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Dr Sun Yat-sen Museum tells story of Dr Sun's first wife, Lu Muzhen (with photos)

     Starting today (April 20), the Dr Sun Yat-sen Museum is holding a new exhibition, "Collection Highlights V Artefacts of Dr Sun Yat-sen's First Wife, Lu Muzhen", which features around 50 artefacts concerning Lu from the museum's collection. Visitors will be able to learn more about Lu, who kept a low profile throughout her life.

     The exhibits include photographs of Lu Muzhen and Dr Sun Yat-sen as well as her family members and letters between Lu and Dr Sun and their family members.

     As a typical village woman, Lu Muzhen (1867-1952) entered into a marriage with Dr Sun in 1884 that had been arranged by her parents. After the wedding, Dr Sun continued to pursue both his studies and his activities campaigning for the revolution, and the couple hardly spent any time together. Lu Muzhen later gave birth to their son, Sun Fo, a daughter named Sun Yan, and their youngest daughter, Sun Wan.

     After the failure of the Guangzhou Uprising in 1895, Dr Sun was placed on the wanted list by the Qing court and his family was dragged into the revolutionary turmoil. Lu Muzhen took her children and Dr Sun's mother, Madam Yang, to stay with his elder brother, Sun Mei, in Honolulu. Later, Sun Mei fell into bankruptcy as a result of funding Dr Sun's revolutionary activities, and Sun Mei then moved to Ngau Chi Wan in Kowloon, Hong Kong. Lu followed him with her whole family.

     In 1915, Dr Sun Yat-sen fell in love with Soong Ching Ling in Japan, and he invited Lu Muzhen to Tokyo to discuss their divorce and his proposed marriage to Soong. It is thought that Lu agreed to the divorce because she felt she could render little assistance to her husband in his revolutionary campaign. Dr Sun married Soong in October of the same year. After her divorce from Dr Sun, Lu Muzhen went to Macau, where she lived until her death in 1952.

     Dr Sun Yat-sen travelled the world throughout his life seeking support for the revolution. Lu Muzhen took it upon herself to look after his family. As she shunned the limelight and was not keen to socialise, Lus story is little known. Despite her divorce from Dr Sun, she remained a well-known figure in Macau. A devout Christian, she served as a deacon at the Macau Baptist Church, which held a solemn funeral service in her honour after her death.

     Showcasing the artefacts of Lu Muzhen, the Dr Sun Yat-sen Museum aims to give visitors a deeper understanding of Lu as a typical Chinese wife and mother, whose life centred on her family and who seldom involved herself in Dr Sun's political activities. Perhaps Lu's low profile and seemingly ordinary personality helped to free her husband to pursue his revolutionary goals without having to worry constantly about his family.

     Visitors will be able to see many valuable exhibits, including the duplicate of a letter from Dr Sun to Lu Muzhen on paper with the letterhead of the Chinese Revolutionary Party, the Christmas card sent by Sun Fo's sons to their grandmother Lu Muzhen, her name card, the embroidered purses made for her daughter Sun Wan, the porcelain bowls ordered by her son Sun Fo for her 70th birthday, a photograph of Dr Sun and Lu with their family taken in Honolulu, and a family portrait of Dr Sun, Lu and their children taken in Guangzhou.

     The Dr Sun Yat-sen Museum is at 7 Castle Road, Mid-Levels, Central, Hong Kong. It opens from 10am to 6pm from Monday to Saturday and from 10am to 7pm on Sundays and public holidays. It is closed on Thursdays (except public holidays). The admission fee is $10 with a half-price concession for full-time students, people with disabilities and senior citizens aged 60 or above. Free admission is available every Wednesday.

     For exhibition details, please call 2367 6373 or visit the Dr Sun Yat-sen Museum's website at

Ends/Friday, April 20, 2012
Issued at HKT 18:36


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