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


For the 30th Anniversary of Tiananmen Square, AAAC announces the transfer of hundreds of artworks to the California based Humanitarian China organization. The purpose of the original goal will continue. Humanitarian China (HC) is going to carry on AAAC’s goal, the task of remembrance, by exhibiting, promoting, and preserving these artworks, to educate the public, to ensure that “China, June 4, 1989” as a primary reflection of an important historical movement, will not be forgotten, and the spirit of those who suffered because of this, shall never perish.

Humanitarian China, a non-profit organization incorporated in California, by Fengsuo Zhou, Zhao Jing and Gang Xu, all student leaders from the Tiananmen movement, joins together with AAAC to renew the purpose and vitality of this effort. HC is dedicated to provide humanitarian care for political prisoners and Tiananmen Mothers in China, to preserve the history of China’s democracy movement and to educate the general public. Liberty Sculpture Park near Los Angeles, has become the new home of these precious artworks.

In assigning its care of the CHINA: June 4, 1989 exhibition to HC, the artworks created in the grip of that moment will keep vivid what was felt and link us to what is felt in the present - the meaning of Tiananmen Square today, enabling each generation to reflect upon the diversity of perspectives from many, many artists.

These artworks will become the centerpiece of a larger collection that will gather with time and become the first permanent June 4th museum committed to preserving this history and the struggle for freedom. This museum will collect and display other artist’s historical objects and artworks opposing censorship and forced amnesia.

Our sincere appreciation goes to all of the artists – some even from Europe, Japan & China - who contributed their artworks to make this endeavor possible.

AAAC’s promise in the 1990s was to enable the people of China to see this art, see the support of people elsewhere for the people of China. With passing decades this vision faded. Along with another – the vision of a soldier holding an empty milk bottle above a hungry baby, painted in the Square in 1989 - its question is now answered. China has prospered. However, the portrait of that soldier, the ugly face of political control has brought to prominence the cost, the trade off China has made for material wealth. The issue raised by Tiananmen Square is still with us, even in the US of A. It may yet rise to alter the course of China’s human voyage.

With Kind Regards,
Robert Lee
June 2019


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.)

Click here to see the 25th Anniversary exhibition.

Artist Notices




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。