Thursday, June 01, 2006

Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall

On 20 May 06, I visited the Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall. It was situated in a rather peaceful part of Tai Gin Road.

After entering the gates, I was greeting by a large stone structure at the courtyard. The words on the stone say in both English and Mandarin: One man changed China, Dr Sun Yat Sen. (Words by our Minister Mentor, Lee Kuan Yew.) These words pointed to me that Dr Sun Yat Sen whom this museum commemorates has an important part in the history of modern China.

As I walked further into the courtyard, I was quite attracted to the sculptures under The Tree of the Martyrs. The Tree of the Martyrs, I heard, is the very tall tree that stands tall on the grounds of the courtyard. I read from this source that this tree is an Angsana tree, and is estimated to be more than a hundred years old. It must have bear witness to many historical events that have happened at the villa. The tree looked fairly tall. I did not take a photograph of the tree, but I've managed to take a photo of one of the sculptures under this tree.

I spent some time outdoors at the courtyard before proceeding to the two-storey bungalow that houses the Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall.

I was told that the tree on the left bore tropical fruits that were one of Dr Sun Yat Sen's favourites.

The Horse of Loyalty. There seems to be a story behind the horse that this sculpture is depicting.

I took notice of this statue of Lin Zhexu

After purchasing the admission ticket, I walked into the Hall of Peace. There was a Mandarin video recording screened on the television set placed in this exhibition gallery. The recording depicted the history of the villa. It also showed some of the key historical events in China that had led to the need for the 1911 revolution. In this gallery, there was a portrait of Mr Teo Eng Hock. The history of the villa may not be made possible without Mr Teo Eng Hock, who offered the villa (acquired for his mother) to Dr Sun Yat Sen for revolutionary activities.

Also on the ground floor, is the Gallery of Endeavour. In this gallery, one gets to find out more about the childhood and family background of Dr Sun Yat Sen.

Dr Sun Yat Sen was a Western medical doctor.

This exhibit seems to suggest to me that the revolution can only be made possible with the contributions of countless people who supported its cause. Many of these people may be common folks who have donated to the causes of the revolution.

It seems that many failures were met before the successful Xinhai Revolution on 10 October 1911.

In one of the galleries on the second floor, I could find an exhibit panel that puts on display the tools used in the rubber plantations in those days. (See picture below.)

The life-sized high-polymer figures in the Singapore Gallery which depicts the various important revolutionaries holding a secret meeting in this very villa captured my attention.

I particularly like a number of the paintings that were on display in the memorial hall. One of these paintings is titled Overseas Chinese - Mother of the Revolution. by the artist, Li Shuji.

Overall, there is a lot that one can learn about the revolution in China by visiting the Sun Yat Sun Nanyang Memorial Hall. The historical information was presented in a fairly engaging manner. Maybe that could be why one of the political leaders from Taiwan sang high praises about this museum in his recent visit to Singapore?

More about the various exhibitions galleries can be found here:

Perhaps one message that I have gotten from visiting the Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall is that all great things achieved start from having a vision.

To visit the Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall, also known commonly as Wan Qing Yuan, check out the information for visitors.

Also read: One Man Changed China, posted by June Yong.
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