Sun Yat-sen

Background information

Anonymous, 1966. 4'H x 2'8"W x 2'10"D, Broadway Street Entrance to East Plaza of Chinatown, Los Angeles.
Commissioned by the Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association, this monument to Sun Yat-sen was dedicated on November 12, 1966 to commemorate the centenary of his birth. The 5' high statue was executed in Taiwan and originally painted black to make it appear as if it were either stone or metal. However, appearing neither like stone nor metal, it was sandblasted and painted gold. The white marble pedestal was designed by Robert John Lee to contrast with the statue's original dark color. Flowers are placed by the Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association in front of the monument on the anniversaries of Sun's birth and death.

Sun Yat-sen (1866-1925) is honored as the founder of the Chinese Republic because of his tireless activity against the Manchu Dynasty. From 1895, when he fled China after an unsuccessful uprising, until late 1911, when he was elected the provisional president of the Republic, Sun Yat-sen visited Chinese communities in Europe and the United States, including the one in Los Angeles in 1910, appealing for financial and political support. While in Europe in 1897, he proclaimed the San Min Chu I, Three Principles of the People--Nationalism, Democracy and Livihood, which became the fundamental principles of the republic. After stepping down as provisional President in 1912, Sun Yat-sen led the southern provinces against the nominal national government in Beijing while China continued to be torn by internal disorder.

The text has been provided courtesy of Michael Several, Los Angeles, March 1998.

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