Mary-Jess Leaverland holding a Chinese umbrella.
Mary-Jess Leaverland is one of the Leading Lights for the Generation UK: China Network. She tells the story of how winning 民星唱翻天 (Min Xing Chang Fan Tian), a televised music competition in Jiangsu, completely changed her life.

'Ten Tales of China' is a collaborative photo exhibition celebrating British journeys in China.

We received hundreds of submissions from the public and are pleased to be able to share this selection of tales with you which you can explore online wherever you are. 

The exhibition is part of the Generation UK: China Network, a British Council legacy initiative which aims to connect all British citizens with experience in China. The network allows young people to continue and deepen their engagement with China after they have returned to the UK, and to understand how to make the most of their new skills and knowledge in their career. 

A key part of the exhibition is the story behind the photo, which tells how a moment in time changed lives and widened horizons. These stories demonstrate what an impactful decision coming to China was, and how subsequent careers and choices were influenced by these experiences. These tales range from volunteering in rural Chinese orphanages, to studying Chinese literature, to meeting the love of their lives, to setting up the business of their dreams, to making important scientific discoveries. 

We hope these stories will motivate you to explore China for yourself or make you nostalgic and inspire you to keep engaged with China. Especially in the light of the recently announced golden era between the UK and China, we hope that more British nationals will venture out to China and make the people-to-people connections that the golden era relies on. 

So please, read on. We look forward to the golden era of tales that lies ahead.