (1873-1929), a renowned intellectual, political activist, historian and educator, who is widely seen as one of the country's flag carriers for modernization.

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