Artist detained on eve of 35th Tiananmen Square anniversary

Sanmu Chen miming ‘8964’ near Victoria Park, Hong Kong. Courtesy @holmeschan_/X

Artist Sanmu Chen was detained on the eve of the 35th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square Massacre after appearing to gesture the numbers ‘8964’ in the air, alluding to the date of the event, 4 June 1989.

AP News reports that Chen performed this gesture outside the Causeway Bay station near Victoria Park where he also mimed pouring wine on the ground in reference to the Chinese tradition of mourning. Police quickly arrived after a report about the artist ‘causing chaos’, and transported Chen to the station where he was questioned but later released ‘unconditionally’. Chen was also detained on the same day last year after exclaiming, “Hong Kongers, do not be afraid. Don’t forget tomorrow is June 4.” Australia Broadcasting Corporation also reports that six people were detained last week for sedition, having published posts related to the Tiananmen Square Massacre.

Since the new national security law came into effect in 2020, Hong Kong’s previously annual 4 June vigil, which was held in Victoria Park to remember the victims of the government crackdown that led to the killings of hundreds of pro-democracy student protestors, has ceased action.

Chen being detained by police. Courtesy @holmeschan_/X

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