In Hong Kong in 1997, I erected an 8 meter high monument in memory of the massacre on the Tiananmen Square in Beijing in 1989. This monument is an artistic call on the situation in China and is so far still the only memorial about the massacre on Chinese soil.
In relation to the 25th anniversary of the massacre, I enclose this appeal, and hope that you will pass it on to your Chinese friends, institutions and others who might benefit from remembering this landmark event.
Placing this sculpture in Hong Kong cost me a permanent expulsion of China and 2 expulsions of Hong Kong. I think it's important that artists, cultural groups and others defend the human rights and that we use our freedom of speech to tell the story of the massacre. I hope that you will help doing this.
Kind regards Jens Galschiøt
The Chinese sight for ”The old cannot kill the young forever” chiseled into the socket on the memorial.
Press release may 2014
Appeal to the press, culture- and art institutions, artists, working places, libraries,universities and others.
Give the Chinese students their history back!
Help mark the 25rd anniversary of the Tiananmen massacre. In 1989 the Chinese students occupied the Tiananmen Square in Beijing for months in an attempt to press the Chinese government to take steps towards democracy and to fight against corruption. But on 4th June 1989 the regime threw in the army against the unarmed students.
Give the Chinese their story back. It is forbidden to mention the story in China, but all the students’ newspaper articles, fliers etc. have been collected by the democracy movement in Hong Kong.
These collections of Chinese and English documents have now been put on the Internet from where they can be downloaded for free.
Many of the young dissidents were imprisoned in the wake of the crackdown. Some are still in jail but they are no longer young. China still practises a massive censorship on information on the massacre. And it is impossible for Chinese people to obtain uncensored information about the event.
In China the encroachments continue. The imprisonment of Nobel laureate Liu Xiaobo is maintained and his wife is still under house arrest. So is the artist Ai Weiwei. But these prominent artists are only the tip of the iceberg, there are thousands of artists, environment activists and others imprisoned. And all they have done is defend the most basic human rights.
Thousands of Chinese students are today studying at universities and other institutions of education in the West. Most of them do not even know their own history due to the censorship. You can help to remedy this.
Therefore we invite all pro-democracy institutions, scholars and working colleagues to download and print out this documentation or burn it on a CD. Place it on the shelves of libraries and hand it out as a gift to Chinese students on 4th June, the anniversary of the Tiananmen massacre.
This way we can make a contribution to preserve the memory of the victims and maybe inspire a new generation of Chinese to see democracy as a possibility for China.
We call on everybody to support this initiative and to mail this appeal to other institutions of education where there are Chinese students or others who might be interested in preserving and distributing the knowledge about the Tiananmen massacre.
The initiative of this appeal and informative campaign is a co-operation between the democracy movement in Hong Kong and Danish sculptor Jens Galschiot who in 1997 put up an 8 meter high Pillar of Shame in Hong Kong to commemorate the Tiananmen massacre. Hong Kong is the only place on Chinese soil where the victims can be honoured.
About Hong Kong at the moment
It seems that China’s curbing of free speech has got a solid grip, also in Hong Kong. Galschiot is just one of many critics who have been denied entry. So the city is deprived of a cultural exchange that is taken for granted in all open democratic societies. The expulsions are a strident violation of the principle of ‘One country – Two systems’ that was guarantied ahead of Hong Kong’s reunion with China in ‘97.
In 2013 Galschiøt managed to enter Hong Kong to repair ‘The Pillar of Shame’.
In these very years Hong Kong stands before realizing the 1997 agreements with China, to develop a real democracy in Hong Kong. But they are under a lot of pressure from non-democratic forces. The results of these negotiations are crucial for the future of Hong Kong.
A functioning democracy on Chinese ground, even though it is only in Hong Kong, is an extremely important symbol for the more than one billion living in main land China.
The democracy movement in Hong Kong:
About Jens Galschiøt:
At the moment:
Galschiøt is a sculptor who works with international art installations. At the moment he is working on a gigantic project about the religious tensions in the world.
He has named this art and dialogue project ’The Children of Abraham’. The focal point of the project is the 3.5 meter tall and 70 square meter sculpture called F.U.N.D.A.M.E.N.T.A.L.I.S.M. It is made of these letters made in 8,000 copper books symbolizing the Torah, the Bible and the Quran. 24 big monitors constantly display the ’brightest’ and the ’darkest’ quotations form Judaism, Christianity and Islam.
See concept click for the art project English - German - Danish
General information about Galschiøt can be found at:
A short introduction about Galschiøt by the art-auction house Bruun Rasmussen
Jens Galschiot was born in 1954, in Frederikssund, he is married and has three children. Certificate as a construction blacksmith in 1978. He is a self taught silversmith and sculptor. He settled in Odense in 1973 and opened his 2000 m2 large studio in 1985, which contains a bronze foundry, a work-shop, a gallery and a sculpture park.
Galschiot’s mode of expression mainly consists of naturalistic and organic forms, which are influenced by the Spanish architect Antoni Gaudí, and the semi-occult stile from the Jugend period. In many of his sculptures ‘the void’ is as an essential part of the expression: for instance when he exhib-its clothing sculptures (with the shape of the body, but void of the body), the viewers are encouraged to use their own imagination to fill in the emptiness, by using images from their own lives. If he succeeds in doing so the artist has achieved his goal: to make his sculptures and the human imagination work together.
Internationally, Galschiot could be characterized as one of the most significant Danish artists of late modernity (after 1980). His artistic production covers a wide field of expression; from jewellery and small dainty figures to gigantic, politically emphatic sculptures. He is among the best-known Danish artists abroad. His reputation extends from Hong Kong, and Mexico to Germany, Spain, and the U.S.A. Apart from clothing sculptures Jens Galschiot creates international happenings to high-light the present imbalance of the world. The first of it’s kind was ‘My Inner Beast’ from 1993, which was erected in 20 European cities, as a reminder to us all that Humanism is merely a thin coat-ing disguising the potential brutality of our nature as human beings, and that it is a constant struggle to preserve and improve the results Humanism has achieved so far. Another example is ‘The Pillar of Shame’, which symbolizes the oppression of human rights; the first time it was erected was in Hong Kong in1997.
Galschiot’s fascination of garment objects led to a partnership with the late Erik Mortensen and Jean Voigt. In 1990 Galschiot created the ‘Ringwearer’s Jacket’. It was given to Her Majesty, Queen Margaret II on her 50th birthday. The gift was ordered by the Garment Industry’s Organisation. The sculpture is now exhibited in the park of Marselisborg Castle, the Queen’s residence in Aarhus.
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5270 Odense N
Tlf : (+45) 6618 4058
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