Pillar of Shame
Pillar of Shame is the name for each scultpure in a series by Danish artist
Jens Galschiot. Each sculpture is an 8-metre tall bronze, copperor concrete statue. Currently, five sculptures have been erected, in Rome, Hong Kong, Mexico, Braziland Berlin.
According to Jens Galschiot, [ [http://www.aidoh.dk/art_and_events/pos/ukposdok.htm The Pillar of Shame -detailed description of the art happening that are being carried out by jens Galschiot ] ] the sculpture is used to remind people of a shameful event which must never recur. The torn and twisted bodies of the sculpture symbolize the degradation, devaluation and lack of respect for the individual. The black colour symbolizes grief and loss and the sculpture, which represents the victims, expresses the pain and the despair of the event. It can be used by both sides in complicated conflict situations, where it can be difficult to point out the guilty party.
Pillar of Shame in Hong Kong
The Pillar of Shame (Chinese: _zh. 國殤之柱) in
Hong Kongis a concretesculpture, first erected in the Victoria Park of Hong Kong in 1997to mark the eighth anniversary of the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989.
The statue depicts 50 torn and twisted bodies to symbolize those who died in the government crackdown. On the base of the statue, the history and pictures of the massacre are carved in Chinese and English. Engraved into the base of the sculpture, in both English and Chinese, are the words "The Tiananmen Massacre", "June 4th 1989" and "The old cannot kill the young forever."
The Pillar was first exhibited as a focal point at the 8th anniversary candlelight vigil in commemoration of the
Tiananmen Square protestson June 3, 1997. Immediately following the candlelit vigil on the night of June 4, 1997, local university students fought for a place to settle the statue. After the scuffles with the police and controversy with the university leadership, at 3 a.m. students succeeded in moving the 2- tonnestatue into the podium of the Haking Wong Building at the University of Hong Kong, but the pieces are not erected under concerns if the floor is strong enough. The Pillar was re-erected at the same place on June 16, 1997.
During the following months, the Pillar was exhibited at the following
Chinese University of Hong Kongfrom September 28, 1997
*Lingnan College from
November 2, 1997
Hong Kong Baptist Universityfrom November 29, 1997
Hong Kong University of Science and Technologyfrom January 23, 1998
Hong Kong Polytechnic Universityfrom March 1, 1998
City University of Hong Kongfrom March 29, 1998.
May 31, 1998, the ninth anniversary of the Tiananmen Square protests, the Pillar was returned to Victoria Park where a candlelit vigil was held. On the morning before the vigil, a self-professed artist splashed two buckets of red paint onto the Pillar, claiming that "the blood of people is also my blood."
On the 24th and 25th of September 1998,
The Hong Kong University Students' Union(HKUSU) held a general poll on the motion for having the Pillar of Shame remain at the University of Hong Kong on a long-term basis.
The motion was successfully carried, and the Pillar was moved into the Haking Wong Podium again on
December 3, 1998. It was again exhibited at the 10th anniversary candlelit vigil of the Massacre in 1999at Victoria Park. Since then, the Pillar has remained on display at the Haking Wong podium; a silent tribute is held by HKUSU and The Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements in Chinain May every year.
30 April, 2008, the Pillar of Shame was painted orange as part of the project The Color Orange [http://www.thecolororange.net/] to raise awareness about human rights in China. As the sculptor Galschiot was denied access to Hong Kong, the Hong Kong Alliance painted the Pillar on his behalf.
Pillar of Shame in Rome
In 1996, another pillar of shame was erected before the Ostiense Air Terminal, Rome, Italy, during the FAO Summit, depicting the deaths caused worldwide by hunger due to the uneven distribution of the world's resources.
Pillar of Shame in Mexico
A third pillar of Shame was erected by Galschiot in Acteal, Chiapas, Mexico in 1999, to mark the site of the December 1997 massacre of 45 members of the civil society group
Las Abejasin Acteal.
Pillar of Shame in Brazil
A fourth pillar of shame was erected in the Brazililan capital,
Brasiliain 2000 in homage to the victims of the Eldorado dos Carajás massacreoccurred in 1996.
Pillar of Shame in Berlin
A fifth pillar of shame was erected in Berlin, Germany in homage to the victims of the Nazi regime.
* [http://www.aidoh.dk/?categoryID=55 Official information of the Pillar of Shame]
* [http://www.alliance.org.hk/about/diary/diary_1997.html Timeline of Pillar of Shame in Hong Kong] Zh icon
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