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You are reading about: Tank Man

By @badiucao, June 5, 2016     I choose art to resist — to fight terror and to remember. I once drew the Tank Man, and I also have Tank Man tattoo. This year I decided to use performance art to bring the Tank Man back, in the hope that, tomorrow, there’ll be even more Tank Men. All I know of the Tank Man is his plain white shirt, his black trousers, his leather shoes, and the plastic bag and briefcase he carried. The only thing he left the world was that view of him from behind. I don’t know the real identity of the Tank Man. There’s a rumour that his name is Wang Weilin, but no one really knows. Who he was before […]


June 4, 2016   (Continued from Part One) Wu: Another find that was very exciting was to discover the chief of staff of the 38th Group Army’s 1st Tank Division. This chief of staff led the spearhead of that tank division, the 1st Regiment of armored infantrymen and the 1st Regiment, the very first tanks to arrive in Tiananmen Square, including the three tanks involved in the massacre at Liubukou. This chief of staff was eager to carry out orders and show his “politically correctness.” In all the military propaganda materials celebrating his “heroic achievements,” he was only ever referred to as “Chief of Staff Yan.” They described how he repeatedly ordered for forcing advancement, and his troops shot dead a student attempting to obstruct […]


By Yang Jianli, published: December 7, 2015   In Washington, D.C. recently, my friend Alan Curtis invited me to watch Chimerica, which was written by the British playwright Lucy Kirkwood. The play focuses on finding clues to the identity of Tank Man, the iconic and still unknown protester from Tiananmen Square, and explores the contemporary relationship between China and the West. During my three hours in the theater, my mind repeatedly returned to Tiananmen Square, where I was a participant in the 1989 democracy movement, and a witness to the ensuing massacre. The photograph of the Tank Man on Beijing’s Chang’an Avenue confronting state violence is one of the most iconic images of the 20th century. For more than two decades, people around the world […]


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