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Exhibition to feature Sun Yat-sen's Hong Kong years

About 100 historical photos and artefacts related to Dr Sun Yat-sen's time in Hong Kong will be featured in an exhibition from tomorrow (November 12) until December 1 at the Hong Kong Museum of History to commemorate the 137th anniversary of Dr Sun's birthday. Admission to the exhibition is free.

Jointly presented by the Sun Yat-sen Education and Charity Foundation, the Museum of Dr Sun Yat-sen at Cuiheng and the Museum of History, the exhibition - "Sun Yat-sen and His Family: from Cuihong to Hong Kong" - focuses on Dr Sun's relationship with Hong Kong, his revolutionary activities, family and descendants, giving the public a greater understanding of the life of this great revolutionary.

Dr Sun overthrew China's Qing dynasty (1644-1911) and ended the 2,000-year-old monarchical system. He established the Republic of China, opening a new chapter in the political, economic, social and cultural development of modern China. Dr Sun's experiences in Cuiheng, his home village, and Hong Kong, as well as his family's support, played important roles in fulfilling his revolutionary mission and establishing his extraordinary career.

The Chief Curator of the Museum of History, Dr Joseph Ting Sun-pao, noted that the sharp contrast between Dr Sun's life in Cuiheng Village and the time he spent in Hong Kong provided inspiration for his revolutionary ideas.

"Hong Kong was the starting point of his revolutionary career and he once revealed that it was Hong Kong where his revolutionary ideas originated. Before the 1911 Revolution, Hong Kong was the base for planning, logistics support and propaganda behind several uprisings organised in the coastal provinces."Tributes should also be paid to his family members who gave him unrelenting support throughout his career," said Dr Ting.

Born on November 12, 1866 in Cuiheng Village, Xiangshan County (the present Zhongshan City), Guangdong, Sun Yat-sen had a tough childhood, working in the fields alongside his parents. He was 10 years old before he started his education and at the age of 13, supported by his brother who lived in Hawaii, he left for Honolulu to attend school. At 17, he came to Hong Kong, where he finished secondary school and attended university.

Cuiheng Village was a typical rural village in China while Hong Kong was a modern commercial city. The sharp contrast of the poverty and backwardness of Cuiheng Village and the wealth and prosperity of Hong Kong shocked the young Sun.

Having been baptised and received a Western education in Hong Kong, Sun made friends with people who shared his progressive thoughts. His idea of saving the nation by revolution then gradually took shape. When the Qing navy was defeated in the Sino-Japanese War in 1895, he felt that it was a critical moment for China. He founded the "Xingzhonghui" (Revive China Society) and put his revolutionary ideas into practice by organising the first uprising a few months later.

After the failure of the Guangzhou Uprising in 1895, Sun was wanted by the Qing court. To avoid arrest, he and his family, which had staunchly supported his revolutionary action, had to flee the country. While he saw little of his family in the following years, they remained a constant support.

The exhibition is one of the programmes marking the 5th anniversary of the Sun Yat-sen Education and Charity Foundation.

A separate exhibition, "Sun Yat-sen and Modern China", which is on loan from the Museum of History is running at the University Museum and Art Gallery of the University of Hong Kong until November 30 - one of the activities organised by the university to mark the unveiling of a Sun Yat-sen statue.

The Museum of History is at 100 Chatham Road South, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon. It opens from 10am to 6pm from Monday to Saturday and from 10am to 7pm on Sundays and public holidays. It is closed on Tuesdays (except public holidays).

For details, please visit the Museum of History's website at or call 2724 9042.

Ends/Tuesday, November 11, 2003
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