Qipao exhibition features dresses worn by the Soong sisters

Qipao worn by the famous Soong sisters are now on display daily, through June 17.
Jiang Xiaowei / SHINE
Jiang Xiaowei / SHINE

An exhibition displaying nearly 30 qipao worn by prominent modern figure Soong Ching-ling and her relatives will be held through June 17 in Jing’an District to mark her 125th birthday this year.

“I have collected nearly 400 cheongsams (qipao) over the last decade from foreign countries like the US, Canada, Japan and China’s Hong Kong,” said exhibition organizer Jeanette Zee, 78. 

The exhibition features 29 of the dresses this time, 23 of which Jeanette says were worn by the three Soong sisters and their relatives decades ago.

Zee is a distinct relative of the Soong family, one of the most influential families in the Republic of China era (1912-1949) which was dominated by the Kuomintang government.

Charlie Soong and his wife, Ni Kwei-Tseng, had three daughters, commonly known as the three Soong sisters. 

The eldest sister, Ai-ling, was the wife of Kung Hsiang-Hsi, the richest man of early 20th century China. Ching-ling, the second, married to Sun Yat-sen, the first president of the Republic of China, while the youngest, May-ling, married later president Chiang Kai-shek.

The couple also had three sons, who were all high-ranking officials in the Kuomintang government.

Zee says the husband of her father’s sister was New Way-sung,  cousin of the three Soong sisters.

The exhibition opens from 9am to 11:30am and 1pm to 4pm, seven days a week through June 17. It can be found on the fifth floor of the No.3 building at 600 Shaanxi Road. Admission is free.

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