Ten years after Dr. Sun Yat-sen was identified as a gemingzhe (revolutionary), three young artists who became the torch-bearers of the Lingnan School of painting came out in support of Sun and his Revolutionary League (Tongmeng Hui). A few years later, on the eve of the May Fourth Movement of 1919, the journal New Youth raised the question of a revolution in art and the editor published a reply to illustrate how artists could go about making revolution. May Fourth could be described as the beginnings of a cultural revolution in China that reached a painful climax more than fifty years later when a lot of art throughout the country was destroyed.
However, before the 1980s, the revolution in art itself did not get far except in urging artists to do more to serve the poor and dispossessed and also the new political classes. On the other hand, the idea of modern revolution was applied systematically to changing the way Chinese history has been presented and the results remain influential in China today.
About the Speaker:
Professor Wang Gungwu, CBE, Vice-Chancellor of The University of Hong Kong from 1986 to 1995, is currently the University Professor at the National University of Singapore and Emeritus Professor of the Australian National University. He has received Honorary Doctorates from the Universities of Cambridge, Hong Kong, Melbourne, ANU, Sydney, Monash, Griffith, and Hull, as well as Honorary Member of many academic institutions worldwide.
Among his numerous publications, some recent ones are: “The Chinese Overseas: From Earthbound China to the Quest for Autonomy” (2000); “Don’t Leave Home: Migration and the Chinese” (2001); “海外華人研究的大視野與新方向：王賡武教授文集” (New Directions in Overseas Chinese Research, 2002); “Anglo-Chinese Encounters since 1800: War, Trade, Science and Governance” (2003); “Diasporic Chinese Ventures Edited by Gregor Benton and Liu Hong” (2004); “移民及興起的中國” (Migrants and China’s Rise); “離鄉別士：境外看中華” (China from the Periphery, 2007).