A giant inflatable “Tank Man” sculpture has appeared in the Taiwanese capital, almost 30 years after the Tiananmen Massacre.
“Tank Man” was an unidentified man who stood in front of a row of tanks on June 5, 1989, the morning after the Chinese military’s crackdown on Beijing protesters who had been calling for reforms for over a month.
Situated outside the landmark Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall in Taipei, the balloons were installed by a local artist named Shake.
She said she hoped China would become democratic one day: “So I think it is important to the Taiwanese people to continue discussing this topic – preventing people from forgetting this event and reminding the Taiwanese people that the regime in China is dangerous… This thing has already been washed away by [China’s] authoritarian political view,” she toldReuters.
The stunt coincided with the 2019 June 4 International Symposium, which was held over the weekend alongside a series of commemorative events in Taiwan. A candlelight vigil, lectures, and seminars will also be held to mark the 30th anniversary.
Free speech is protected in democratic Taiwan, though Beijing considers the island to be part of its territory.
In 2016, the artist and cartoonist Badiucao conducted a performance in Adelaide, Australia to pay tribute to “Tank Man.”