Sun, May 07, 2017 - Page 3 News List

Exhibition on ex-army chief Sun Li-jen opens

By Lin Chia-nan  /  Staff reporter

A retrospective exhibition concerning late commander-in-chief of the Republic of China Army Sun Li-jen (孫立人) opened yesterday at the Taiwan Army Club in Taipei, attended by Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) caucus whip Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘), who stressed the importance of transitional justice.

Historians have called Sun the greatest Chinese military officer of the 20th century.

A graduate of the US’ Virginia Military Institute, Sun led New 38th Division troops to battle victories over the Japanese Imperial Army in Burma during World War II and was respected by US and British commanders. He became commander-in-chief of the ROC Army in 1950.

He was placed under house arrest in Taipei in August 1955 by Chiang Kai-shek (蔣介石), who accused him of launching a coup, and he remained under house arrest until March 1988, following the death of then-president Chiang Ching-kuo (蔣經國).

In 2014, the Control Yuan cleared Sun of the allegation he was involved in a coup attempt.

The Taiwan Army Club, where Sun lived for about seven years, is being transformed into an art center called Sun Li-jen’s General Residence.

“Sun was a prestigious general of the era,” Ker said, lamenting the decades Sun spent under house arrest due to political prosecution.

When people are talking about transitional justice, it is imperative they reflect on Sun’s prosecution, Ker added.

The memorial residence is operated by Art Go as a “rebuild-operate-transfer” project.

Art Go said it plans to transform the building into a multifunctional artistic space and to continue operating its restaurant.

The exhibition, which runs through June 6, presents many historic photographs, many of which were taken and collected by Lo Chao-chun (羅超群), the photographer of Sun’s military entourage.

To exhibit the work, Art Go said it obtained the authorization of Lo’s son, Lo Kuang-jen (羅廣仁).

Lo Chao-chun risked his life to protect the precious pictures during the White Terror era, Lo Kuang-jen said, referring to the suppression of political dissidents during the Martial Law era from 1949 to 1987.

Art Go said it hopes to make Sun’s story, as well as the concomitant events, known to more people.

“This is a static exhibit, but if people become more interested in Sun, we can develop more sophisticated activities,” Art Go central executive officer Nel Lu (呂昌熙) said.

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