The story

The Sun Yat-sen Museum

The Sun Yat-sen Museum in George Town, Penang in Malaysia, chronicles the life of its namesake. Sun Yat-sen (1866 –1925) became the first president of post-Imperial China after leading the republican movement which overthrew the Qing Dynasty.

The Sun Yat-sen Museum houses a collection of his personal belongings together with pictures and photographs of the man himself. Visiting the Purple Mountains usually takes a whole day as there are several worthwhile sites in the area including the Mausoleum of Sun Yat-sen.

The Sun Yat-sen Museum history

Sun Yat-sen first brought his family to Penang in 1910. At this time, the building housed the reading club, Penang Philomatic Union – a cover for Sun’s political opposition party, the Nanyang Tongmenhui. Built as a residential townhouse in 1880, the museum’s former location was a typical example of a British Straits Settlements merchant home, unusually long at over 40 metres. The house featured a small courtyard garden with beautiful floor tiles.

On 14 November 1920, Sun Yat-sen chaired an emergency meeting of the Nanyang Tongmenghui in the house, launching a campaign to fundraise for a Second Guangzhou Uprising. The building was also the site where Sun Yat-sen delivered a speech at the 1910 Penang Conference, raising 8000 straits dollars on the spot from the supportive Chinese population of the city.

In 1926 ownership of the house passed to a Hokkian merchant, Ch’ng Teong Swee, staying in his family until the present day. The museum dedicated to Sun Yat-sen was launched in 2001 by Malaysia’s Prime Minister and was visited by the former President of the People’s Republic of China, Hu Juntao, in 2002. In 2007, the Chinese international film, ‘Road to Dawn’, was filmed at the site, reenacting the emergency meeting.

From 2010, the museum house was extensively renovated in time for the international centennial commemoration of the 1910 Penang Conference.

The Sun Yat-sen Museum today

Today you can visit the quaint timber house, its interior characterised by large wooden beams and a preserved kitchen that includes the original firewood stove and cooking utensils. The small museum provides plenty of information in English, supported by photographs and artefacts alongside the original furnishings.

From the museum, you can join the Sun Yat-sen Heritage Trail, linking over 12 sites associated with the revolutionary leader and his supporters. The trail was developed by the Penang Heritage Trust in 2010 – the first of its kind.

Getting to The Sun Yat-sen Museum

An easy way of getting about the busy streets of Penang is via public transport. The closest bus stop is Kampung Kolam on the 12, 301, 302, 303 and 401 routes. The stop is just outside the museum, which is located on the historical Armenian Street.

Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall of Guangzhou

Sun Yat-sen was a famous political figure at the turn of the 20th century. Many people gave him credit for leading the revolution that overthrew the Qing Dynasty (1644–1912) and ushered in the Republic of China era. So, if you are interested in learning about him, you can go to a large park area called Yuexiu Park near downtown Guangzhou and see his memorial hall.

It is also a good place to go if you want a park excursion while in Guangzhou.

The Sun Yat-sen Museum - History

Lu Haodong’s tomb

Lu Haodong’s tomb is located on the piedmont of the Litoujian Mountain in Cuiheng Village, built by Li Da, amerchant from Yonggu Company, under the leadership of Yang Ziyi,Head of Zhongshan County, at a cost of 6,370 silver dollars in 1937, with an area of about 350 square meters. There is a stone archway in front of the tomb, on which there is a lintel with Yang Ziyi’s inscription “Martyr Lu Haodong’s Tomb”. There is a granite memorial stone pavilion on the right of the passage, and a flower frame on the left there is a fine and vivid stone statue of martyr Lu Haodong is in the middle of the end of the passage, and anepitaphin clerical script by Miao Huiyin is inscribed on the base. Martyr Lu Haodong (1867

1895), revolutionary companion of Sun Yat-sen, was arrested and killed for destroying the list of party members during the first Guangzhou Uprising. He was renowned as the first person sacrificed for the republican revolution in China’s history by Dr. Sun Yat-sen.

In 2009, Lu Haodong’s tomb was listed as a key protected cultural relic of Guangdong Province.

Cultural Relic Collections

Registration number of the Museum of Dr. Sun Yat-sen: Yue ICP Bei 05073270
Copyright @ The Museum of Dr. Sun Yat-sen. All Rights Reserved.

The Sun Yat-sen Museum - History

Home > Introduction > Introduction to the Museum of Dr. Sun Yat-sen

Introduction to the Museum of Dr. Sun Yat-sen

The Museum of Dr. Sun Yat-sen is located in Cuiheng Village, Zhongshan, Guangdong, surrounded by mountains on the south, north and west, facing the Pearl River estuary on the east, 20 kilometers away from the urban area of Zhongshan City, 90 kilometers away from the urban center of Guangzhou and 30 kilometers away from Macao, and opposite to Shenzhen and Hong Kong across the Pearl River estuary. Founded in 1956, our museum has a management area of 1956, a workforce of 135, and is a National Class 1 museum and the core area of a national AAAAA scenic spot.

According to the functions of collection, exhibition, education and scientific research defined by the International Council of Museums (ICOM), and the National Cultural Heritage Administration for museums, and our operations, our museum has three approved organization names &ndash "Museum of Dr. Sun Yat-sen", "Zhongshan Folklore Museum" and "Zhongshan Institute for Sun Yat-sen Studies".

The Zhongshan Folklore Museum carries out research on Cuiheng Village and the Pearl River Delta&rsquos folk culture, the collection of folk relics, the exhibition of civil residences and folklore, and the rescue and protection of folk relics and folk culture, thereby preserving and reinforcing the historical and cultural atmosphere of Sun Yat-sen and his former residence.

The main operations of the Zhongshan Institute for Sun Yat-sen Studies are: 1) research on the social environment in which Sun Yat-sen was born and grew up (including the folklore of the Pearl River Delta) 2) research on Sun Yat-sen&rsquos life experiences 3) research on Sun Yat-sen&rsquos family background, relatives and descendants 4) research on Sun Yat-sen and his contemporary figures (especially of Zhongshan origin) 5) research on cultural relics related to Sun Yat-sen 6) research on Sun Yat-sen&rsquos thoughts 7) research on relevant museum operations and visitor services and 8) organization of relevant scientific research on.

As an extension of our functions, we have also established Yat-sen Library to collect and preservehis works, research monographs, relevant literatures and research information, and set up relevant databases to lay a foundation for our operations and research. The library currently keeps over 80,000 books, and 10,000 gigabytes (10,000G)of electronic data including Sun Yat-sen&rsquos databases and periodical databases, forming the Sun Yat-sen Research Information Center that combines collected cultural relics, files, books and other traditional literatureswith modern electronic data.

While preserving the national key protected cultural relic &ndash Sun Yat-sen&rsquos former residence, we manage Cuiheng Village &ndash a historically and culturally famous village of China, Yang Yin&rsquos former residence and Lu Haodong&rsquos former residence &ndash protected cultural relics of Guangdong Province, and over 20 protected cultural relics around Cuiheng Village.

We stick to the goal of &ldquopreserving cultural relics and their environments to pursue development&rdquo, the philosophy of &ldquovitality based on characteristics&rdquo, andthe &ldquotraditions&rdquobyprotecting values, memories, history and culture, and carry out operations and management with modern and innovative management concepts and measures. Since the introduction of the ISO9001 quality management and ISO14001 environmental management systems in February 2001, we have been managing our operations, cultural relic environment and natural ecology with modern system theory and globally recognized standard systems.

Our exhibition system is always themed &ldquoSun Yat-sen andthe social environment in which he was born and grewup&rdquo,and combines historical memorials and folklore, and tangible and intangible cultural heritage based in the historically and culturally famous village of Cuiheng, making our museum a diversified, interactive, characteristic and rich modern ecology museum.

What is open and to be open to the public includes:

1.Sun Yat-sen Memorial Exhibition Area: including Sun Yat-sen&rsquos former residence, the display of Sun Yat-sen&rsquos experiences and relics, the display of Sun Yat-sen&rsquos relatives and descendants, other temporary exhibitions related to the theme, and relevant cultural relics and memorial sculptures

2.Cuiheng Civil Residence Exhibition Area: displaying Sun Yat-sen&rsquos childhood living environment using some old civil residences in Cuiheng Village, including the restored ancestral house of Sun Yat-sen, the Cuiheng folklore exhibition, and the exhibition of old civil residences and folk customs of Cuiheng Village

3.Farming Culture Exhibition Area: displaying the farming culture of Sun Yat-sen&rsquos hometown, including a paddy rice cultivation area, a crop cultivation area, a stockbreeding area, a mulberry fishpond area of traditional ecological agriculture, a modern agriculture pilot area, a farm tool exhibition, etc. on the farmland on which Sun Yat-sen worked

4.Yang Yinand Lu Haodong Memorial Exhibition Area: displaying featuring key followers of the revolutionary movement led by Sun Yat-sen, and including Yang Yin&rsquos former residence, Yang Yin Memorial Exhibition, Lu Haodong&rsquos former residence, Lu Haodong Memorial Exhibition, etc. in Cuiheng Village

5.Intangible Cultural Heritage Exhibition Area: exhibiting intangible cultural heritage included in the national and provincial lists of protected intangible cultural heritage using some old civil residences in Cuiheng Village

6.Others: including activity relics of Sun Yat-sen in Cuiheng Village historical buildings of certain value the Yang Heling Memorial Exhibition former residences of Yang Xinru, Yang Rizhang, Yang Rishao, Chen Xinghan, etc. Yang Jianshan Shine etc. other sculpture works at our museum a garden of over 400 plant species other temporary exhibitions, etc.


Dr Sun Yat-sen was a world-renowned revolutionary who devoted his entire life to overthrowing the Qing Dynasty and setting up the Republic of China. His achievements were recognised and admired not only by the local and overseas Chinese, but also by the global community. Dr Sun had a close relationship with Hong Kong, where he received his secondary and university education. Hong Kong was also the cradle of his revolutionary thoughts and uprising plans.

Opened to public in 2006, the four-storey Museum has a floor area of 2,560 square metres. The Museum has two permanent exhibitions displaying a number of precious historical artefacts. Supplemented by a wide range of audiovisual programmes, the Museum gives a comprehensive overview of the life and career of Dr Sun, and Hong Kong's vital role in the reform movements and revolutionary activities in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Dr Sun Yat-sen Museum highlights Dr Sun's intimate connections with Hong Kong, so that local citizens and overseas tourists alike will be able to reminisce about the activities of this great Chinese statesman.

Years in exile

Taking advantage of China’s defeat in the Sino-Japanese War (1894–95) and the ensuing crisis, Sun went to Hong Kong in 1895 and plotted for an uprising in Guangzhou (Canton), the capital of his native province. When the scheme failed, he began a 16-year exile abroad.

In 1896, under circumstances not entirely clear, Sun was caught and detained for 13 days by the Chinese legation in London. It appears likely that Sun ran into a fellow Cantonese who worked for the legation and was found out and seized while visiting him under an alias. The legation planned to ship Sun back to China, but, before this could be done, Sun had converted a British employee at the legation to his side and got word through to James Cantlie, former dean of Hong Kong College of Medicine. The British Foreign Office intervened, and Sun was released from his captivity. The incident engendered great publicity and gave Sun’s career a powerful boost.

After spending much of the ensuing eight months reading in the British Museum, Sun traveled to Japan by way of Canada. Arriving in August 1897, he was met by Miyazaki Torazō, an adventurer who had heard of the London incident and who was willing to help Sun in his political activities. Miyazaki introduced Sun to many influential Japanese, including the elder statesmen Ōkuma Shigenobu, Soejima Taneomi, and Inukai Tsuyoshi, from some of whom Sun was to receive both political and financial assistance.

During the turmoil of 1900, Sun participated in secret maneuvers involving Sir Henry Blake, the British governor of Hong Kong, and He Kai, an influential Chinese in that colony. Their aim was to persuade Li Hongzhang to declare independence from the Qing. Responding to an invitation by Li’s staff, Sun journeyed to Hong Kong, but, fearing a trap, he did not go ashore. Instead, he was represented by Miyazaki and two other Japanese at the meeting, which proved fruitless.

Previously, Sun had made contact with bandits and secret societies in Guangdong. These forces began a revolt in Huizhou (present-day Huiyang in Guangdong) in October 1900. The campaign, the second of 10 claimed by Sun between 1895 and 1911, lasted 12 days.

About the Trail

Tourism Commission, in collaboration with Central and Western District Council and Leisure and Cultural Services Department, undertook the revitalisation of the Dr Sun Yat-sen Historical Trail. Under the theme of “art across time”, nine local artists were engaged to redesign the plaques with their idiosyncratic visual lingo to showcase the rich historical and cultural characteristic of Hong Kong. You are invited to go for a walk on the Dr Sun Yat-sen Historical Trail to trace the footprints with 16 spots, including attractions relating to Dr Sun’s education in Hong Kong and the schools he attended, the places he lived and the venues where he entered into heated discussions of national affairs with his friends, sites where revolutionary activities were held by Dr Sun and other revolutionaries before the Republic of China was founded as well as displays of Hong Kong in the time of Dr Sun.

Recommended Routes
Visit the Dr Sun Yat-sen Historical Trail, the whole journey of 16 Spots (about 2 hours walk).

Visitors may visit the Youth Journey of Dr Sun Yat-sen (about 45 minutes walk) adjacent to the PMQ in Central, from spot 4 (start point) to spot 12 (end point) of the Trail which consists of 9 spots include former sites of Dr Sun’s residential and education places, historical locations related to other revolutionaries and original site of revolutionary organisation founded by Dr Sun.

The ‘Modern Woman’ Through the Lens of Fashion at Sun Yat Sen Memorial Hall

It’s the end of a Saturday night. The outfit you painstakingly wrestled from a closet of truly uninspiring clothes is stained with half-a-pint of beer. In a drunken stupor, you shimmy from the outfit and toss it unceremoniously into a nearby wicker basket. The stench of beer presently suffusing the room is now sole testament to the unspeakable antics which took place that night.

The central question is this: can you imagine that one day that very outfit will speak to future generations about the culture of today?

Well, the Sun Yat Sen Memorial Hall (SYSNMH) certainly could, and they brought that vision to life. The stunningly refreshing exhibit, Modern Women of the Republic: Fashion and Change in China and Singapore, has one purpose: to use fashion as a lens through which we may follow the journey of the modern woman in China and Singapore since the 19 th century.

In the study of history where lengthy treatises and leather-bound books with peeling spines are commonplace, fashion as a medium for historical reflection is revitalising yet unsurprising. The change in dressing styles over time reflect not just a change in aesthetic but also in society and politics it is the perfect lens through which to view and understand historical changes.

The new collarless ‘civilised new outfits’ which allowed freedom of movement, were analogous to the new freedoms of women at the time.

In this photograph featured in the exhibit, the collarless garments worn by the women—called ‘civilised new outfits’—are examples of developing beliefs made tangible in fabric. It was felt that as collars would restrict movement of the neck, it should be abandoned by modern women with progressive views. It is almost perfectly analogous to the new freedoms enjoyed by women in the past.

In other words, the fashion of a time embodies the culture of that time. For this reason, Ms Tan Yan Ni, the assistant curator at SYSNMH, believes that fashion can be a valuable tool in understanding the role of women throughout history.

With close to100 artefacts and photographs organised in three sections, the exhibition will bring us on a journey following the history of the concept of the modern woman spanning around eight to nine decades.

The cheongsam, a traditional Chinese dress, became infused with Western elements—such as waist and bust darts—as China became more influenced by Western styles.

Starting in the 1890s to the 1930s, the exhibition uses fashion to trace social and political change. In the time just after the institution of the new Chinese Republic, political turmoil and uncertainty were rife. Society was being remade and understood in revolutionarily new ways. For example, questions were raised on how ‘ideal womanhood’ was to be understood.

The government at the time made great strides towards abolishing outdated practices such as the binding of women’s feet and breasts. The rise of female education also began to redefine the role of women in a more modern society.

The second section follows the early incarnations of the modern woman in the 1930s to 1960s. The proliferation of print media during the period embedded into women’s minds a consciousness for fashion. Not only were new ideas tested, but by piquing the customer’s curiosity and stoking their desires for the latest styles, fashion magazines and advertisements placed an idea of modernity into many aspects of daily life.

Swimsuits, which were once considered scandalous by the Chinese, became a regular appearance in print media and beauty pageants.

Finally, the third section focuses on modern women in the context of Singapore. In the 1950s to 1970s, there was growing economic empowerment among women, especially after many gained financial independence by joining the workforce. Feeling their new freedom in public life, women became more conscious about how they presented themselves. This concern led to a sharp growth in Singapore’s beauty and fashion industries, which continue to thrive to this day.

The inclusion of women in the workforce provided them with a newfound sense of economic freedom and financial independence.

This eye-opening exhibit will certainly leave you pondering more deeply about the modern woman and her role in our modern society. Is there a better way to mark 2021 as the Year of Celebrating SG Women? I think not.

You can view this exhibit yourself from 12 June to 12 December 2021 at the Sun Yat Sen Memorial Hall. It will be open from 10AM to 5PM, Tuesday to Sunday. Singapore citizens and permanent residents will be able to attend free of charge. For more information, you can visit the SYSNMH website!

Sun Yat Sen Museum

Sun Yat Sen Museum is an exhibition showcasing, through dioramas, the life&rsquos work of Dr. Sun Yat Sen, a leading 20th-century Asian nationalist figure who led the Chinese Revolution in 1911. He attracted support from overseas Chinese and became China&rsquos first provisional president.

Widely regarded as the father of modern China, he was born in 1866 in Guandong Province (near Macau) and first came to Penang in 1905. A physician turned nationalist, he moved the Southeast Asian headquarters of his political party (T&rsquoung Meng Hui) from Singapore to Penang when he realized that his greatest backing came from the Penang party members.

History of Sun Yat Sen Museum

During the Chinese Revolution, Dr. Sun Yat Sen was a primary instigator in deposing the Manchu Dynasty and he went on to help usher in a Republican China. Dr. Sun&rsquos plans began with the Penang Conference when he planned the Canton Uprising in Guangzhou, China on 27 April 1911. Though this revolt was crushed, it was an important turning point in the Chinese Revolution, as it helped garner more support for the rebellion.

The Wuchang Uprising (also called the Double Tenth Revolution), which was also initiated by Dr. Sun and his followers at this Penang centre, was the primary event that led to the downfall of the Manchu regime on 10 October 1911.

After his Death

Though he only lived in Penang for a relatively short time in 1910 (six months) with his first wife Madam Lu Muzhen, second wife Madam Chen Cuifen, his two daughters and his brother, these days his home has become a popular Penang tourist site.

Dr. Sun Yet Sen&rsquos second wife was from China and after the revolution she returned to Penang and looked after his two daughters who attended school at Convent Light Street, Penang.

Good to Know

Back in the early 1950s, Dr. Sun Yat Sen was so popular that posters of him were printed in Shanghai and circulated in Chinese schools throughout Malaya. During school assemblies, the will of Dr. Sun was read aloud and students bowed respectfully before his poster.

The centre at 120 Armenian Street was the Southeast Asian headquarters of Dr. Sun&rsquos political party (the Tongmenghui) in 1910. The idea for Kwong Wah Jit Poh, one of the world&rsquos oldest Chinese newspapers, was first initiated by Dr. Sun and his Penang supporters at these premises. The 162th issue (Tuesday, 4 July 1911) of the daily Chinese newspaper was published here.


The villa was designed in 1900 and built in 1901 by Boey Chuan Poh (梅春輔 1874-1926 ), a businessman who owned the newspaper Union Times. The villa was rumoured to be a home for his mistress Bin Chan, hence it was called "Bin Chan House". In 1902, Boey sold the villa for $10,800 to Lim Ah Siang (林亞相 1866-1925), the towkay of a timber business in Johor and Singapore and the leader of the Teochew secret society Ngee Heng Kongsi. [1] The building was constructed in a classical colonial style, featuring ornate arched windows and doors, eaves decorated with floral patterns, and movable louvred windows.

In 1905, rubber magnate Teo Eng Hock (張永福 1872–1957) – a great-granduncle of Singapore's Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean – bought the villa for his mother, Tan Poh Neo, as a place of retirement. He renamed it "Wan Qing Yuan", a name inspired by a line from a Tang dynasty poem by Li Shangyin. [ citation needed ] In July 1905, Sun Yat Sen met Teo, Tan Chor Lam (陳楚南 1884–1971) and Lim Nee Soon in Singapore through his close friend, Yau Lit, while en route to Europe from Japan. In April 1906, when Sun visited Singapore again, Teo offered his villa for use as the Tongmenghui's headquarters in Southeast Asia. At the villa, the Tongmenghui planned numerous uprisings and fundraising activities leading to the 1911 Xinhai Revolution, which ended imperial rule in China under the Qing dynasty. Three uprisings of the Xinhai Revolution – Chaozhou Uprising (May 1907), Zhennanguan Uprising (December 1907), and Hekou Uprising (April 1908) – were planned in the villa. [1] Teo and his wife, Tan Sok Jee, sewed the flag of the Republic of China in the villa. [2] [3]

After Teo sold the villa in 1912, the villa changed ownership multiple times until it was purchased in 1937 by six Chinese leading businessmen in Singapore: Lee Kong Chian, Tan Ean Kiam (陳延謙 1881–1943), Lee Chin Tian (李振殿), Chew Hean Swee (周獻瑞 1884–1960), Lee Chor Seng (李俊承) and Yeo Kiat Tiow (楊吉兆). In the following year, they donated the villa to the Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce (SCCCI). [1] After the establishment of the Republic of China, the Nationalist government funded the refurbishment of the villa and converted it into a memorial hall in 1940. At the same time, they gathered information and artefacts related to Sun Yat Sen from overseas Chinese communities and opened the hall to the public.

During the Japanese occupation of Singapore (1942–1945), the Japanese military used the villa as a communication base and Kempeitai branch office. [1] Many of the original artefacts and furniture of the hall were destroyed. After the war, the Nationalist government funded the restoration of the villa and set up the Singapore branch of the Kuomintang (Nationalist Party) there. However, following the Communist victory in the Chinese Civil War and founding of the People's Republic of China in October 1949, the British colonial proscription of the KMT as an unlawful organisation, and a lack of foreign exchange sufficient to maintain the centre, the house closed down as a political office. In 1951, the SCCCI regained ownership of the villa and renamed it the "Sun Yat Sen Villa" after renovations in 1964.

On 28 October 1994, the Singapore government gazetted the villa as a National Monument. Two years later, the SCCCI renamed the villa to "Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall" and announced its plans to expand the place. The villa closed in November 1997 for restoration works at a cost of S$7.5 million. It was reopened to the public as a museum on 12 November 2001. [4] In 2009, the SCCCI appointed the National Heritage Board (NHB) to manage the museum, and redevelopment works took place in October 2010. [5] One year later, the villa was reopened to the public on 8 October 2011 to commemorate the centenary of the Xinhai Revolution. [5]

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Watch the video: Live: A visit to Shanghai Museum of Sun Yat-sens Former Residence (January 2022).