Xia Han Qiang
  • Male
  • New Yoyk City
  • United States
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  • Dr. Krishna Kumari Challa

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Profile Information

What language do you speak? 你通曉哪些語言?
Chinese only
Where are you located? 你的居住地區?
New York City
Art medium or relation 藝術體裁或联系:
About Me 個人簡介:
Result: 0

June 4, 1989 is the date that the Chinese government wants people to
forget, as if it never happened, as if a million people did not converge
there, as if no one died, was injured or imprisoned. In the United States,
if you type Tiananmen Square Protest into a Google search, you receive
473,000 entries. In China, you receive Result: 0.

I was a 20 year old college Junior on an exchange program between the State
University of New York at Buffalo and the Beijing Teacher's College. I had
a four year old Canon F1 camera and a stipend of $100 a month for food and
film. I started taking photographs of the protest in April when there were
a few hundred students making banners and posters.

The first I heard that something was happening in Tiananmen Square was when
a student told me that Hu Yaobang, the respected pro reform former
secretary general had died, and that students were making posters and
banners for a memorial service in the square. I went to take pictures in
mid April and returned over and over again until June 7, when my dormitory
was empty except for me and one Japanese student. I was "convinced" to
leave the country for my safety by the coordinator of the exchange

At first, I took pictures of people making posters and the crowds gathering
for Hu Yaobang's memorial service. Then there were marches. As Gorbachev
arrived in the country, protesters arrived with his photograph pinned to
their jackets. To students, he was a symbol of reform. So many arrived in
front of the Great Hall that the government was forced to bring Gorbachev
through the back door. Students began camping out in the square and refused
to leave even after martial law was declared. Tanks and soldiers arrived.
It took two more weeks before the tanks rolled into the square.

I am printing images for exhibitions in the United States and around the
world. I will have upon request 50 photographs size 16 x 20. These images
are compelling and aesthetic. For example, the pictures of rows of tent
poles or rows upon rows of bicycles in the abstract are striking
photographs on their own, but they also document students taking over the
most important square in China. As the protest spread, older Chinese
arrived with food for students and workers arrived to protest wages,
working conditions and corruption. The older protestors carried pictures of
Mao and Zhou En Lai, to them symbols of political purity. Think about it:
Pictures of people carrying pictures. I have pictures of students talking
to soldiers. In later shots, I have pictures of burning tanks and crushed
bicycles. They speak to the politics.

June 4, 2009, will be the 20th anniversary of the protests. News
organizations will recognize this event on that date, but so far no
galleries have committed and no books have been published. Many famous
photographers were sent to Tiananmen on assignment once the protest grew
large and loud enough. They were there for the main events, backed by their
publications. I was there when there were only paste pots and hand written
Portfolio Website 作品網站:
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At 10:10pm on March 2, 2009, Dr. Krishna Kumari Challa said…
Thanks a lot.
Best wishes

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