Subject: “Ever Victorious” Chinese General Sun Li-Jen Exhibition
Place: Virginia Military Institute (VMI), Marshall Hall – Hall of Valor, 415 Letcher Ave, Lexington, VA 24450 USA
Date: Opening Ceremony – September 3, 2016 (10 am – Noon)
Exhibit: September 3, 2016 to September 10, 2016 (8 am to 5 pm daily)
This exhibition is part of the global “Spirit of ’45” movement, which preserves and promotes the World War II Era, and honors the contributions of two of its finest allies, both VMI alumni, Chinese General Sun Li-Jen, VMI ’27, and USA General George C. Marshall, VMI ‘01. The exhibit will be open to the public from September 3rd through September 10th at Marshall Hall, Hall of Valor.This event highlights the compelling history of General Sun Li-Jen, a WWII ally in the China-Burma-India (CBI) Theater. General Sun is revered for his idealism and his ability to both inspire soldiers and work with many of his era’s most powerful international military and political leaders.
September 3, 1945, marks the World War II victory of the Allies over the Japanese in China. You are cordially invited to attend the opening ceremony and presentation of related historical artistic materials as donations to the VMI museum. The sponsoring organizations include:
- China Culture Promotion Society
- Virginia Military Institute
- California Assembly Member Kansen Chu’s office
- Anhui Hongtian Culture & Media Co.
- American Sun Li-Jen Historical Association
Master Hou Zhen, chairman of Luoyang Artists Association, worked more than three months on this mural, “The Historical Moment,” using his keenly developed observational talents and exceptional brush-pen skills. The artwork measures 1 x 12 meters and includes scenes of Allied military leaders and soldiers during the CBI struggle. After this exhibition, a replica of the same size will be donated to the VMI museum.
The exhibit includes over 300 artworks created in the classic Anhui (Xuan) paper and modern graphic art style, mounted on 50 vertical panels, commemorating General Sun’s key moments in the CBI Theater.
Also included in the donation will be a video recounting General Sun’s victories, a traditional Chinese thread-bound book illustrating General Sun’s experiences, and a short film documenting the meticulous production of the panels, rice paper, and thread-bound book.
“The Historical Monument” mural commemorates the triumph of the human spirit against the harshest of environmental and tactical circumstances, and illustrates the importance of embracing multicultural collaboration towards achieving this far-reaching global endeavor. The timeline takes place in China during the turbulence of World War II (1937–1945). General Sun Li-Jen was arguably the most accomplished and famous Chinese military leader of his time. Described by his Allies as “Rommel of the East” and by his enemies as “Ghost of the Army,” General Sun was known for daring leadership and remarkable battlefield strategies. He was the first non-British general to command British troops, was knighted Commander, O.B.E., by King George VI, and awarded Legion of Merit by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
For today’s new audience not as familiar with the 20th Century’s Eastern countries and cultures, General Sun’s life provides a compelling narrative, a life of valor, and glorious military victories countered by great personal tribulations. Through his staunch leadership of the Chinese New 1st Army, General Sun ultimately spearheaded the Allied Campaign in successfully reclaiming Burma, thereby reopening the vital military and humanitarian lifeline that became known as the “Stilwell Road.” Many of his celebrated accomplishments were played out on an international stage while driving “To the Final Victory.”
Hope to see you there!