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Splendour of China: Artworks and Letters by Revolutionaries of the 20th Century

29 October 2021 - 15 January 2022



Sun Museum will present the exhibition “Splendour of China: Artworks and Letters by Revolutionaries of the 20th Century” from 29 October 2021 to 15 January 2022, showcasing 91 sets of works created by Chinese revolutionaries from the last century.

The 20th century was a period of important transformations for China: the transition from a monarchy to a republic, the instability brought by separatist warlords, the power struggle between the Chinese Communist Party and the Chinese Nationalist Party, the two-party cooperation against foreign aggressions and the subsequent confrontation between the parties across the strait. With ordeals and afflictions accumulated, the People’s Republic of China has made her way out not only tackling them one by one, but also achieving great progress and strengthening the country’s power, leading her to impress the world with her economic miracle in the 21st century.

Over the last hundred years, a group of outstanding revolutionaries have risen and made immense contributions to the society in every difficulty and challenge. The handwritten scripts and artworks they left behind serve as a record of the social instabilities and changes of their era.
This exhibition captures the stories of these extraordinary individuals through an extensive display of their works including calligraphy, paintings, letters, manuscripts, poster, and seal, each representing their pioneering spirits and perseverance amid political turmoil and challenging times.

Highlights of the exhibition are as follows:
1) Life was extremely difficult in republican China. In the Letter to Zhang Yiqu, renowned educator Tao Xingzhi asked his friend for financial help.

2) Let’s Read the News was a wartime “poster” published by three members of the 8th Group Army of the National Revolutionary Army during the Second Sino-Japanese War. With the aim of mobilising civilians, this “poster” urged women to stop foot binding and collaborate with the military. This rare artefact offers a glimpse into the lives of Chinese people during the war.

3) On the verge of ending the Second Sino-Japanese War, Song Qingling excitedly wrote “commemorating victory!” in Chinese in a typed English letter to her friend Mrs Liang.

4) Zhao Yannian’s woodblock print Protest depicts the scene in which Song Qingling, along with then president of Peking University Cai Yuanpei, Yang Xingfo and Lu Xun, submitted a letter of protest in the name of the China League for the Protection of Civil Rights at the Consulate General of Germany to denounce the persecution of innocents and scholars by Adolf Hitler.

5) Also shown at the exhibition is the giant Shoushan stone seal inscribed with Mao Zedong’s calligraphy “this country is endowed with such grace” by Qi Yanming. It was stamped on the world-famous monumental painting of the same title installed at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.

6) The paintings of Fu Baoshi enjoy considerable popularity, yet it is very rare to find his calligraphic works. This exhibition includes a piece on which Fu wrote “red successors”, reflecting the socio-political atmosphere in the 1960s.

Coinciding with the centennial year of the founding of the Chinese Communist Party, this exhibition offers an exciting opportunity for the public to explore the lives of these legendary revolutionaries.

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