Ho Chi Minh Bust
( Singapore )
Public Art: Ho Chi Minh Bust
Sculptor: © Tran Van Lam
Description: A bronze bust of Ho Chi Minh, the first
President of the Democratic Republic of Viet Nam. The inscription is also written in Vietnamese to cater
to Vietnamese tourists and the growing Vietnamese population in Singapore.
Date Unveiled: On the 20th May 2008, Vietnam's Deputy
Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Gia Khiem unveiled a heritage marker dedicated to Ho Chi Minh to
commemorate the 35th
anniversary of diplomatic relations between Singapore and Vietnam. The statue was later added to the marker on the
28th of September, 2011. It was unveiled by Singapore's Minister for Information, Communications and the Arts
Yaacob Ibrahim and visiting Vietnamese President Truong Tan Sang.
Commissioned by: The bronze bust was commissioned by
the Ho Chi Minh Museum in Hanoi.
Location : The Ho Chi Minh marker and bust is located
outside the Asian Civilisation Museum,along the Singapore River, Singapore.
Ho Chi Minh (1890-1969)
Nguyen Sinh Cung or Ho Chi Minh as he is known today, was born on 19 May 1890 in the village of Kim
Lien, Nam Dan district, Nghe An province in Annam in Central Viet Nam. Born to a government
official in the then French colony of Viet Nam and a resourceful mother who was more of the
family's bread winner, Ho was the youngest of three children.
Ho was introduced at a young age to the ideas of Vietnamese modernists and French thinkers such ad
Jean Jacques Rousseau and Charles Louis de Secondat Montesquieu. He first heard about the lofty
principles of liberte, egalite, fraternite (English: Liberty, equality and fraternity) as a boy and
longed to see the France that pronounced them.
In 1911, at the age of 21, he left Viet Nam for Europe as a cook on board a French steamship. Over
the next two years , he travelled to Europe, Africa, South America, and the United States where he
witnessed poverty, discrimination and injustices in these lands for himself. These episodes,
together with his early introduction to revoluntionary thinking, fired him up with ideals of
Ho's convictions compelled him to participate in the establishment of the Association of Annamite
Patriots in 1917 to seek redress for colonial injustices. At the Versailles Conference in June
1919, he presented his Demands of the Anamite People to the Allied Powers, seeking autonomy, equal
rights and political freedom for Viet Nam. He signed off ad Nguyen Ai Quoc ( Nguyen the
In 1925 , Ho wrote a book detailing the colonial exploitation of his homeland and travelled to
parts of Asia with Vietnamese exiles to organise revoluntionary movements. He stopped in Singapore
briefly in May 1930.
In the same year, Ho founded the Communist Party of Viet Nam (Dang Cong San Viet Nam) in Hong Kong.
For his revoluntionary activities he was jailed by the British from 1931 to 1933 when he was
finally allowed to leave. He attempted to head to the Soviet Union via Singapore , sailing into
Singapore in January 1933 but was immediately deported back to Hong Kong.
In 1941, Ho returned to Viet Nam for the first time in 30 years to form a new independence movement
called Viet minh. He also changed his name to Ho Chi Minh, (Bringer of light). With the end of
World War II in August 1945, the Viet Monh established the Democratic Republic of Viet Nam,
following the succssful August 1945 Revolution led by the Communist Party of Viet Nam.
In 1945, Ho Chi Minh was elected the first President of the Democratic Republic of Viet Nam, a post
he held until he passed away on 2 September 1969. Six years later, the two parts of Viet Nam were
reunited as the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam, thus fulfilling President Ho's dream.
In 1987, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) recognised
Ho Chi Minh as Vietnamese hero of national liberation and a great man of culture.
LISTENING TO THE SOUND OF RICE-POUNDING
Under the pestle how terribly the rice suffers!
But it comes out of the pounding as white as cotton.
In this world the same process happens to humans:
Hard trials turn them into diamonds bright.
Ho Chi Minh, 1942
National Heritage Board
Embassy of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam
Friends of Our Shores : The Ho Chi Minh bust is part
of the Friends to Our Shores series, a project by the National Heritage Board (NHB) of Singapore, which
commemorates eminent personalities from abroad who had a connection to Singapore, by erecting a marker dedicated to
the person. The series also includes markers and busts of Dr Jose Rizal, Joseph Conrad, Deng
Xiaoping and Jawaharlal Nehru .