So why did you decide to paint a second time the June 4th “incident” as the Chinese government calls it?
I thought about what might have gone through the heads of the leaders rolling tanks over civilians as a way to restore order. It was just insane that that happened while in Eastern Europe they threw off the shackles of Communist leadership.
Here you see that the square was full. This square is 109 acres and is the 4th largest city square in the world. If this were farmland, it would take 109 ox to plow it all day long or 61 soccer fields. In other words, the protest was a serious challenge to the leadership holding onto power.
What were the symbols of the citizen protest?
Besides mourning a popular leader dying, which then led to protests about democracy, Lady Liberty was the symbol of the stomped out revolution.
Did any popular leaders side with the students?
Actually, a CCP leader tried to calm the situation down on the ground so there wouldn’t be a massacre. He was later purged of the party in full dishonor for trying to avoid civilian bloodshed, but more for this one photograph.
Most of the leaders were teachers and other leaders close to the student body and aware of the popular protest such as Liu Xiaobo. Liu spoke to the crowds and help disperse the public before the tanks rolled over the remaining students. He likely saved thousands from an all out massacre of large scale. For this he was rewarded with prison time. 20 years later he was sent to prison again for writing a Bill of Rights for Chinese government reform called Charter 08.
How does the CCP government like to portray the event?
Well the current wife of the Chinese appointed president Xi Jinping was in fact part of the “mop-up” tank brigade operation. She sang to the “heros” of the square that ran over students fleeing for their lives. This photo that was once published in a military magazine is now banned on Chinese internet.
Another thing they like to do is have multiple military parades now to show they still are in power.
They need an all powerful image to sell to their citizens and outside world. No one believes it, but they think it sells.
They want to forget this ever happened…
What are the images in your painting?
I have military flags used in the Song dynasty era that spell out 1 9 8 9 with chinese poetry in the background. I thought it would call out the brutalness of the “popular” unelected regime and their mindset of power at all costs.
Are any works available?
Check my shop at www.shawnshawn.co
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