Taiwan | Inflatable ‘Tank Man’ marks Tiananmen protests

An artist has erected an inflatable display in Taiwan’s capital to mark an iconic moment in the Tiananmen Square pro-democracy protests.

The larger-than-life balloon installation, which stands in front of Taipei’s famous Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall, portrays a peaceful encounter between a Chinese civilian and the military tanks that contributed to a brutal shutdown of the demonstrations in Beijing on June 4, 1989. The tank standoff, memorialized by several photographers including Jeff Widener of The Associated Press, has become a symbol of defiance around the world.

Hundreds of people walked by the installation Saturday morning. Many took selfies and photos of the artwork, which has been up for a few weeks.

While public remembrances of the Tiananmen protests are strictly forbidden in mainland China, there are regular commemorations in democratically governed Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau.

Mikel Zhang, a lawyer from Shanghai who visited the “Tank Man” installation this weekend morning, said that the students’ beliefs were different than those of the government. “But eventually […] blood was shed,” he said.

An inscription for the artwork says Taiwan stands with the people who have never ceased to resist the “gigantic autocracy.”

Categories China