The Centenary of China’s 1911 Revolution 辛亥百年現代路
The Centenary of China’s 1911 Revolution
2010-11 / Total: 23 paintings and 12 woodcut prints / Exhibition: “The Centenary of China’s 1911 Revolution”, three venues (1. The University of Hong Kong; 2. Chung Chi College, the Chinese University of Hong Kong; 3. Hong Kong University of Science and Technology), 2011 / Catalogue: The Centenary of China’s 1911 Revolution, 2011
The 1911 revolution of China (the Xinhai Revolution) put an end to over two millennia of China’s imperial system as the country moved on with the hard struggle for political, social and cultural reforms. Over the past 100 years, Dr Sun Yat-sen, his followers and many political leaders have endeavoured to create epoch-making changes in modern China, but their goals have not been achieved up to now.
Fong So’s series of paintings and woodcut prints on the centenary of the Xinhai Revolution is an artist’s interpretation and reflection of the lifetime of Dr Sun Yat-sen and his legacy. It is an attempt by the artist to explore, through a series of artworks, what China has been through over the past century and what the future holds for Chinese people. Special emphasis is given to the unique role played by Hong Kong during this period.
The exhibition of this series was made possible with venues provided by three universities in Hong Kong in association with their anniversary celebrations:
The University of Hong Kong – 100th Anniversary;
Chung Chi College, The Chinese University of Hong Kong – 60th Anniversary;
Hong Kong University of Science and Technology – 20th Anniversary.
2010-11 / 作品: 水墨 23 張 , 木刻版畫 12 張 / 展覽: 「辛亥百年現代路」, 三個展場 (1. 香港大學, 2. 香港中文大學崇基學院, 3. 香港科技大學), 2011 / 目錄:《辛亥百年現代路》2011
“Fong painted an outline of Chinese history since the 1911 Revolution. In viewing his Xinhai series we may be able to catch glimpses of the shadows of these historical events refracted in our lives.”
— Louie Kin-sheun, historian; Honorary Research Fellow, Hong Kong Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies, the Chinese University of Hong Kong; Executive Secretary, Lee Hysan Foundation (Catalouge essay “Of History and Man”, 2011)
— 雷競璇 ‧ 歷史學者，香港中文大學香港亞太研究所名譽研究員，利希慎基金執行秘書 (目錄專文《人物與歷史》‧2011)
Revisiting Hong Kong 重訪香港
2011, woodcut 木刻, 100 x 91.5 cm
Dr Sun Yat-sen revisited Hong Kong in 1923 and give a speech at the University of Hong Kong, in which he told the audience where and how he had got his revolutionary ideas.
Project gallery (Please click the image to view it in full)
1. The Late Age 晚世
2013, ink and colour on paper 水墨設色紙本, 125 x 96cm
Common folk under Qing rule, with the young Sun Yat-sen (in Qing-style cap) and Chinese calligraphy of a part of his letter to Professor H.A. Giles in 1896 as the background.
2. The Big Bandits 大寇
2010, woodcut 木刻, 51 x 81 cm
Adapted from an iconic photograph showing Sun Yat-sen with Chen Shaobai, Wang Lieh (also known as Yu Lieh (You Lie)), Yang Heling and Kwan King-leung (Guan Jingliang, Sun’s classmate at the College of Medicine for Chinese in Hong Kong). Inscription: “…I was then living in Hong Kong with Chen, Wang and Yang. We met quite often …and were very close friends. We were only delighted when revolution was the topic of our discussion. And we did so for several years…”.
3. The Tsien Shop 乾亨行
2010, woodcut 木刻, 51 x 76 cm
The Revive China Society (Xingzhonghui), was founded in Hong Kong in 1895. As a camouflage, the Society had its headquarters set up as a shop with the name “Qian Heng”, adopted from I-ching (Yi-jing or The Book of Changes), meaning “heaven prevails”. Some key figures: Yeung Ku-wan (Yang Quyun), Sun Wen (official name of Sun Yat-sen), Tse Tsan-tai (Xie Zantai), Wong Wing-sheung (Huang Yongshang), Chen Shaobai, Zheng Shiliang and Lu Haodong.
4. The May Fourth Movement 五四
2011, ink and colour on paper 水墨設色紙本, 96 x 120 cm
On 4 May 1919, university students in Peking (Beijing) staged a demonstration against the humiliation inflicted on China by the Twenty-one Demands of Japan at the Paris Peace Conference at the end of World War I. Since then, the term ‘May Fourth Movement’ has been, and continues to be, used in a much broader sense to include the student movement as well as the associated revolutionary social, political and cultural ideas of the intelligentsia during that period. Key figures: Chen Duxiu (founder of the magazine The New Youth), Li Dazhao, Cai Yuanpei and Hu Shih (Hu Shi). [Private collection]
5. The Deification Process 造神
2011, ink and colour on paper 水墨設色紙本, 120 x 69 cm
After 1949, Mao Zedong set out to turn China into a socialist state. His reign was marked by purges, reforms and all sorts of political convulsions, coupled with the building of his own personality cult. The deification process reached its zenith during the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, continuing until his death in 1976. Even after his death, many of his political modi operandi continued to be embraced by his successors.
6. The Democracy Wall 民主牆
2011, ink and colour on paper 水墨設色紙本, 69 x 100.5 cm
Rehabilitated after the death of Mao Zedong, Deng Xiaoping took the helm. In 1978 Deng announced his programme of Four Modernizations (Agriculture, Industry, Defence, Science and technology). Then a young Beijing electrician, Wei Jingsheng launched an unofficial magazine named Tansuo (Exploration), in which he published an article entitled The Fifth Modernization: Democracy and had it posted on Beijing’s Xidan Wall (the Democracy Wall at Xidan). He was subsequently arrested and sentenced to 15 years in prison.
鄧小平在毛澤東去世後復出，取得實權。1978年，鄧要推行四個現代化 (農業、工業、國防及科技) 。同年，一個北京的青年電工魏京生出版民刊《探索》，刊發文章，名為「第五個現代化──民主及其他」，並貼在北京西單的民主牆上。他隨後被捕，判刑15年。