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How a Chinese photographer sees Tiananmen Square

February 28th, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

“Tiananmen Square” conjures up a great deal of negativity in the West about China, and most people in the West remembers it as the site for the 1989 protest. A picture is certainly worth a thousand words, and today, I’ve come across one taken by a personal friend, Ming, of Tiananmen Square (with his artistic photo retouching), where the place is functional, alive, and colorful. This image is a reminder for me that the Chinese people have largely “moved on” regarding Tiananmen, but most in the West are still stuck in 1989; a reminder of the gap in the view of the world between the Chinese and the West.

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  1. Wukailong
    March 1st, 2010 at 02:09 | #1

    Not a truer word said. I would add, though, that it isn’t just about moving on; in Western countries the place is only known because of the massacre. It reminds me of a village close to the one I grew up in where a bunch of people committed a racist crime, and outsiders would only think about that when they heard the name.

  2. Dragan
    March 1st, 2010 at 02:51 | #2

    Some of the Chinese people moved on since then….some have never heard of it

  3. March 1st, 2010 at 11:45 | #3


    I agree with your analogy – though there is an important nuance. I think overall the Chinese people today view the actions of the Chinese government to stop the protest was the correct action for China.


    I just so happened to have talked to a friend couple of days ago who was only in middle school in Nanjing when the protest happened. He knows full well the incident, and he and everyone he knew saw the coverage on CCTV.

    Though the thing he tells me he remembered the most were footages of some of the student leaders dining in a fancy Beijing restaurant while the other students at Tiananmen Square where on a hunger strike.

    My relatives in China all know about this incident.

    Like I said, many in the West prefer to frame the protest in a certain way, but the Chinese people do not see it the same. Many in the West dismiss this difference in view as the Chinese “never heard of it.”

  4. March 1st, 2010 at 13:10 | #4

    Actually there could be another interpretation. The black and white of TAM Square symbolizes the unknowable, cold, “stuck-in-the-past” government. The people as well as the Chinese flag are depicted in color because the people and the notion of the Chinese nation are the true heart and soul and future of the China.

    Anyways – this is just the artist in me talking. So – even those who feel little allegiance to the CCP can still find something moving about this picture.

  5. Dragan
    March 1st, 2010 at 23:57 | #5

    Hi yinyang

    right , but i know people that never heard of it, or have only heard roumors. ordinary people.

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