Something I learn from Dr Sun Yat Sen – about thinking April 7, 2010Posted by @Karen_Fu in design, human quality, real power.
Tags: change, design, Dr Sun Yat Sen, ideas for an ideal society, Sun Wen, Sun Yat Sen, Sun yixian, The Three Principles of the People, Zhong San Suit
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Finally saw this video to add to the design aspect of the post at : https://daringtochange.wordpress.com/?s=sun+yat+sen&searchbutton=go!
I only want to focus on the last 4 minutes of the video which shows his garment design which is passed down even to this day. I don’t think there are simple tools to just edit it, so I’ve decided to just show the whole original piece of video. Some schools in the world are still wearing this style, signifying his design impact that lasts almost a century. Unfortunately the video is only in Mandarin. But hopefully through the images, and the tone of the voices , audience could have some idea of the historical/social impact of his Zhongsan Suit.
‘Towards A Republic’ was aired at least twice in Singapore with very popular reviews. The last part of the YouTube Video shows Dr Sun’s aspirations for a republic in his specially designed Zhong San suit. He was not only a doctor with an incredibly strategic mind but also a pretty creative designer, whose strategy relied on a wise and smart thinking process quiped with an ardent idealistic rhtetoric for sustainable human living. His ideals for peace translated to a life long struggle that I believed had shorten his life tragically. He ended up dying relatively young at the age of 59 of liver cancer.
The video often sparks these few areas of side thoughts:
- Designers could be anyone.
- Tools are self derived; and so are methods, in which no one can teach you original thinking. You have to self derive it yourself.
- Education does not groom a specific profession but it does offer the thinking tools for one to develop other areas of knowledge and ideas. The quality of education is vital not the quantity of it. It can be in any form.
- His efforts for a peaceful society of fairness and happiness seems to linger slow. I believe its dogmatic human nature that hinders such progress. In that respect, I believe we can’t do very much apart from repeating the message and hope it will finally drill the message in.
- History doesn’t make permanent radical changes to the natually pre-programmed human mentality; though it makes temporary gradual ones that makes people think and change bit by bit….questions how smart we are and it does question how wise we are too. History has proven that people could do all the irrational ways that are both lengthy and costly just to get what they want.
Whatever it is, people generally could identify a kindness out in the blue. The only main problem is to recipocrate it. So it isn’t too bad despite the news we get everyday comprises of mainly the negative more than the positive…. just hoping that we could see a simplified problem that will vanish soon. We don’t need the continuing noise in our short lives. But we do need to recognise that we are all living under the same roof of the same ozone layer and the same global human climate in general.
Before I end this note, I am putting in another YouTube Video of a song that is dedicated in memory of him: 国父纪念歌 (via TuDou.com)
Whilst his unique suit design constantly reminds not only to people of Chinese descent but also to the world as a history lesson:We must contribute in our modest ways. They needn’t be loud and prominant.But earnest everyday positive notes of kindness that spreads from one to another. Not out of jealousy and resent, hypocrisy and disdain. While he sacrificed his life to saving the Chinese citizens, the people gave him a song in return and a lasting remembrance of his life in fight for better status/life quality of the Chinese people. I dedicate the following mandarin song from this Dr Sun Yat Sen Academic Research Site to those who may like it in one form from the other. I will translate as closely to the original Chinese format in the Chinese culture:
Our Nation’s Father (of China), (who) started the revolution, (whose) revolutionist blood like (blossoming) flower, overturning the feudal era, setting up the Republic, forming the Peoples’ Republic of China
Formation of the new republic, lots of remaining national issues, Father (of China) carefully plans, the revamp of revolutionialized China.
The Three Principles of the people , Five Powers of Constitution/ Charter, (Which) real meanings need to be finely attained, lifelong’s tediousness, half a life of nomadic life, sacrifice for the sake of the country’s survival
The spirit of the nation’s father, always live forever, like the ‘clear skies white days’, living perpetually
Livlihood of commoners falling, nation’s steps (becoming) difficult; don’t disperse the unity, deminished the detemined minds, everyone must encourage one another (to propel forward)
Nation’s father’s last words, do not forget, revolutionary ideals are still unsuccessful, commrades must still fight on.
Here I present the Mandarin song below :
Tags: China, History, Mao Zedong, Sun Wen, Sun Yat Sen
Recently during the Chinese New Year Celebrations, I asked a promotor at the Mao Zedong exhibition at Vivo city why Mao’s photo was placed at Tian An Men Square instead of Dr Sun’s. I asked out of curiosity as I have been always wondering why Mao was worshiped in Tian An Men Square for decades in place of Dr Sun. Both were great men doing the same aim albeit different styles. Till now, I am still remained puzzled by the replies to my ardent questioning. Mao was a staunch defendent of China. One could effectively claim that during his reign, no foreign dignitaries could walk over his China’s interest. It would be also perfectly correct to say he used his life to defend every Chinese in China. What was a dire mistake was his Cultural revolution in the 60s which had caused a lot of suffering. Perhaps history has viewed him as largely as a hero since he liberated the lives of peasants and ostracized the wealthy who exploited the former. No class of politics is perfect in alleviating the poverty and the pain of certain groups of people. Neither can we look forward to perfect men/women either. Everyone has mistakes, even historically great leaders. The only difference would be the extent of the mistake. Circumstances change peoples’ character and their deeds and actions. What may be forgivable is that one’s character should be measured during different times and circumstances. Mao, in essence formed the People’s Republic of China.
Dr Sun has its own criticisms as well. Some people feel that he was merely portrayed as a larger than life figure. It depends on how you see him. He was a doctor, an activist and someone who doesn’t appear to believe in a lot in power. He surrendered his presidency to Yuan Shikai whom he later overthrew for corruption and revival of the previous feudal era.I’ve gone to Singapore’s Wanqingyuan twice: once before it was closed for renovation and the 2nd time recently. Not happy with the quality of the exhibits on the 2nd visit. Plenty were moved out of the villa. What I see is the Dr Sun also sacrificed lives to achieve revolutionary aims. It could also be seen as inevitable. However, at the base level, he does move crowds to overcome the Qing dynasty. If it were not for him, the Chinese would still be either wearing pigtails & females be having warped feet…
Both men marked great changes. Who is to decide who is the great leader forward? If I leave you the reader to decide. Whom would you pick?
Tags: change, design, Dr Sun Yat Sen, ideals for an ideal society, Sun Wen, Sun yixian, The Three Principles of the People, Zhong San Suit
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When I was writing about Sun Yat Sen, it came to me that he had also designed the Zhong San Suit (中山装 zhōng shān zhuāng ). The garment was based principally on his ideals for a prosperous and harmonious society, documented in his ‘Three Principles of the People” (三民主义sān mīn zhǔ yì)
The early form of the suit had a closed stand collar and centre-front buttons. The design has since changed significantly over the years to symbolise the new age of revolution for the People’s Republic of China.( 中华人民共和国 zhōng huā rén mīn gòng hé guō)
The patriotic significance of the Sun Yat-sen suit was actually a Western and Japanese influenced style, most likely to be influenced by his early years of study/living in the US and Japan. While there are sources that specifies that the design has some German influence. The overall garment is tight-fitting with the four pockets representing the main ideals of government working ansd serving the people’s 3 basic needs of race,power and livlihood. (民族 mínzú ，民权 mín quán，民生 mínshēng ) the Four Cardinal Principles cited in the classic Book of Changes and understood by the Chinese as fundamental principles of conduct:
Propriety (礼 lǐ); Justice (义yì ); Honesty (廉lián ); Shame (耻chǐ)
The five centre-front buttons were said to represent the five powers of the constitution of the Republic (民国mín guó) and the three cuff-buttons to symbolise the Three Principles of the People – Nationalism-Democracy – People’s Livelihood
He ascribed the idealism of a harmonious society through his design of the suit where the people has the greatest power to keep the government in check. In this sense, he was a great revolutionist and the father of not only modern China but the father and saviour of all Chinese -someone who rose to the politics not because he wanted the power, but to save the people from a failing dynasty that demoralise the entire race for at least more than 2 centuries of humilation and defeat.
The figure below on the right illustrates Dr Sun Yat Sen’s own handwriting of his ideals for the people through an upright and serving government :
Chinese calligraphic work of San Min Zhu Yi to the students and colleagues of Huangpu military school, that was led by Generalissimo Jiang Kai Shek.
San Min Zhu Yi, wu guo suo zong,
Yi jian minguo, yi jin Datong.
Zi er duo shi, wei min qianfeng,
Su ye fei xie zhuyi shi cong.
Shi qin shi yong, bi xin bi zhong,
Yi xin yi de, guan che shi zhong
brief history and personal thought on Dr Sun Yat-sen (Sun Zhongshan, Sun Yixian or Sun Wen; lived during the period of 1866-1925, Cantonese) His 1st wife, Lu Mu Zhen; his 2nd spouse Song Qingling (Hainanese, former surname is Han.) is a creative person whose patriotism and courage led him to go ahead to raise needed funds, people et cetra to overthrow the Qing dynasty(1644-1911) Something that was seemed as an impossible task from a poor and inherently passive peasant boy. In that sense of a character, he was rare. He had the bare guts to fight for what he belived was the right; and not because he had wanted anything of fame and fortune ,which he had none even at the time of his death. He had been risking his life as a fugitive ; and if you would consider his persistent bombings and assassinations of the Qing political figures, you could even count him in as a ‘terrorist’. But I must clarify that I am no supporter of terrorism, for it only fuels more terror in the end. I suppose that during his time and urgency he had to resort to these ways to overthrow a feudal and failing government.