It was freezing and windy Wednesday but visitors to the Beijing downtown area did not seem to be seeking the warmth of Wangfujing's famed malls.
Their interest was focused outdoors - on a 200-m long photo exhibition featuring 800 pictures to mark the 30th anniversary of China's reform and opening up.
They had plenty to attract their attention: Images from the last three decades; and were just as keen to photograph the photos, which encapsulate the startling changes in people's lives.
Cao Xufang, a 57-year-old migrant worker, seemed lost as he contemplated life in the 1970s reflected in a black-and-white photo.
The driver of a State-owned food company got laid off in 1992; and like many other people in the rural areas,left to work in the capital.
"Of course our life is much better now," Cao told China Daily. "I have been working almost everywhere in Beijing and seen the rapid growth in suburban areas such as Shunyi and Tongzhou."
Xu Dongdong was born just five years before 1978 and has a clear memory of what life was like 30 years ago.
"When I was little, we could not afford to eat rice; only corn cakes," the doctor from Heilongjiang province said.
The generation born after the 1980s also found the photos captivating. Du Xiaomin, a 22-year-old saleswoman who was there with a friend, said: "Our life cannot be better When I was a child, I used to feel excited for days after eating out at KFC. But now KFC is just like a canteen to me."