The Unknown Rebel, June 5th 1989 Tiananmen Square

巍巍崑崙Towering Kunlun:
or The Unknown Rebel of Tiananmen Square

65" x 65”
Archival print, digital file

A reconstruction from approximately 100 film and photograhic fragments of the unknown "tank man" who stopped a column of tanks leaving Tiananment Square along Chang-an Avenue on June 5th, 1989. Chinese miltary had cleared Tiananmen Square of student led protesters the night before killing an estimated 10,000 people although the official number given was approximately 200 and a dozen armed personnel. The unknown protester was pulled away by two men dressed in blue and disappeared into the crowd, and whether he escaped or was executed is not publicly known.

The work is assembled from the few films smuggled out of the country and is indepted to the bravery of the photo journalists Jeff Widene, Stuart Franklin, camera men Jonathan Schaer, Tony Wasserman and Willie Phua. The work is augmented with various photographic fragments of Tiananmen Square.