Sunday, May 31, 2009

Tank Man Tango: June 4, 1989 anniversary commemoration at The Substation

This year is the twentieth anniversary of the Tiananmen Square protests and massacre. Beginning in April 1989, thousands of people, mostly students and intellectuals, gathered in and around Tiananmen Square in Beijing to demonstrate against the government’s authoritarianism and to call for democratic and economic reforms. Then on June 4, the government sent tanks to clear the square, injuring and killing civilians. The official figure is 241 deaths, including soldiers. Chinese student associations and the Chinese Red Cross reported 2000 to 3000 deaths. Among the most powerful images from those days are the ones of the “Goddess of Democracy” statue, which was erected in the Square on May 30, and of the “Tank Man”, who, with nothing but shoppping bags, momentarily stopped a row of tanks from entering Tiananmen Square on June 5.

As a way of commemorating this anniversary, The Substation is participating in a worldwide public art project to be performed in the cities of Sydney, Brisbane, Perth, Taichung (Taiwan), Seoul, Singapore, Weimar, Leipzig, London, Bristol, Washington DC, and Mexico City.

On June 4, 2009, from 6.30 to 9pm in The Substation theatre, come join us to learn and perform the Tank Man Tango together as an artwork and a vigil; or come for conversation, and share memories and perspectives. The Tank Man Tango is a simple, stylised recreation of the steps of the Tank Man as he defied the tanks. The video can be found on:

Then on June 5, join us at The Substation Gallery between 12 noon and 9pm: we will be erecting replicas of the Goddess of Democracy statue from a D-I-Y kit, filling the gallery space with them.

Everyone is invited.

Documentation from both days will be uploaded onto the memorial website:

Tank Man Tango is an artwork by Deborah Kelly featuring Teik Kim Pok dancing; choreography by Jane McKernan; video by Sumugan Sivanesan. With many thanks to collaborators May Ee Wong, Fiona Winning, Wei Lai, Celia White, Frank Motz, Martin del Amo, Fei Wong, Lachlan Warner, Ann-Kathrin Rudorf, Mandy Unger, Robert Pacitti, Mark Mitchell, Lee Weng Choy, Estee Wah, PVI Collective, Su Goldfish, Bec Dean, Katie Hepworth, Kernow Craig and David Teh.

1 comment:

forget2forget said...

Thanks very much, Yi-Sheng!