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In Pictures: Inflatable Tank Man sculpture appears in Taiwan ahead of Tiananmen Massacre anniversary

A giant inflatable “Tank Man” sculpture has appeared in the Taiwanese capital, almost 30 years after the Tiananmen Massacre.

taiwan tank man tiananmen massacre

An artwork of Tank Man by Taiwanese artist Shake, inspired by a sketch of dissident Chinese artist Baidiucao, is on display in front of Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall in Taipei on May 21, 2019. Photo: Sam Yeh/AFP.

“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.

See also: June 4, 1989 – the night the tanks rolled into Beijing’s Tiananmen Square

taiwan tank man tiananmen massacre

An artwork of Tank Man by Taiwanese artist Shake, inspired by a sketch of dissident Chinese artist Baidiucao, is on display in front of Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall in Taipei on May 21, 2019. Photo: Sam Yeh/AFP.

Situated outside the landmark Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall in Taipei, the balloons were installed by a local artist named Shake.

taiwan tank man tiananmen massacre

An artwork of Tank Man by Taiwanese artist Shake, inspired by a sketch of dissident Chinese artist Baidiucao, is on display in front of Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall in Taipei on May 21, 2019. Photo: Sam Yeh/AFP.

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 told Reuters.

See also: The Tiananmen Massacre, 30 years on: The troubled history of the Goddess of Democracy

taiwan tank man tiananmen massacre

An artwork of Tank Man by Taiwanese artist Shake, inspired by a sketch of dissident Chinese artist Baidiucao, is on display in front of Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall in Taipei on May 21, 2019. Photo: Sam Yeh/AFP.

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.

See also: Unseen shots from Tiananmen 1989 – When Beijing’s students dared to dream of change

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.”

See also: In Pictures: Performers across the world pose as iconic ‘tank man’ to commemorate China’s Tiananmen Massacre

Tank Man Badiucao

The Tank Man performance in Adelaide in 2016. Photo: Badiucao.

He later launched a campaign to encourage other people around the world to pose as the lone protester.


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In Pictures: Inflatable Tank Man sculpture appears in Taiwan ahead of Tiananmen Massacre anniversary