with tiananmen square ‘tank man,’ chinese sculptor will keep democracy’s flame alive in mojave
The Chrome head of Vladimir Lenin\'s foot comes from the Mojave Desert.
Go through a little cyan along the driveway
Colorful lake surrounded by palm trees, artist sheds with carp, prefabricated houses of the past and 17 wooden doors nailed together, and Chen Weiming, install pedals on a large replica of a military tank.
More than 120 miles east of the San Gabriel Valley, its huge shopping malls, temples and restaurants bring the largest Chinese-American community in Southern California-62-year-
The old sculptor is paying tribute to the \"tank man\", an unidentified man who stared at a series of Chinese tanks during the 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown.
Chen Guangcheng, a member of China\'s dissidents, used sculptures to draw attention to human rights violations by the Chinese government and honor the victims.
They put their hopes on the California desert.
The acres on Interstate 15 are large enough to satisfy their ambitions, but cheap enough to accommodate their limited funds.
The only Chinese character to see is the fleeting fuzzy imprint left on the shuttle bus between Los Angeles and Las Vegas.
When Chen and his volunteers moved in three years ago, the locals were skeptical, just a little scared, said Lise King, a Yermo resident who helped Chen.
Lenin\'s giant chrome head can\'t help.
\"There are a lot of worries about the Communists moving in,\" Kim said . \".
Chen said he planned to surround Lenin\'s head with a cage to show that his doctrine was imprisoned rather than celebrating communism.
Dissidents named the plot free Sculpture Park.
Zhou Fengsuo, one of the student leaders at Tiananmen Square, envisioned building a museum and a 200-
The Statue of Liberty is a statue of protesters made of plaster and paper in the Square --
Mache and plastic foam 30 years ago.
So far, there are three sculptures in the Park: The bust statue of the mad horse;
Li Wang Yang, a Chinese dissident, was imprisoned for 21 years after the Tiananmen crackdown;
Figure 64, representing the month and date when the Chinese government sent tanks and troops to Beijing\'s central square.
Students and other protesters have gathered there for months to call for democratic reform.
The exact number of people killed in the government\'s crackdown on protests has never been determined, but estimates range from hundreds to thousands.
On Monday, on the eve of the 30 th anniversary of the strike, Chen will announce the \"tank man \".
\"He built the man: 1,300 pounds concrete, painted a deep bronze with a briefcase in his left hand and a shirt in his other hand, staring at where the tank should be.
But just two weeks ago, Chen learned that he bought tanks from Britain for $30,000 --
Shipping charges are not included-
Will be late, sometimes in the middleJuly.
No tank \"tank man\" unveiled
The pioneer of a series of tanks encountered by mysterious people in real life --
Not an option for Chen.
So he built one himself.
He pieced together recycled steel, wood, fiberglass and plaster into a olive-green Imitation tank.
He used plastic foam on his tread and painted a dark purple color.
Chen, a Chinese with a New Zealand nationality, bought his artist\'s residence in Newberry Springs for $3,000 three years ago, with a population of about 300,000.
Eight months in a year, he built sculptures for the desert park.
He said that in the other four months, Chen worked for \"survival\" and made statues and statues he sold.
He left China for New Zealand in 1988.
He created statues in New Zealand, India and Hong Kong, including a replica of the protesters\' Democratic goddess in Tiananmen Square, which was confiscated in 2010 by Hong Kong police on the 21st anniversary of the crackdown.
Chen\'s volunteers live in prefabricated houses, a camper and a stable with rusty riding gear on the wall.
Chinese folk songs are made by a pair of huge, crackling speakers through the compound.
Some volunteers stayed here for a few days.
Others, like Feng Wenyao, stayed longer.
Feng, 38, has set up a website for free sculpture park in the past month.
Feng Xiaogang\'s goal, he said, was to counter the Chinese government\'s crackdown on information on Tiananmen Square.
He was only eight years old when the crackdown took place.
He first heard the news on a radio channel in the United States.
When he heard the government\'s official statement later, he knew \"it\'s not true.
13 years ago, Feng left his hometown in southeast China.
He believes China is not as democratic as it was in 1989.
\"Thirty years have passed and most people in China have not seen change,\" he said . \"
Feng spent a month in Chen\'s desert compound.
After seeing the appearance of \"tank man\", he will return to the plumber position in San Francisco.
After the unveiling, Guo Jianlin will also return to work and family.
Guo, 47, is from Beijing, where he works as an engineer.
He spent half a year in the desert.
He said Chinese government officials knew what he was doing.
They warned him through his wife.
But Guo believes that helping Chen Jian sculpture is the best way he knows to tell the world what\'s going on in Tiananmen Square.
\"They don\'t know my own children,\" Guo said.
Not all volunteers are Chinese or Chinese Americans.
As a liaison with the surrounding community, Jin helped Chen.
When the Chinese government cracked down on the protests in Tiananmen Square, Kim was studying in Germany and didn\'t know until a few years later when she saw a poster for the \"tank man.
\"I don\'t know what this is,\" she recalls . \".
\"You saw that man, you saw the tank, you were worried.
It conveys a sense of urgency.
\"She hopes that in the form of a sculpture, this image can open the eyes of the locals and the people who fly the plane --15.
At Yermo, the Interstate is like a conveyor belt for potential customers and conversions.
After the billboard blocked Peggy Sue\'s 50-year-old dinner, Chen\'s statue came into view;
Then there are 10 wooden signs that mark the precepts and prayer lines.
\"They say 75,000 people go back and forth on the highway every day,\" Kim said . \".
For student leader Zhou in Tiananmen Square, the transportation is convenient and the land is affordable.
But the desert has its own appeal.
\"This is what we do in China\'s pursuit of democracy,\" he said . \"
\"For 30 years, we have kept the flame alive in the desert.
Beautiful, wild, isolated, this is where we are.
Zhou Yongkang, 51, is the president of a humanitarian China advocacy group.
He wondered what the world would know when the people who witnessed Tiananmen Square were not there.
Perhaps these statues, along the highway, will make it harder to forget in this desolate land.
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