It has been 25 years since the student uprising in Tiananmen
Square and the exhibition AAAC mounted in response. Political crisis abounds in modern times,
yet this confrontation resulted in a unique artistic event with the power to communicate years
after its original impact.
The world has moved on but, for those who remember, Tiananmen Square was the precursor to the Solidarity Party's victory in Poland, Czechoslovakia's 'Velvet Revolution', Hungary's declaration as a free republic, the crumbling of the Berlin Wall, and the break-up of the Soviet Union. For several weeks the faces of the students were playing on everyone's TV, a daily daytime drama with a global audience. An unspeakable spectacle unfolded, focusing and transforming the clash of Chinese political destinies into media, imprinting itself on the human imaginary in epic dimensions. What most took for granted was violated before their eyes, changing the world fundamentally for everyone. The impact of Tiananmen Square was incalculable, touching the hearts and minds of people everywhere. People became involved and artists' commitments reflected them, magnifying their outcry in vivid, powerful art forms.
Art, in this exhibition, transcended the gallery and spoke in the political square. Visions, metaphors and symbols encapsulate Tiananmen Square so the public can see past the politics to the meaning portrayed and crafted in the moment of crisis. Such is the power art brought to this historically unprecedented postmodern moment. AAAC thanks all the artists who made this exhibition possible, and through their artistry link us all to this moment in history.
One day, tangible evidence will present itself before the eyes of the people of China. Groups such as the Tiananmen Mothers are waiting for this. They are fighting for their loved ones and for justice for everything that has occurred since 1989. They want an account of what happened, recognition for their children, and reparations and justice for all the repeated injustices inflicted by the government. To resist enforced amnesia, expose the truth and bring justice to the Tiananmen Mothers is to undo the basis for the corruption that is flourishing today. China can still be changed.
AAAC's purpose remains unchanged: to keep as much of the original exhibition intact so that the people in China may one day see this historic response of artists, their coming together to express the support of people in the US as well as the global community for the people of China, their struggles, and their dreams.
For the 25th Anniversary commemorating the 1989 Student Movement AAAC will mount an exhibition at Whitebox Art Center in NYC on June 1st to the 10th, 2014. This web page created in 2009 marking the 20th anniversary, will be expanded and updated. See http://bit.ly/1na0oJL (and/or the QR code) for more information.
With Kind Regards,
Anniversary commemorating the 1989 Student Movement AAAC
為了紀念天安門事件25週年，亞美藝術中心將會於2014年六月一號到十號在紐約的Whitebox Art Center開辦展覽。這個建與2009年的網站是為了紀念天安門事件20週年，其中內容會被拓展與更新。請訪問http://bit.ly/1na0oJL以獲得更多信息。
View full list of artists
Inquiries about this exhibition—CHINA: June 4, 1989—its availability for touring or acquisition, can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information about this exhibition, see our exhibitions page.
Important Notice to Artists
2014 Notice to Artists
Events Leading to June 4, 1989
|April 15, 1989||Wu Yao Bang passed away. An enlightened leader, people expressed their mourning and discontent with spontaneous small demonstrations. This incident unlocked the long suppressed pro-democracy sentiments of people. The demonstrations grew. On April 19 more than 100,000 people held a sit-in at Tiananmen Square|
|April 22, 1989||In spite of government plans made to cordon off the whole of Tiananmen Square, students are able to enter the square and mount their demonstrations and events before police have taken up their positions. In a sincere gesture, reminiscent of Qing practice, several students kneel on the steps of the Great Hall and beg Premier Li Peng to come out and talk to them. He declines|
|April 24, 1989||Students begin a mass boycott of classes in an attempt to pressure government leaders into hearing their requests|
|April 26, 1989||The official government newspaper, the People's Daily, labeled the student movement as a riot instigated and organized by a small number of wicked people. It called upon the whole nation to suppress the "riot". The infamous "4/26 editorial" was joined by the mobilization of the 38th Army|
|April 27, 1989||The student movement developed into a people's movement. Students who marched into the Square numbered 200,000. Over a million civilians showed support on the roads. A federation of all student associations was formed|
|May 4, 1989||The students are now joined by many of their teachers, scores of journalists, and by many citizens of Beijing. 100,000 march in Beijing, dwarfing the historic student demonstrations of the May 4 Movement in 1919. Demonstrations occur in other cities and overseas as well. Students begin a hunger strike|
|May 13, 1989||Hunger strike grows to two thousand participants. Government officials agree to a dialogue with the student leaders on the 14th, just before Mikhael Gorbachev is scheduled to visit Beijing. On the 15th police order the clearing of the Square|
|May 17, 1989||About two million Beijing citizens march onto the streets. The spectrum of demonstrators from all walks of life include a thousand soldiers of the People's Liberation Army. Demonstrations are reported in over twenty provinces|
|May 18, 1989||Premier Li Peng agrees to meet with the students. Secretary-General Zhao Ziyang visits the hunger strikers and urges them to end their fast.|
|May 20, 1989||Premier Li Peng and the president of China, Yang Shangkun, declare martial law and order units of the People's Liberation Army to return order to the city. Demonstrators build barricades around themselves and urge the troops not to enforce the martial law restrictions. Armed troops head toward Tiananmen Square but are blocked by people on the road and who sleep at night there preventing passage|
|May 22, 1989||A hundred thousand soldiers surround Beijing. Twenty thousand students vow to stay on the Square. "...our blood may be shed, yet we cannot give up freedom and democracy. May our lives and blood call upon a beautiful future for our Republic"|
|End of May 1989||Student leaders encourage their fellow students to end the hunger strike and return to their campuses but there are new recruits from other cities. A thirty foot statue of the student's version of liberty is built. Military action it is stated would not be used to suppress the students, but the government repeat their claim, labeling this pro-democracy movement a riot|
|June 4, 1989||Late at night well-armed troops from the Twenty-seventh Army and other units loyal to Deng smash through the barricades in heavy tanks and armored personnel carriers and put an end to the students' brave movement|
RELATED LINKS AT HUMAN RIGHTS IN CHINA (HRIC)
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