June 4 1989 Art Exhibition

“ Tiananmen Square... is an issue that has affected everyone. The spectacle of human courage, the nature of freedom, the crushing of life and its ideals, the issue of human rights, of censorship and its revival, these issues cannot be met with silence, with political and economic expediency. An acute awareness of unviersal aspirations has been raised for people of every culture and political persuasion. The meaning and the drama of China is for all to see and respond. ”
- The Asian American Art Centre

It has been 25 years since the student uprising in Tiananmen Square and the exhibition AAAC mounted in response. Political crisis abounds in modern times, yet this confrontation resulted in a unique artistic event with the power to communicate years after its original impact

The world has moved on but, for those who remember, Tiananmen Square was the precursor to the Solidarity Party’s victory in Poland, Czechoslovakia’s ‘Velvet Revolution’, Hungary’s declaration as a free republic, the crumbling of the Berlin Wall, and the break-up of the Soviet Union. For several weeks the faces of the students were playing on everyone’s TV, a daily daytime drama with a global audience. An unspeakable spectacle unfolded, focusing and transforming the clash of Chinese political destinies into media, imprinting itself on the human imaginary in epic dimensions. What most took for granted was violated before their eyes, changing the world fundamentally for everyone. The impact of Tiananmen Square was incalculable, touching the hearts and minds of people everywhere. People became involved and artists’ commitments reflected them, magnifying their outcry in vivid, powerful art forms.

Art, in this exhibition, transcended the gallery and spoke in the political square. Visions, metaphors and symbols encapsulate Tiananmen Square so the public can see past the politics to the meaning portrayed and crafted in the moment of crisis. Such is the power art brought to this historically unprecedented postmodern moment. AAAC thanks all the artists who made this exhibition possible, and through their artistry link us all to this moment in history.

One day, tangible evidence will present itself before the eyes of the people of China. Groups such as the Tiananmen Mothers are waiting for this. They are fighting for their loved ones and for justice for everything that has occurred since 1989. They want an account of what happened, recognition for their children, and reparations and justice for all the repeated injustices inflicted by the government. To resist enforced amnesia, expose the truth and bring justice to the Tiananmen Mothers is to undo the basis for the corruption that is flourishing today. China can still be changed.

AAAC’s purpose remains unchanged: to keep as much of the original exhibition intact so that the people in China may one day see this historic response of artists, their coming together to express the support of people in the US as well as the global community for the people of China, their struggles, and their dreams.

With Kind Regards,
Robert Lee
June 2014

(The original June 4, 1989 AAAC exhibitions were documented online in 2009 to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the student movement. The site was updated in 2014 in conjunction with a remounting of the show at White Box in Lower Manhattan to commemorate the 25th anniversary.)

距天安門廣場學生起義及亞美藝術中心的回應展覽已有25年了。政治危機在當代大量存在,但是這次對峙成就了獨特的藝術事件,並且在事件本身的影響過去多年後仍能有力地擴散。世界繼續前進,對於那些仍然記得的人來說,天安門事件是波蘭獨立黨勝利、捷克斯洛伐克“天鵝絨革命”、匈牙利宣布成為自由共和國、柏林墻的倒塌及蘇聯解體的前兆。數周的時間裏,那些學生的臉龐出現在每個人的電視上,成為一個白天的戲劇,直到在全球觀眾面前構建了一個高潮。一個不能言說的光景揭幕了,觸碰各地人民的心靈。天安門事件的影響不可估量。藝術家們的致力反映了人們的積極參與,他們用生動有力的藝術形式放大了強烈抗議。這個展覽中的藝術超出了畫廊的限度,在政治空間裏訴說它們的意義。視覺,比喻和符號將天安門廣場概述化,以至於公眾可以超越政治去了解危機時刻被塑造的意義。這就是藝術給這個歷史上前所未有的後現代時刻帶來的力量。

總有一天,確切的證據將會在中國人的眼前顯現。諸如天安門母親這樣的團體正在等待這一天。他們在為他們所愛的人,為1989年來發生的一切事情的正義所奮鬥。他們希望所發生之事能有一個敘述,他們的孩子能夠被認可,被政府強加的重復性不正義能夠被改正。

抗拒強制失憶,揭露真相並給天安門母親帶來正義是為了松懈當今正在湧現的腐敗的基石。中國仍然可以被改變。亞美藝術中心的目的從一而終:保持原始展覽的完整性,以便有朝一日中國的人們可以看見這些藝術家的歷史反響,他們一起在美國表達對人們的支持,及國際社會對中國,對中國人的掙紮與夢想的支持。

為了紀念天安門事件25週年,亞美藝術中心將會於2014年六月一號到十號在紐約的Whitebox Art Center開辦展覽。這個建與2009年的網站是為了紀念天安門事件20週年,其中內容會被拓展與更新。

谨致问候
亞美藝術中心紀念1989學生運動
伍振亮