fredag 30. juli 2021

Tiananmen, 1989: “I Climbed Up the Tank, and Jumped Off the Other Side”

A fourth-generation artist, Rose Tang was born in December 1968. At her birth, her father, an artist, was already in jail for having raised doubts on Chairman Maoin his personal diary. “I was born in Guiyang, capital city of Guizhou province, without him,” she tells Bitter Winter. “I grew up with my artist mother in Chengdu, Sichuan. My father was released and reunited with us in 1979 in Chengdu, when I was 11. I left home when I was 14 and went to study art at the Attached High School of Sichuan Fine Arts Academy in Chongqing.”

Rose’s perilous journey was just beginning. In 1989, she was in the belly of the dragon, in Tiananmen Square, along with thousands of students who peacefully demonstrated in name of democracy and freedom only to be slaughtered by the People’s Liberation Army (PLA)’s tanks in a massacre that shocked the world, whose memory is still with us.

An iconic photo portrays her on May 21, 1989, the day following the declaration of the Martial Law that precipitated events and brought to the carnage. She had led an all-night sit-in outside Zhongnanhai near the square, a former imperial garden in Beijing’s Imperial City, near the Forbidden City, that served as the central headquarters for the CCP and the State Council, the chief administrative authority of the People’s Republic of China. “One of the students I met that night,” Rose explains, “was shot by the PLA during the massacre. He was a science college student. His name is Wang Qiong. He was 19.