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Welcome to China - Tourism in the 1960s & 1970s

11.12.2023 - 08.03.2024

The exhibition

The exhibition shows memorabilia of a German engineer from his trips to China in the 1960s and 1970s. The contemporary documents illustrate how China presented itself to visitors from the West. Compared with the situation in China today, you gain an impression of the country's past development.

Three priorities

Part 1: Tourism

Part 1: Tourism

In the 1960s, Hong Kong continued the development and expansion of the manufacturing sector that had begun in the previous decade. The economic progress during this period would classify Hong Kong as one of the "Four Asian Tigers" along with Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan.
Part 2: Industry and agriculture

Part 2: Industry and agriculture

The Shanghai Industrial Exhibition (Chinese, 上海工业展览会) is a center where new industrial products from Shanghai and other places in China were exhibited and new techniques were exchanged. It was the largest exhibition center in China and was regarded as the most important showcase for the development of new industry in the country, so many foreign visitors, such as Mr. Wilschinsky, also came here.
Part 3: Culture, medicine and art

Part 3: Culture, medicine and art

The history of higher education, traditional medicine and cultural revolution has a long history behind it.


The materials on display are part of a donation from the estate of a deceased German textile engineer at Bayer, who was transferred to Japan with his family in 1970 as head of the fibers division for East Asia. As part of his job, he had to travel to China at least once a year for the major trade fairs. He collected valuable and varied media for tourists from China during the trade fairs and trips to China.


The exhibition was organized by the China Studies Department of the Asia Faculty at the University of Cologne.

The research focus of Prof. Dr. Felix Wemheuer, a renowned researcher from the East Asian Department of the University of Cologne, is the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution in China (1966 - 1976). Accordingly, the exhibition was organized with the support of the University and City Library of Cologne.

The Department of East Asian Studies at the University of Cologne is home to the Department of Chinese Studies and the Department of Japanese Studies at the University of Cologne. The China Department comprises 4 areas of work, which are covered by three professorships

  1. Culture of China/Chinese Studies
  2. Modern China Studies
  3. Chinese Legal Culture and Chinese language training

Currently Prof. Dr. Björn Ahl is the head of the department. There are currently over 45,450 books and 18,450 periodicals in the department (as of May 2023). There are currently over 60,000 individual entries available for research in the USB Cologne Open Access Catalog (OPAC).

The working group of the exhibition project: Dr. Jia Liu, Chengqi Xiao, Raffaella Bischoff, Dr. Philipp Budde

Exhibition location

Cologne University and City Library

Universitätsstraße 33, 50931 Cologne


Of course, you can also visit the exhibition without a library card; it is located in the foyer at the main entrance.

Opening hours

Monday to Friday from 9 to midnight

Saturday and Sunday from 9 to 21