Tiananmen Square: Iconic 'tank man' image recreated as inflatable art

23 May 2019, 09:05 | Updated: 23 May 2019, 11:23

An artist has recreated the Tiananmen Square "tank man" image with inflatables to mark 30 years since the Chinese government crackdown.

The photograph of an unknown man in a white shirt standing in the path of tanks in the square is one of the 20th century's most iconic images of peaceful protest.

The Tiananmen Square protests, known in China as the June Fourth incident, were student led protests against the regime and for democracy.

Months of protests culminated in hunger strikes in mid May 1989, and mass gatherings in Beijing's Tianamen Square.

The government declared martial law and sent in the troops.

China's communist government has never confirmed the number of those killed during the Tiananmen Square crackdown on 4 June 1989, with estimates varying from several hundred to the thousands.

The "tank man" photo was taken the following day.

The installation in Taiwan marks 30 years since the protests, and the artist hopes it will remind people of the Chinese regime.

References to the crackdown are heavily censored in China on social media and by the news.

Shake, the artist, said: "As a Taiwanese I hope I can help China to also achieve democracy 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."

The installation is outside Chiang Kai-Shek memorial hall in Taiwan, one of its most famous landmarks.

Su Yung-Hua, a 21-year-old student, said: "Both the place and timing to put this up require courage, there are so many tourists from China coming to Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall.

"I think it is very brave to put it here and I am quite concerned that there could be someone who pops it with a needle at night."

Taiwan was part of China until a civil war which ended in 1949, leading to the creation of the People's Republic of China and the Republic of China, commonly known as Taiwan.