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Mission Hills to Unveil 80-Year-Old Hidden Photos at China Flight Exhibition
Wulf-Diether Graf zu Castell-Rüdenhausen, photographer of the "China Flug" exhibition

Haikou, Hainan Province, China (March 16, 2018): In the mid-1930s, a celebrated German aviator called Wulf-Diether Graf zu Castell-Rüdenhausen flew over China with his Leica camera, recording stunning landscapes, natural features and historical monuments. For more than 80 years his photos have remained undiscovered and unseen – until now.

On April 7, Mission Hills Group, owners and operators of the world’s largest golf and leisure facility, will launch the ”China Flug” (meaning China Flight) photography exhibition at the luxury Mission Hills Haikou resort on the tropical Chinese island of Hainan.

On display will be several precious and historical photos which have remained unseen to the world for many years, amazingly found at Castell’s family home. These photographs record incredible images of old China through the power of aerial photography.

Visitors will experience a special exhibition encapsulating the past and blazing a new trail towards a brighter future in photography. They will witness a side to China not seen before as China’s beauty and diversity are displayed for all to see.

Castell has become a legend, not just because of his aerial photography but also because of the precious images he captured. With his Leica camera he was able to capture China through a tumultuous time. He flew over cities, countryside, rolling hills, ports and residential areas including riverbeds and farmlands which were previously undocumented. He was able to encapsulate the spirit of the time with great style and panache and will be remembered as an amazing pioneer both as an aviator and a photographer.

The “China Flug” exhibition will run from April 7 for 45 days at Mission Hills Centreville in Haikou. Entry will be free, in celebration of the 30th anniversary of Hainan’s status as a province.

“We are honoured to team up with Mission Hills – like Leica, a family-owned business and a pioneer in its field – to bring these significant photos of China to the Chinese public,” said Chairman of the Supervisory Board Leica Camera AG, Dr Andreas Kaufmann, owner of the Ernst Leitz Archiv- und Museums gemeinnützige GmbH.

Aerial photo of Shanghai on The Bund, taken by a Leica camera 80 years ago

“China Flug is an example of how Leica captured the past one hundred years of human history. It is also a showcase of the long friendship built between Germany and China,” added Karin Kaufmann, Art Director of Leica Gallery International and Chairwoman of the Ernst Leitz Archiv- und Museums gemeinnützige GmbH.

“Mission Hills Haikou, the most visited tourist attraction in Hainan, is delighted to partner with Leica, with more than 100 years of history, to create yet another first for China and for the world,” added Tenniel Chu, Group Vice Chairman of Mission Hills. “As China’s international tourism island, it is befitting that Hainan should be the location to unveil these remarkable aerial photos of China that have remained a secret for so long. It is our gift to the province and its people to celebrate Hainan’s 30th anniversary!”

Sun Ying, director of the Hainan Provincial Tourism Development Commission commented: “Visitors to Hainan continue to grow year on year and the province received more than 67.45 million tourists in 2017, up 12.2 per cent year-on-year, contributing 81 billion yuan in revenue. Mission Hills has been at the forefront of tourism in Haikou for close to a decade and the China Flug exhibition will be another hugely popular attraction for visitors to Hainan.”

ABOUT LEICA
Leica Camera AG is an internationally operating, premium-segment manufacturer of cameras and sport optics products. The legendary reputation of the Leica brand is founded on a long tradition of excellent quality. In combination with innovative technologies, all Leica products fulfil a common objective: better pictures, wherever perception and visualization matter. Leica Camera AG has its headquarters in Wetzlar, in the state of Hessen in Germany, and a second production site in Vila Nova de Famalicão, Portugal and operates its own worldwide network of regional organisations and Leica Retail Stores.

Leica is German engineering at its best, and the Leica ideal is an integral part of the culture of seeing. Leica has a long history of focusing on perception and has developed innovative instruments that offer a unique experience. The result is a renowned series of cameras and lenses, and a superb range of sport optics including high-aperture and laser rangefinder binoculars, and spotting scopes.

These products expand the natural limits of perception and open up new dimensions for human vision and insight. Leica quality is in a class by itself – both in analogue and digital capture modes. Top-quality systems with intuitive controls provide the best picture results and offer unparalleled creative freedom. In this way, Leica helps transform vision into personal creative fulfilment.

ABOUT MISSION HILLS GROUP

Mission Hills Vice Chairman Tenniel Chu

Mission Hills Group, owner and operator of Mission Hills resorts in the heart of the Pearl River Delta and on the tropical island of Hainan, is synonymous with leisure, wellness, entertainment and luxury.

Founded in 1992, Mission Hills is recognized as one of the world’s leading golf brands and a pioneer in China’s hospitality, sports and leisure industry. The world-class integrated leisure and wellness resort destinations have hosted more than 100 international tournaments, dating back to the World Cup of Golf in 1995, the first international golf tournament in China. Mission Hills has also been accredited by the Guinness World Records as the “World’s Largest Golf Club” and the “World’s Largest Mineral Springs and Spa Resort”.

Mission Hills’ properties sprawl over 40 square kilometres. They include 22 championship courses designed by renowned players and architects from five continents, five-star resorts, award-winning spas and volcanic mineral springs, international convention centres, state-of-the-art golf academies, a 20-pitch football training base, Asia’s largest basketball school and Asia’s biggest tennis facility. Mission Hills is also the official training headquarters for China’s Tennis, Football and Golf Associations.

The Group’s ‘golf and more’ leisure philosophy has catalysed its tourism-related business expansion into a leisure hub for multi-generational families. Mission Hills Centreville in Shenzhen and Haikou provides integrated shopping, recreational, business, education, entertainment, leisure and cultural experiences, including Bromsgrove School Mission Hills in Shenzhen in collaboration with the historic British boarding school. Mission Hills has also extended its foray into the hospitality industry by partnering with world-renowned hotel brands such as Hard Rock, Renaissance and Ritz-Carlton. These collaborations have seen the opening of Ritz-Carlton’s first golf resort hotel in China and China’s first Hard Rock Hotel in Shenzhen.

Other significant projects include Movie Town in Haikou in partnership with China’s largest film production company, Huayi Brothers Media Corporation and award-winning director, Feng Xiaogang and China’s first Wet’n’Wild water park in collaboration with Australia’s leading entertainment group and largest theme park operator, Village Roadshow Limited.

Mission Hills has also announced ground-breaking partnerships with FC Barcelona and the NBA to bring the world’s most famous football club and the world’s largest professional basketball league to its Haikou resort, making Hainan island a leading hub for football and basketball development in China.

For more information and latest updates, visit www.missionhillschina.com or follow Mission Hills China on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube.



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