tank man tango: perth

tank man tango: perth


” IT IS widely regarded as one of the images which changed the world: an unknown Chinese man standing in front of a line of Chinese tanks preventing their advance.” sydney morning herald, may 2009.


june 4 2009 was the 20th anniversary of the massacre of protestors at tiananmen square. tank man tango was an artwork concieved by sydney based artist deborah kelly as a public live monument to the tiananmen square protestors of june 1989.


participants around the world were invited to re-enact the steps taken by the ‘tank man’ on mass in a public setting in their own city.

pvi collective coordinated this event alongside resident cia artists hydra poesis in perth by hosting a rehearsal at cia studios on 3 june followed by the public event on the 4 june in perth city centre.  pvi organised the perth version of tank man tango , a memorial made up of dancing bodies in cities around the world. an echo across time and space, multiplied against forgetting; an image, a public participatory performance; an enduring archive.


creative team:

devised by: deborah kelly

performed in perth by: hydra poesis, pvi collective & creative commrades

researcher: deborah kelly  & boat-people.org


performance history: may 2009

perth city centre [perth version] london, bristol, mexico, singapore, melbourne, sydney, brisbane, netherlands





beauty & brutality, behind tank man tango, sydney morning herald. may 2009



tank man tango, reeldance moving image collection