Sun Yat Sen
St Marys Square
Bufanos work usually used an easily-recognized style of glazed terra-cotta, a technique he learned from porcelain glazers while traveling in China. Also while in China, Bufano met and befriended the Chinese revolutionary leader, Dr. Sun Yat Sen. His claim to have stayed at the Sun home has never been substantiated, but it is clear he knew the man.
When Sun was in political exile, he visited San Francisco with the largest Chinese community outside Asia, to rally support for his overthrow of the Manchu Empire. Sun was successful in founding the Chinese Republic in 1911, and was inaugurated as first president on January 1, 1912. He served only six weeks, but the republic lasted more than a year. Dr. Sun lived until 1924.
In 1938, Chinatown business leaders commissioned this stainless steel and red granite statue of Sun, to commemorate Sun’s visit to the city. Bufano received the commission.
Dr. Sun Yat Sen was recently described by the People’s Daily (official paper of China) as, “the forerunner of the democratic revolution in China.…a great revolutionary and a great statesman who fought against imperialist aggression and for the independence and freedom of China.” Dr. Sun was among the first graduates of the Hong Kong College of Medicine for Chinese.