In commemoration of the great Macao-born musician Xian Xinghai and in celebration of the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China and the 20th anniversary of Macao’s handover to China, the Macao SAR Government has established the Xian Xinghai Memorial Museum to honour his contributions to the nation, promote his musical achievements and set him as a role model for young people. The opening ceremony of the Xian Xinghai Memorial Museum was held 23 November, at 11am, with the unveiling of the bronze statue of the musician. The Museum will be open to the public from 24 November, showcasing priceless manuscripts and belongings of the musician. All are welcome to visit.
The opening ceremony of the Museum and the unveiling of the bronze statue of the musician were officiated by the Chief Executive of the Macao SAR Government, Chui Sai On; the Vice Chairperson of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, Edmund Ho Hau Wah; the Director of the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in the Macao SAR, Fu Ziying; the Commissioner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China in the Macao SAR, Shen Beili; the Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture of the Macao SAR Government, Alexis Tam Chon Weng; and the musician’s daughter, Xian Nina. During the ceremonies, the Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture, Alexis Tam Chon Weng conferred a certificate of appreciation to Xian Nina for her support and assistance in the establishment of the Museum. The President of the Cultural Affairs Bureau, Mok Ian Ian, presented souvenirs to the Librarian of the Library of Chinese National Academy of Arts, Zhao Haiming, for the Library’s loan of the musician’s manuscripts and belongings from its collection to the Xian Xinghai Memorial Museum.
A total of 36 pieces/ sets of the Xina’s manuscripts and belongings from the collection of the Library of Chinese National Academy of Arts will be showcased in the Xian Xinghai Memorial Museum for three months, ranging from his identity document, manuscripts, violin, diary, letters, fountain pen and a concert suit jacket. Highlights of the exhibition include Xian Xinghai’s French identity document which indicated his birthplace and parents’ names; two authentic manuscripts of the Yellow River Cantata: one written in Yan’an in 1939 and the other revised in Moscow in 1941; the violin he used in his performances; and his compositional notes between 1940 and 1945. Through displaying the exhibits, the Memorial Museum hopes to deepen the public’s understanding of the musician’s life. And 20 pieces from the collection of the Memorial Museum about Xian Xinghai will also be displayed in the Museum.
The Museum is divided in several sections, including the Exhibition Room, the Discovery Corner, the Multi-purpose Hall, the Nursing Room and the Courtyard. In addition to introducing the life and the artistic achievements of Xian Xinghai, the Museum also features a multimedia discovery corner where the public can experience the fun of conducting an orchestra, as well as a knowledge zone where children can gain interesting knowledge about music and orchestra. In conjunction with the opening of the Museum, IC will launch the illustration book Music Road of Xian Xinghai (Chinese version) in December. Targeting local primary students, children and their parents, the book takes the theme of the growth, education and music career of Xian Xinghai, with a number of creative and interactive games designed for children to learn about the musician and the motherland in an interesting way.
Xian Xinghai is hailed as “the people’s musician” and is renowned for his great achievements in the contemporary music history of China. Born into a fishing family in Macao, he meticulously sought for musical excellence, ingeniously integrated Chinese and Western music techniques and created many well-known masterpieces over his brief 40 years, all brimming with the cultural inclusiveness of Macao. One of his signature pieces, the Yellow River Cantata, was widely sung during the War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression, where it boosted the morale and stimulated patriotism of the Chinese across the nation.
The “Xian Xinghai Memorial Museum – Gallery 1” sits amongst a group of villas between Avenida do Coronel Mesquita and Rua de Francisco Xavier Pereira. Built in the 1950s, the two-storey reinforced concrete villa with a simple façade was previously quarters of the Post and Telecommunications Bureau. The villa has been restored by IC, and will open to the public for the first time from tomorrow. In addition, the Bureau will also restore the adjacent villa where “Xian Xinghai Memorial Museum – Gallery 2” will be established, seeking to construct an exhibition zone with cultural and tourism appeal. The Gallery 2 will focus on the War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression and show the city’s contributions to the country during the war, thereby further promoting patriotism with synergetic effects.
The opening ceremony of the Museum was also attended by the Director of the Department of Publicity and Culture of the Liaison Office of the Central People's Government in the Macao SAR, Wan Sucheng; the Chief of Office of the Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture, Ip Peng Kin; the Director of the Protocol, Public Relations and External Affairs Office, Lei Ut Mui; the President of the Cultural Affairs Bureau, Mok Ian Ian; the Director of the Macao Post and Telecommunications Bureau, Lau Wai Meng; the Director of the Macao Government Tourism Office, Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes; the Advisors of the Office of the Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture, Lam Wan Nei and Charles Lam; the Vice President of the Cultural Affairs Bureau, Chan Kai Chon; the Head of the Department of Exhibitions and Museums of the Cultural Affairs Bureau, Lei Lai Kio; and the Acting Head of the Division of Secondary and Vocational Technical Education of the Education and Youth Affairs Bureau, Chio Pou Wai.
The Xian Xinghai Memorial Museum will be officially open to the public from 24 November. Registration for groups and schools guided tours will be open from December. Admission is free and all are welcome. The Xian Xinghai Memorial Museum, located at No. 151-153, Rua de Francisco Xavier Pereira, is open daily from 10am to 6pm including public holidays and is closed on Tuesdays. For more information about the Museum, please contact IC through tel. (853) 2845 0062 or (853) 8988 4000 during office hours.