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Exhibition at Dr Sun Yat-sen Museum reviews Dr Sun's efforts in Guangzhou

     A new exhibition entitled "In Search of the Ideal Nation - Dr Sun Yat-sen and Guangzhou After the 1911 Revolution" is being held at the Dr Sun Yat-sen Museum to commemorate the centenary of the 1911 Revolution. The exhibition provides an opportunity for visitors to look back on Dr Sun's three attempts to establish a government in Guangzhou and to learn more about the city's development during that period, thus allowing them to gain a deeper understanding of Dr Sun's efforts after the 1911 Revolution.

     Running from today (September 30) until March 28, 2012, the exhibition is being presented by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department, the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference Guangzhou Committee and the Administration of Culture, Press, Publication, Radio and Television of Guangzhou Municipality, and is organised by the Dr Sun Yat-sen Museum and The Memorial Museum of Generalissimo Sun Yat-sen's Mansion.

     The opening ceremony of the exhibition was held today (September 30) at the Dr Sun Yat-sen Museum. Officiating at the ceremony were the Inspector of the Administration of Culture, Press, Publication, Radio and Television of Guangzhou Municipality, Ms Chen Yuhuan; the Assistant Director (Heritage and Museums) of Leisure and Cultural Services, Dr Louis Ng; the Deputy Secretary-General of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference Guangzhou Committee, Ms Zhou Caiyu; expert in cultural heritage and museums from Guangzhou, Mr Mai Yinghao; the Curator of The Memorial Museum of Generalissimo Sun Yat-sen's Mansion, Ms Li Suimei; and the Chief Curator of the Hong Kong Museum of History, Ms Susanna Siu.

     Speaking at the opening ceremony, Dr Ng noted that it is meaningful that this exhibition is being held in Hong Kong. He said that both Hong Kong and the nearby city of Guangzhou have had a deep relationship with Dr Sun and his revolutionary activities. Dr Sun had expressed that his revolutionary ideas originated from Hong Kong. And Guangzhou was a base for revolutionary campaigns. 

     The exhibition showcases about 100 exhibits drawn from the collections of The Memorial Museum of Generalissimo Sun Yat-sen's Mansion and the Hong Kong Museum of History. They tell the story of how Dr Sun and his followers built up a government in Guangzhou, then a base for the revolutionary cause, three times. The exhibits also show the remarkable changes in the political, military, economic, cultural and educational fields during the period of 1917 to 1925.

     Guangzhou has always held an extremely important place in China. First and foremost a city with a strong fighting spirit, it also served as the entry point for new products and ideas from the West and thus frequently set the trends for the rest of the country. Guangzhou, therefore, was the place where many political reform movements and revolutionary campaigns were nurtured in modern China.

     After setting up a government in Guangzhou, Dr Sun hoped to develop Guangdong into a model province, with Guangzhou as a model city. In 1918, when the Military Government led by Dr Sun had control of Guangdong, the first municipal administrative authority in modern Guangzhou was established. In 1920, Sun Fo, the son of Dr Sun, who had studied in the United States for several years and was familiar with municipal authorities in other countries, was appointed as the first Mayor of Guangzhou. Under Sun Fo's leadership, the city took huge steps forward on its journey to modernisation. Its economy, culture, education system and appearance, as well as its people's way of life, underwent significant changes, and the city developed into a key hub for South China.

     Dr Sun also made three attempts to establish a government in Guangzhou from 1917 on. The first was in 1917, when he travelled south to Guangzhou to initiate the Movement for the Protection of the Constitution and established the Military Government of the Republic of China, in which he took up the position of Grand Marshal of the Navy and Army in opposition to the warlord Duan Qirui. In less than a year, however, Dr Sun had been edged out by warlords and politicians in the south and was forced to leave Guangdong for Shanghai.

     In 1920, Dr Sun raised an army to expel the Guangxi warlords from Guangdong. He returned to Guangdong in November and was elected President, later named as the Extraordinary President of the Republic of China by the Extraordinary Parliament in April 1921. Dr Sun then began planning the Northern Expedition with the aim of toppling warlords and uniting China, but Chen Jiongming, who held military and political power in Guangdong, launched a mutiny in June 1922, forcing Dr Sun to leave Guangdong once again.

     Dr Sun's final attempt to set up a government in Guangzhou came in February 1923. After Chen Jiongming's forces had been ousted, Dr Sun returned to Guangzhou from Shanghai to set up the headquarters of the Army and Navy Grand Marshal's Office. He took office as Grand Marshal, and the nationalist revolution reached its pinnacle. Dr Sun passed away in Beijing in March 1925. On July 1 of the same year, the Grand Marshal's Office was reorganised as the Nationalist Government.

     To coincide with the exhibition, a series of educational programmes will be held at the Dr Sun Yat-sen Museum. They include a talk entitled "Guangzhou After the 1911 Revolution", to be held on December 3 at the Exhibition Gallery. The talk will be conducted by the Assistant Professor of the Department of History at Lingnan University, Dr Lau Chi-pang, who will look into the development of Guangzhou after the 1911 Revolution and the revolutionary efforts of Dr Sun after 1912. In addition, a workshop entitled "Making Felt Book Covers" will be held on October 9 and 23 at the Activity Room. The instructor will teach participants how to make felt book covers based on the costumes featured in the exhibition.

     For exhibition details, please visit the museum's website at or call 2367 6373.

     The Dr Sun Yat-sen Museum is located at 7 Castle Road, Mid-levels, Central, Hong Kong. It is open from 10am to 6pm from Monday to Wednesday and on Friday and Saturday, and from 10am to 7pm on Sundays and public holidays. It is closed on Thursdays (except public holidays). The admission fee is $10 with a half-price concession for full-time students, people with disabilities and senior citizens aged 60 or above. Free admission is available every Wednesday.

Ends/Friday, September 30, 2011


The picture shows the navigation clock of the gunboat Zhong Shan on display at the "In Search of the Ideal Nation - Dr Sun Yat-sen and Guangzhou After the 1911 Revolution" exhibition.


The picture shows one of the exhibits - a textbook used during the Republican period.


The picture shows an insurance policy of the Life Insurance Company of Guangdong and Guangxi from 1922, which is on display at the exhibition.


The picture shows Dr Sun Yat-sen writing "Outline of the Plans for National Reconstruction" in the cloister of the Grand Marshal's Office.



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