TANK MEN 2018
Global Calling for joining in the performance art TankMen2018
This is Badiucao, a Chinese artist and cartoonist. On the day of 4th of June 2016, I presented a performance art, One TankMan, in Australia as cosplaying the famous dissident icon from 1989 Beijing. For the coming anniversary of Tiananmen Massacre In 2018, I want to continue the project and expend this art campaign world widely. And This is an invitation for everyone who celebrates and defends universal human rights.
Tank Man has been a visual totem for protests of China since 1989. But it is also fading away due to brutal censorship and sophisticated propaganda from the Chinese government. The only way to keep it alive is to represented it creatively and bring the figure relevant to what is happening contemporarily. Hence, for 2018, I would like to present this performance not only just cosplaying the look of the tank man, but also bridging between the historic icon and current happening.
It will be meaningful to have a Tank Woman joining for this year. The tank man has been appeared as a male figure for most the time, but there are so many important female dissidents actively promoting and sacrificing for human rights campaigns in China. And in 2018, with the MeToo campaign developing all around the world, feminists in China also played a significant role. The protest from Yue Xin, student of Beijing University made the national attention focus on MeToo campaign in china. The wives of 709 lawyers are stilling fighting for their husbands releasing today. Liu Xia, the widow of Liu Xiaobo is still under house arrest with extreme limited freedom. Therefore, a Tank Woman in 2018 will really present the new spirit of dissidents in China today.
For performance of this year, I want to intervein with the two bags of the Tank Man image and arm them with more updated memes from China’s internet. The Great Fire Wall and censorship system dominated the internet in China, but there has been a constant battle the wisdom of Chinese netizens and the wall. So, in order to express without been censored, various memes of political satire have been invented on internet of China such as Winnie the Pooh, Pepper Pig, rice and rabbit, grass mud horse etc. The image of the bags from tank man always strikes as if they are his magic weapons to defeat the tanks in from of him. I always wonder about what Today’s tank man will hold in his hands. And I think the vivid culture of online satire and resistance must be the best definition for the new time gears of the tank man. So, my plan is to collect memes and develop them into drawings with unified style. Then the images will be printed or pasted on the bags for people to use for the performance.
How to do the performance:
a. Bring a chair to the location of your choice.
b. Stand on the chair as the pose of the tank man.
c. Chair helps you stand taller and also echos meme of LiuXiaobo.
d. Print the introduction of the performance and share on the site. Click here to download the introduction.
HANDBOOK OF THE PERFORMANCE
Any time on the 4th of June 2018 for your local time.
Downtown in your city or anywhere you feel meaningful and comfortable, even at your home.
What to Wear:
a. Classic outfit of the tankman with white shirt, black pants and black shoes.
b. Wear a mask if you want to keep anonymous.
c. Carry two Badiucao designed bags (see article below).
Make sure you bring a friend with you to take photos and videos as well.
It is even better to stream the performance online with a smart phone.
Use hashtags #tankmen2018 & #坦克人2018 to share your performance on social medias.
Email your images and video to
or DM @tankmen2018 on twitter
If you can not make the performance, please share this project or others people post to support us. THANKS