Friday, September 7, 2012

Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall 孙中山南洋纪念馆

Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall is a place you probably won't go unless you have either finished touring the rest of the more touristy attractions in Singapore and no longer have places to visit (is that even possible?) or you are particularly interested in the stories of Sun Yat Sen. 

Located in a serene premise, the villa is believed to be built by a businessman to house his mistress (debunked by the Asia Paranormal Investigators) and later used as headquarters for Sun Yat Sen's revolutionary activities to overthrow the Qing Dynasty. During the Japanese occupation, the villa was used as a communications hub by the Japanese. It was gazetted as a national monument in 1994 and reopened recently (October 2011) to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Xinhai Revolution.

The memorial hall is very well maintained and there are two stories of exhibitions. On the day we went, there was an activity held for children, where the children were introduced to history in a fun and interactive manner (albeit with screaming and some running around).

The manner of the exhibition is diverse. It includes a collection of paintings, calligraphy works, a bronze mural depicting Singapore's history from the 1840s to the 1940s and videos explaining Sun Yat Sen's revolutionary work. Most of the exhibits are in English and Chinese.

When we visited, there was a temporary exhibition titled: The Nanyang Journey: Inspiring Generations of Esteemed Ladies. This is in line with Nanyang Girls' High School's 95th Anniversary. The founders of the school had played a significant role in the 1911 Revolution and old Nanyang girls told their stories in the videos. Please check here for current exhibitions.

I think this is one of the museums in Singapore that is easily overlooked because 1) it is not in town area 2) it has an extremely specialised theme. Despite this, I think that exhibition at the Memorial Hall was very informative and will be interesting for those who have vaguely heard about Sun Yat Sen, who are interested about Chinese history or who would like to see a different kind of museum.

Please click here for admission charges and availability of guided tours.

Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall 
12 Tai Gin Road
Singapore 327874
Opening Hours: 10 am to 5pm
Tuesday to Sunday (Closed on Monday) 


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