Soong Ching Ling, the woman behind Sun Yat Sen

Soong Ching Ling, the woman behind Sun Yat Sen
This photo of (from left) Umeya Toku, Dr Sun Yat Sen and his wife Soong Ching Ling is on display at the exhibition, Love & Revolution: Madam Soong Ching Ling, Wife of Dr Sun Yat Sen.

Behind every successful man is a strong woman, and founding father of the Republic of China, Sun Yat Sen was no exception.

His wife, Soong Ching Ling, was a political leader in her own right and history buffs can learn more about her colourful life at an exhibition at the Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall in Tai Gin Road.

Love & Revolution: Madam Soong Ching Ling, Wife Of Dr Sun Yat Sen is co-presented by the hall and the Soong Ching Ling Memorial Residence in Shanghai.

The exhibition contains more than 130 artefacts from Madam Soong's life, from grainy black-and-white photographs to well-worn clothing and official documents.

Assistant curator of the exhibition Low Li Ming says: "We felt that all along, when we talk about Dr Sun, we always talk about revolution, but we never talk about his personal life.

"So we thought that it might be interesting to provide some insight into his personal life, with a special focus on his wife."

Madam Soong was born in Shanghai in 1893 to a Christian family and at the age of 14, was sent to America to study. In 1915, she married Dr Sun, who was 26 years her senior, despite opposition from her parents.

Like her husband, she was active in politics and after the establishment of the People's Republic of China in 1949, she was appointed one of six vice-chairmen of the Central People's Government.

Some of the artefacts which are on display include their marriage certificate as well as a traditional Chinese trousseau which used to belong to Madam Soong's mother.

Ms Low explains: "At first, Madam Soong's parents were very much against their marriage because of the age difference. So when she received the trousseau from her mother, Madam Soong was very touched, because it was like her parents were giving the marriage their blessing."

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