As part of Children’s Season 2012, Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall (晚晴园) had an Open House over the weekend so Anya and I made a trip there on Sunday. The villa served as the headquarters to Dr Sun Yat Sen’s revolutionary activities in Southeast Asia and was re-opened to the public last October after a year of renovation.
Before entering the memorial hall, Anya spent some time drawing a picture to contribute to the exhibition of children’s drawings on childhood. Her artworks are usually quite messy and abstract so I thought her drawing of herself under a rainbow was pretty well done. I don’t know what they are going to do with the picture when they are done with the exhibition but I would very much like to take it back!
The memorial hall contains a comprehensive collection of photographs, paintings, letters and other artefacts on Dr Sun, his revolutionary activities and the impact on Singapore and the region. There are also multimedia and interactive displays. Since Anya had no idea who Dr Sun Yat Sen is, I could only interest her in some of the old and more unusual items. She liked being able to put on headphones to listen to a song about Dr Sun and looking at the giant painting of him surrounded by people.
After our tour, we sat in on a storytelling session by Kamini Ramachandran of MoonShadow Stories. The two stories we listened to were very interesting but didn’t have anything to do with Dr Sun Yat Sen.
Before leaving, we played a memory game and won an activity booklet which contains relevant and appropriate activities for children visiting the Sun Yat Sen memorial hall. For the next Children’s Season, they should have the activities set up as stations throughout the galleries, e.g. let kids dress up in the Zhong Shan suit that Dr Sun was always seen in, have a giant map where kids can pinpoint the various locations to which Dr Sun travelled to spread his revolutionary ideas, etc.
There’s free admission this weekend (2/3 Jun) from 10am-5pm and there will be some activities for children including photo-taking with photo boards and macaroni art. There are also activities such as puppet-making the following weekend.