Exhibition to commemorate wartime patriot a Shanghai first

An exhibition about Du Zhongyuan, a famous journalist and entrepreneur during war time, is being showcased at 1065 Yuyuan Road.

A collection of 14 artifacts and 12 oil paintings portraying life scenes of Du Zhongyuan, a famous journalist and entrepreneur during China’s War Against Japanese Aggression, was unveiled at 1065 Yuyuan Road in Changning District on Friday.

Du was born in Jilin Province in the north east of China. After graduating from college in Japan, he came back home and established China’s first mechanized ceramic factory, Zhaoxin, in Shenyang of Liaoning Province.

Du later dedicated himself to fighting Japanese Aggression and came to Shanghai to publish the weekly magazine Xinsheng (Reborn).

He was murdered by warlord Sheng Shicai in Xinjiang around 1943. His body was never found.

The venue at 1065 Yuyuan Road is just next door to Qishan Village where Du lived during his stay at Shanghai.

The artifacts displayed were collected by Shao Zhigang, who holds a collection of over 100 ceramics from Zhaoxin, as well as original copies of Xinsheng.

“I particularly picked 10 ceramic plates and bowls made by Du’s factory for the exhibition,” said Shao. “They were all made before the September 18 Incident in 1931 when Japanese intruders assaulted Shenyang.”

In order to call on the public at the time to resist foreign aggression, Du’s factory manufactured a set of plates on which the slogan “supporting domestic products” was printed.

The oil paintings reflect several important moments when Du met late Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai and patriotic general Zhang Xueliang to back up their revolutionary cause against Japanese Aggression.

Being delicately replicated, the original versions of the paintings are now part of collections at China’s major museums, like the Palace Museum in Beijing. This is the first time these paintings are being showcased in Shanghai.

Du Yi, daughter of Du Chongyuan, attended the opening ceremony of the exhibition.

Du Yi and her little sister, Du Ying, were brought up on Yuyuan Road. Du Yi said she was glad her father’s story can be remembered, but she called on today's youth to carry on his spirit.

“What my father did was something that everyone who truly loved the country would do,” Du said. “We should all do something for our motherland in whatever way we can.”

This year marks the 120th anniversary of Du Zhongyuan’s birth. 

The exhibition will linger on until June 11, but the display of artifacts will end after this Sunday.

Jiang Xiaowei / SHINE

Du Yi, Du Zhongyuan's daughter, gives a speech at the exhibition commemorating her father's legacy. 

Jiang Xiaowei / SHINE

A plate manufactured by Zhaoxin factory with the slogan "supporting domestic products"


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