Media contact: Cynthia Medina, [email protected], 848-445-1940

Tiananmen Square Photographer Available to Comment on Protests’ 30th Anniversary

Rutgers–New Brunswick art museum shares college student’s photos of historic tragedy

New Brunswick, N.J. (May 30, 2019) – Khiang Hei, who was an American exchange student in Beijing during the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests and whose photos of the tragic event are the subject of a 30th anniversary exhibit at Rutgers University–New Brunswick’s Zimmerli Art Museum, is available for interviews via Skype or email.

June 4 marks the 30th anniversary of the protests’ end, in which troops with assault rifles and tanks fired on demonstrators and cleared the square.

“I was both an insider and an outsider. Being of Chinese ancestry, my appearance allowed me to blend in, but I didn’t really understand the dynamics of the protest or the nuances of local dialect,” said Hei. “I knew something big was happening that would make history.”

Hei, a U.S. citizen, traveled to study at Beijing Teachers College in the spring of 1989. A fellow student told him of plans to demonstrate in Tiananmen Square to honor the death of Hu Yaobang, a former Communist Party leader forced to resign after pursuing economic and political reforms. Hei brought his Canon F1 camera to the square many times over the ensuing weeks, especially when he saw events taking on a historic magnitude.

The exhibit, “Tiananmen Square, 1989: Photographs by Khiang H. Hei,” includes photos he took in Tiananmen Square from April through June 1989 of protestors, military members and violence.  It will remain on view at the Zimmerli Art Museum through July 28.

Download photos from the exhibit here: Tiananmen Square, 1989: Photographs by Khiang H. Hei.

Read the full story on Rutgers Today.


Broadcast interviews: Rutgers University–New Brunswick has broadcast-quality TV and radio studios available for remote live or taped interviews with Rutgers experts. For more information, contact Neal Buccino [email protected]


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