Pillar of Shame


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, copper or concrete statue. Currently, five sculptures have been erected, in Rome, Hong Kong, Mexico, Brazil and Berlin.

ymbolism

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 Kong is a concrete sculpture, first erected in the Victoria Park of Hong Kong in 1997 to 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 protests on 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-tonne statue 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 universities:
*Chinese University of Hong Kong from September 28, 1997
*Lingnan College from November 2, 1997
*Hong Kong Baptist University from November 29, 1997
*Hong Kong University of Science and Technology from January 23, 1998
*Hong Kong Polytechnic University from March 1, 1998
*City University of Hong Kong from March 29, 1998.

On 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 1999 at 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 China in May every year.

On 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 Abejas in Acteal.

Pillar of Shame in Brazil

A fourth pillar of shame was erected in the Brazililan capital, Brasilia in 2000 in homage to the victims of the Eldorado dos Carajás massacre occurred 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.

Gallery



External links

* [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

References


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