- About Wuxi
During the Anti-Japanese War, Xu Beihong (1895, 7, 19-1953, 9, 26, a famous painter and art educator born in Wuxi) sojourned in Singapore for a time, during which Xu held several personal exhibitions to raise money for Chinese to fight against Japanese. In January of 1942, the Japanese army occupied Johore Bahru and intended to conquer Singapore, which was dangerous for Xu Beihong because he wanted to keep his painting works away from the talons of the Japanese troops. Afterwards, he left part of his cherished art treasures in his bosom friend Huang Manshi’s home, hid his works in a dumb well beside Chongwen School and hid the other works in the red peony garden of Sembawang.
The owner of the garden Han Huaizhun was a famous archaeologist in Singapore, who was in fact a visitor from Wenchang County of Hainan Province and had lived in Singapore for a few years. With the help of Han Huaizhun and his father, these treasures hid by Xu Beihong were kept safe and dug up three and a half years later when China won the Anti-Japanese War. However, Han didn’t know where Xu was.
After years of inquiring, Xu was found. In 1948, Chen Xiaonan, a student of Xu Beihong carried back all the treasures in 3 places from Singapore. Xu Beihong was so exciting seeing there treasures and expressed his gratitude to Han for his help in late spring of 1951 in his sickness.