“A Century of Change: China 1911-2011” at the Herbert Hoover Memorial Exhibit Pavilion

October 10, 1911 was the start of the 武昌起義 (wu chang qui yi; Wuchang Uprising) that ended with the fall of 清朝 (ching chao; Qing Dynasty). The establishment of 中華民國 (chung hwa ming guo; Republic of China; ROC) occurred a couple months later. An exhibit titled “A Century of Change: China 1911–2011” opened at the Hoover Memorial Exhibit Pavilion at Stanford University on April 12, 2011. The exhibit pavilion is next to Hoover Tower. The exhibition coincides with the 100th anniversary of the Republic of China.

There is quite a bit online about the exhibition. This page contains multiple PDF files of the historical explanations displayed in the exhibit. This slideshow page contains some images relating to the exhibit. The Hoover Digest published an article titled “The Revolutionary Republic” about the past 100 years of the Republic of China. The Hoover Archives has a collection of the diaries of Chiang Kai-Shek.

A very cool artifact in the exhibit was an imperial decree written in Chinese and Manchu. The Qing Dynasty was ruled by people of 滿族 (Manchu). I had not seen the Manchu script before, and later learned that the script is derived from Mongol script.


   


   

For historical information about the Republic of China and the revolution that ended imperial rule in China, the exhibit is very good. This is especially so given that the exhibit is not in Asia and are items from the Hoover Archives. But I am disappointed that the exhibit did not cover the specifics of the Republic of China when it relocated to Taiwan. The few sentences in the seventh panel (pdf) simplifies the history of the ROC on Taiwan. One sentence mentions “Taiwanese nationalism” but fails to mention that it was oppressed. Of course, this is assuming that “Taiwanese” represents the people living in Taiwan before the ROC arrived. Perhaps with the upcoming elections in Taiwan, there can be an exhibit exploring the ROC after its arrival on Taiwan?

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