|visit us at www.chengho.org | 2009-Jun-01|
(1) Visit to Melaka
Several of our Committee Members – Mr CC Chin, Dr Chia Lin Sien and Mr Lim How Seng - involved in the Organisation of the 605th Anniversary of Zheng He’s voyages: Zheng He and Afro-Asia World visited Melaka on 29 May 2009. Our President, Dr Tan Ta Sen, had already gone up five days earlier to finalise the organisation of two art exhibitions, one for PERZIM and the other for the Melaka Cheng Ho Cultural Museum. The former is a solo exhibition of the paintings of the 74 year-old Professor Chung Chen Sun, a well-known local-born artist, while the latter is an invitation exhibition of paintings and calligraphy of 108 Chinese and Malaysian artists. Due to his many contributions to the artistic circles in Malaysia and elsewhere, Prof. Chung is known as the ‘Father of modern art in Malaysia’. See his website www.chungchensun.com.
Dr Tan and the three members together with a friend of CC Chin, Mr Liew Kam Ba 刘崇汉，Committee member of the Malaysian Chinese Cultural Society who came from Kuala Lumpur met the Director of Perbadanan Muzium Melaka (PERZIM), Hj Khamis bin Hj Abas. We were warmly received by him and the meeting was to seek his agreement to jointly organise the May 2010 Conference and for possible financial support from the Melaka Tourism Board. Mr Chin also took the opportunity to meet and discuss with a couple of knowledgeable persons including the 82-year-old Mr Lim Guan Swee 林源瑞，a patriarch of the Chinese community in Melaka and a walking encyclopaedia of the history of the Chinese in Melaka.
Photo shows a view of the clock tower
in the Stadhuys. The office of PERZIM
and the art exhibition is in the building
to the right
Discussions with Hj Khamis bin Hj Abas
Pengurus Besar (GM), Perbadanan Muzium
Melaka. From left Mr Liew Kam Ba, CC Chin,
Hj Khamis, Tan Ta Sen and Lim How Seng
(2) Upgrading of the Melaka Cheng Ho Cultural Museum
Our President, Dr Tan Ta Sen, who owns the Museum has put in more resources into upgrading and adding more exhibits to the Museum. The lounge has been redesigned with a café added to the back. The new gallery will feature Cheng Ho’s seven historic voyages to the Western Ocean in three rooms: Room One will first show the conduct of trade and spread of Buddhism and Islam to China and Southeast Asia through the Silk Route and Maritime Ceramic Routes before introducing the Story of Parameswara and his founding of Melaka, as well as Cheng Ho’s voyages to the Western Ocean and his contributions to Melaka’s rise to become Southeast Asia’s premier regional political, economic and religious centre. Room Two and Three will display his visits to Southeast Asia, and to South Asia, Arabia and East Africa, respectively. An interactive animated map showing the routes of the spread of Islam to China and Southeast and Cheng Ho’s voyages will be installed in the first room. Mr Lim How Seng has been tasked to supervise the work which has been commissioned to a professional designer and it would take several more months to complete.
Melaka Cheng Ho Cultural Museum
In addition, the exhibits of the permanent exhibitions will be improved to make them more lively and appealing to visitors. Worn-out caption panels will be replaced with light boxes. Sounds of birds and animals and light will be added to the rain-forest track to create a jungle atmosphere. The Armada diorama of Cheng Ho’s fleet formation on the high seas will be greatly enhanced being placed in a larger gallery. Water animation effects with sound and light will be introduced.
(3) Research paper by Dr Sally K. Church (2005), "Zheng He: An Investigation into the Plausibility of 450-ft Treasure Ships", Monumenta Serica, Vol. LIII, pp. 1-43.
It is not often that one comes across carefully researched articles on Zheng He. The article by Dr Church is just such a piece of scholarly research based on Chinese and western sources of information that gives details of the construction and architecture of Zheng He’s Baochuan 宝船or Treasure ships. This is of special interest for those who are interested in wooden ships especially of Chinese and, of course, Zheng He’s ships. Dr Church’s article is to be found in our website < www.chengho.org > under the new section on “Reports and Publications ”. For those who wish to contact Dr Church, her e-mail address is <firstname.lastname@example.org> and her mailing address: Dr Sally K Church, Wolfson College, Barton Road, Cambridge, England CB3 9BB.
(4) Book Reviews
Two expanded reviews of publications produced by our Society listed below have been uploaded onto our website under a new heading “Reports and Publications”. Please logon to our website to view.
A. Cheng Ho and Malacca by Dr Tan Ta Sen (2005) published by Cheng Ho Cultural Museum and International Zheng He Society (Singapore), 102 pp.
B. Admiral Zheng He and Southeast Asia edited by Leo Suryadinata (ed.)(2005 ), Institute of Southeast Asian Studies and International Zheng He Society (Singapore), 168 pp. List price $29.90/US21.90
Book cover of Admiral Zheng He & Southeast Asia
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