In 1989, students taking part in the Beijing Tian’anmen Democratic Movement weaved in and out the Tian’anmen Square with their bicycles to communicate with each other. In the same year, journalists working in Beijing hosted a bicycle petition to fight for freedom of the press. At the midnight on June 4th, tanks drove into the city and ran over civilians as well as bicycles.
The June 4th Movement is not yet vindicated. Hong Kong is the only place in the territory where people can publicly commemorate the event. However, are Hong Kong people losing their momentum for the pursuit of the values they strived for faithfully in the past? We would like to restore the same scene in Hong Kong on June 4th this year, and imagine we were the students who weaved in and out the square. On the day, we will start from Yau Ma Tei and will visit a few checkpoints related to the local history of the Incident. Our final destination will be the June 4th candlelight vigil at the Victoria Park.
Walk in groups, when we’re still young Venturing the gloomy streets of this apathetic city
Date: 4th June, 2010 5:00 pm Route: We started our voyage from Yau Ma Tei. Then we presented flowers to the sculpture of “The Fighter of Liberty”. Then we cross the harbour and reached Wan Chai. Finally, we arrived at the Victoria Park, the venue for the Hong Kong candlelight vigil commemorating June 4th.
About Yau Ma Tei
At around 1am on 7th June 1989, a parade of cars demonstrated along Yau Ma Tei Street. A disturbance was elicited. The chaos spread quickly, with people throwing stuffs at each other, setting fire to paraphernalia and destroying public properties. The police react vigorously and struck the crowd with 49 tear bombs to disperse the people. 15 “rioters” were arrested. The overnight chaos prompted the Hong Kong Alliance to cancel the public commemoration activities planned for the day. The identities and the motives of the rioters were left as a mystery.
‘The Fighter of Liberty’ The Cultural Centre Plaza, Tsim Sha Tsui
The sculpture is a work made for Hong Kong by the renowned French artist Cesar. It was a gift to the Hong Kong Urban Council and was erected at the plaza outside the Cultural Centre. It was claimed that the sculpture, originally entitled ‘The Fighter of Liberty’ was done in commemoration of the June 4th Incident. The Urban Council renamed it as “The Soaring French” in order to drain its political connotations. Consequently, the artist Cesar refused to attend the opening ceremony. Over the past years, some Hong Kong artists have been calling on people to present flower bouquets at the sculpture on June 4th annually to commemorate the martyrs.
“Mantle” by Sui Jian Guo, a Contemporary Chinese artist. Art Centre, Wan Chai
Szeto Wah (a leader of the democratic movement in HK) has interpreted this sculpture, a decapitated half-length sculpture in traditional Chinese costume, as a resemblance of the statues of Lenin and Stalin destroyed after the breakdown of the Soviet Union. “Mantle” could be regarded as a celebration to the fall of a tyranny or as a monument marking the establishment of a democratic China.
June 4th commemoration
candlelight vigil Victoria Park
A crucial site for local social movements and assemblies over the past years