GAVIN MENZIES` BESTSELLER '1421' COMES ALIVE AT ADMIRAL ZHENG HE'S 600th ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATIONS
One of the major focal points of Singapore`s celebrations to mark the 600th anniversary of the maiden voyage of Admiral Zheng He, will be the ''1421 Exhibition'' at the Marina Promenade scheduled from the 10 June to 11 September 2005. This exhibition will be the world`s first-ever showcase of Gavin Menzies`s bestseller, ''1421: The Year China Discovered The World''; a book that stunned the world by challenging accepted history that western explorers like Magellan, Da Gama, Columbus and Cook discovered the world. Among other things, the book posits that the legendary Chinese Admiral Zheng He had beat Columbus by 71 years to discovering America.
The man behind this astounding hypothesis - Gavin Menzies - is a retired submarine commander and maritime history enthusiast who spent more than 17 years in search of the story of who was first in discovering the maritime routes to the continents of the world.
''I was astounded to find that many of these western explorers had charts (maps) and letters referring to the lands that they had not yet founded,'' says Menzies, a genial man with a dogged belief in his mission to find the truth. ''If they had these maps, who were the people who actually drew them? 1421 is the story of my search for the truth, and the 1421 Exhibition shows some results of my findings.''
The publication of the book in 62 countries around the world helped to spark worldwide curiosity in Admiral Zheng He (known as Cheng Ho in older textbooks) and his exploits. Since then, several associations have been set up all over the world including Alaska, New Zealand, China and the Far East, working alongside the 1421 research team in the collection and assimilation of new evidence pertaining to the 1421 saga.
There has also been significant enthusiasm worldwide, in the setting up of Zheng He exhibitions in the lead up to the 600th anniversary of his first voyage. This also coincides with the Olympic Games to be held in Beijing in 2008. Among several countries who indicated strong interest, Singapore was eventually chosen as host location for the much-anticipated 1421 Exhibition.
Says Ms. Jean Chia, Executive Director for Pico Art International Pte Ltd , the joint organizer with Mr Gavin Menzies, ''1421 is a worldwide phenomenon and interest - and controversy - continue to pour into its official website at www.1421.tv every day. Academics, historians and 1421 enthusiasts worldwide have been scrutinizing, postulating and taking sides on whether Gavin Menzies` theories are at all true. We believe that the 1421 Exhibition is the platform on which these discussions can go further.''
The Singapore Tourism Board (STB) has also expressed equal enthusiasm for this highly unusual project. Says its Director for Sightseeing & Cruise Mr Chang Chee Pey, ''This exhibition adds another dimension to the Zheng He 600th Anniversary Celebrations in Singapore and STB is glad to provide all necessary marketing support for this exhibition. We believe that the compelling and exciting content of this exhibition will appeal to fans of the book, academics, students and families from the ASEAN region and beyond.''.
The1421 team will announce two major findings at the exhibition - previously unknown to the world. These include the discovery of a geographical site called `Nova Cataia` (New Cathay) which is said to be Zheng He`s base in Canada, and archival maps never shown before to the public: the Dr. Hendon Harris Map collection, Kublai Khan`s maps and the Master Chart of the World.
The exhibition will uncover the new information and evidence in the form of artefacts, maps, letters and documentation that indicate that Zheng He discovered America and circumnavigated the world - nearly a century ahead of the Europeans.
It will feature `undocumented` voyages of Zheng He and unveil the latest archaeological and archival findings of the 1421 team, including geographical sites and maps never shown before to the public.
The partners hope that the Singapore 1421 exhibition will act as a stimulus to heightening public awareness of Zheng He's great works and for even more researchers to come forward with new evidence to support the 1421 theories. It is hoped that links to a global community of Zheng He enthusiasts will be established around the exhibition, the 600th celebrations providing a focal point for Zheng He studies.
Set to be a global sensation, the 1421 Exhibition will be open from 10 June to 11 September 2005 at the Marina Promenade, Singapore: coinciding with the nation's celebrations to commemorate the 600th anniversary of Zheng He's voyage.
To make history `come alive`, the exhibition incorporates various experiences with elements of History, Adventure, Emotion and Discovery that provide an entertaining yet serious platform where various pieces of evidence can be experienced interactively.
Visitors can draw their own conclusions as to whether Gavin Menzies' theories are valid.
Why was Singapore Chosen?
The idea of a 1421 Exhibition was mooted when Mr Menzies was touring the Far East to promote his book in 2004. Pico Art then worked with Mr Menzies on the conceptualization of the 1421 Exhibition, based on his theories and research. Admiral Zheng He also sailed past Singapore during his voyages, and was purported to have used a rock structure known as ''Longyamen'' previously located close to Labrador Park, as a navigation marker. Singapore is therefore an ideal choice for the exhibition as it has strong maritime roots and close links with Admiral Zheng He`s ports of call. In terms of personification, Singapore also epitomises the notions of cultural integration and religious tolerance that Zheng He expounded.
Key 1421 Symposiums & Landmark Activities
The Association of Zheng He Studies (London) was set up in 2002, to work with the 1421 research team in the collection and assimilation of new evidence pertaining to the 1421 saga. Several Zheng He Symposiums took place in China in 2002 / '03, namely in Kunming and Nanjing, to which Gavin Menzies was invited to give talks, and he was elected a visiting professor at Yunnan University, where he lectures thrice yearly.
Gavin has given lectures on the subject in over thirty countries world wide. Some of the Zheng He-related symposia that he will be addressing in the coming months include those at: the Library of Congress, Washington DC on May 16th; the International Symposium in Memory of the 600th Anniversary of Zheng He`s First Expedition, Nanjing and Taicang, China, July 4th-6th; the Warrnambool Mahogany Ship Symposium in September 2005, Australia.
Pictures and Selected Scenes of Multi-Media Program on 1421 is available on request Kindly contact Elaina at 9455 0551 or email@example.com
Visitors can expect to enjoy the 1421 exhibition with elements that make up the Historical, Adventurous, Emotive and Discovery experience:
Elements of the HISTORICAL Experience
Historically the most exciting, this will show the maps from different sources, pointing to the fact that, when Columbus set sail, the Map of the World had already been drawn by the Chinese - and the information and evidence to prove this. A series of displays will pool together information, direct and circumstantial evidence to support this theory. Supporting exhibits will allow visitors to discover the workings of nautical and cartographic terms, practices, astronomical and other measuring instruments for direction, longitude and latitude, etc.
Elements of the ADVENTUROUS Experience
An armada of 300 ships and 28,000 men sailing into unchartered waters towards unknown lands provides visual, aural and tactile excitement. Through this, history comes alive, and visitors experience the might of the Chinese Kingdom; ancient instruments and armaments; wars and battles, the fury of the storm; trading in strange spices, exotic animals, unusual products, plants and foods. And perhaps, even some romantic liaisons between the sailors and women of foreign lands...
Elements of the EMOTIVE Experience
Zheng He - Minority Chinese, Muslim, and Eunuch - comes alive in this personal story. This emotive experience brings out his personality, the cult that grew up around him after his death, the stories told about his bravery, valour, personal magnetism, and his ability to relate to all around him, whether high or low. It also explores his beliefs, allegiance and even hints of his tragically short `love life` - a story that the Hunanese tell, even today.
Elements of the DISCOVERY Experience
By far the most important experience is that which follows Gavin Menzies` discovery that Columbus, Magellan, et al had `discovered` the world with maps that had ALREADY BEEN drawn. A series of documents, letters, journals and stories told by travellers will show that these maps exist. By piecing together all these evidence, the visitor can also come to his or her own conclusion that the Chinese did, indeed, discover the world, and circumnavigated it first.
Edited by General_Zhaoyun, 07 June 2005 - 04:03 AM.