Photo of the Day: 'Tank Man' statue

Chinese illustrator creates monument that should exist to heroes of Tiananmen Square

"The people will not forget." (Qianci Illustration)

"The people will not forget." (Qianci Illustration)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — As China tries to suppress the 31st anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre, a Chinese artist has created what he believes should be a monument to those who fought for democracy and gave their lives that day.

Chinese artist Qianci (Twitter account @Cian_Ci) told Taiwan News that he created this illustration on June 4 as a personal commemoration of the bloody crackdown that took place in Beijing's Tiananmen Square exactly 31 years ago to the day. Qianci said that because the current Monument to the People's Heroes does not include recognition of the thousands who died that day, he decided to create his own revised version.

In the illustration, titled "The people will not forget," he has placed a statue of the world-famous "Tank Man," the iconic symbol of the Tiananmen protests. The man can be seen holding a shopping bag in each hand and looking up defiantly at an invisible tank.

Closeup of base of monument. (Qianci Illustration)

At the bottom of the Spartan obelisk, Qianci has replaced dramatized scenes of People's Liberation Army victories, with images from the Tiananmen Square Protests. Examples include a statue of the Goddess of Democracy, Tank Man, and a protester charging ahead on a bicycle.

The original iconic photo was taken a day after the massacre when an unidentified Chinese man stood in front of a column of tanks to block them from proceeding on Chang'an Avenue on the north edge of Tiananmen Square. As the tanks were departing the square after shots were heard, the man suddenly walked in front of the lead tank, causing the driver to halt the massive military machine.

The man then hopped on top of the tank and exchanged words with the driver. After hopping off, the tank started moving forward again, but the man again moved in front of it, causing it and the tanks behind it to halt again.

"Tank Man." (Photo from Wikimedia Commons)

The man was later seen being whisked away by two figures dressed in blue into a nearby crowd. To this day, the man's identity and fate remain unknown.

Nevertheless, his act represents one of the most famous nonviolent actions recorded on film.

"The people will not forget." (Qianci Illustration)