Monday, June 28, 2010

Guangzhou: Then and Now

Here is a photo of Dr Sun Yat-sen's Memorial Hall in Guangzhou (Canton), China.  During my days in Guangzhou, this memorial hall was a 'sacred' or sensitive place, as it was in memory of the founding father of Republic of China, which fled to Taiwan after the Nationalist government lost the civil war. 

This was then:

And it is now:

The structure didn't change much, but do you notice the absence of Dr Sun's statue in the 'then' photo?  Another less obvious point is the quality of air.  In the 'then' photo, although in black & white, the sky appeared to be clear, while in the 'now' photo, the hall is covered in a light mist, a result of the poor air quality in Guangzhou.  Blue sky is something hard to come by these days in Guangzhou. 

And then I found another photo/painting of the same scene.  Judging by the Japanese characters written on this photo/painting, it seems like the painting was done during Japanese occupation period (Oct 21st, 1938 - Sept, 1945).  Dr Sun's statue was not there either.  It will be interesting to know when they put up the statue. 

Just a brief introduction about this landmark.  The memorial hall is in memory of, of course, Dr. Sun Yat-sen, who helped over-turned the Qing Dynasty and established the first republic on Chinese soil, the Republic of China in 1912, and became the very first President of the republic.  The hall has an octagonal shaped dome with no supporting pillars, very much like the octagonal dome of Florence duomo.

The construction of the hall stared in 1929, and completed in 1931. 

1 comment:

  1. Love to read the history of Guangzhou. I must confess images were awesome.