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Exhibition to feature Dr Sun Yat-sen's activities in Nanyang

People will be able to gain a deeper insight into Dr Sun Yat-sen's revolutionary activities in Nanyang region in the early 20th century through the "Dr Sun Yat-sen and Nanyang" exhibition featuring some 60 historical photographs, artifacts such as calligraphy and correspondence, illustrated panel texts and a documentary video.

The exhibition was officially opened today by the grandson of Dr Sun Yat-sen, Mr Sun Tse-ping; Director of the Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall, Singapore, Mr Foong Choon Hon; Assistant Director of Leisure and Cultural Services, Mr Gerard Tsang Chu-chiu; and President of Sun Yat-sen Education and Charity Foundation, Dr Tan Siu-lin.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, Mr Tsang said that preparation work for refurbishing the Kom Tong Hall into a Dr Sun Yat-sen Museum was under way.

"In line with the work, the Hong Kong Museum of History has, in the past few years, collaborated closely with other museums named after Dr Sun and held a series of exhibitions introducing Dr Sun and the 1911 revolution. The 'Dr Sun Yat-sen and Nanyang' exhibition is the fruitful result of inter-museum co-operation," Mr Tsang said.

Dr Sun Yat-sen once remarked that "the overseas Chinese were the mother of the 1911 Revolution". During the course of overthrowing the Qing regime and establishing the Chinese Republic, Dr Sun left his footprints in almost every corner of the world to undertake his revolutionary mission.He frequently sojourned in the Nanyang region and the Nanyang Chinese were most active in soliciting funds, arranging propaganda and staging uprisings; that laid a solid foundation for the success of the 1911 Revolution.

Nanyang is geographically referred to as present-day Southeast Asia, including Annam (Vietnam), Burma, Siam (Thailand) and Malaya, as well as Philippines, Borneo and the Dutch East Indies (Indonesia). In the early 20th century, the Chinese population in Nanyang was six million, making up 79% of the overseas Chinese in total. They contributed more than half of the funding for the revolutionary campaign after the founding of the Tong Meng Hui (United League).

In 1901, Dr Sun sent You Lie to Singapore to strengthen the revolutionary ties. Working with Chen Chunan, Zhang Yongfu and Lin Yishun, You Lie initiated Thoe Lam Jit Poh, the first revolutionary mouthpiece in Nanyang. This publication, together with Chong Shing Yit Pao, motivated many young people to join the revolutionary cause.

The Singapore branch of Tong Meng Hui was set up at Wan Qing Yuan (today renamed as the Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall, Singapore) in 1906, striving to raise fund to finance the revolutionary activities. Its establishment marked the shift of the revolutionary centre from Hanoi to Singapore, simultaneous to the replacement of Xing Zhong Hui with Tong Meng Hui.

During this period, the number of Tong Meng Hui had grown to more than 20 branches in the Nanyang region and Singapore was designated as the regional headquarters to co-ordinate the revolutionaries. In 1910, the revolutionary centre was relocated to Penang, where the famous Penang Conference was convened to organise the significant Huanghuagang Uprising in Guangzhou. Though the uprising failed, the revolutionary current had spread across the Chinese mainland.

The Nanyang Chinese made substantial contributions to the 1911 revolution. In addition to monetary support, they sustained the revolutionary activities in Southeast Asia, provided food and clothing to revolutionaries in exile, published revolutionary organs, and raised funds to rescue the captured revolutionary leaders.

The exhibition, jointly presented by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department and the Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall, Singapore, will open to the public from tomorrow (March 10) until June 20, 2005, at the Hong Kong Museum of History.

The Hong Kong Museum of History is located 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.

Admission to the "Dr Sun Yat-sen and Nanyang" exhibition is free.

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

Ends/Wednesday, March 9, 2005
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