The events that took place at Tiananmen Square in Beijing, China on 4 June 1989 attracted international attention and sparked outrage at the Chinese government’s military advance on student demonstrators. Twenty-five years on, a new generation of Chinese has grown up in a country that continues to grapple with issues of political liberalisation, democracy and censorship.
First published in 1989, acclaimed former Far Eastern Economic Review editorial cartoonist Morgan Chua’sTiananmen takes an emotional yet incisive look at the aftermath of the 4 June protests and the international response it provoked.
This updated edition commemorates the 25th anniversary of this watershed incident with new cartoons and a look at where the key figures involved then, are today.
“Cartoons that are extraordinarily evocative of the events of 1989 […] Executed in black and white, often with a wild frenzy of strokes and sharp lines, these images speak more eloquently than many written records of the events—one of the reasons that makes this historic edition a collector’s item.”
—Somak Ghoshal, Live Mint
“Tiananmen is as much protest art as it is political cartoon. And it is stronger for it.”
—Vikram Sinha, DNA India
“Morgan Chua’s novel is a fine example of classic political cartoons that will find space on a collector’s shelf for years to come...More than commemorating, Tiananmen documents the entire movement through a series of strong, powerful cartoons.”
—Vishwajyoti Ghosh, Tehelka
“Chua’s new book […] offers a tongue-in-cheek depiction of the period that led up to the massacre; it also tells us what some of the key leaders on both sides of the divide are doing now. In the book, Deng has been shown to be at the receiving end of some of Chua’s best cartoon-speak.”
—Paramita Ghosh, Hindustan Times
“[T]his book effectively shows the fervent spirit of activism that is alive in the hearts of academics, intellectuals, or just about any thinking, rational being who values freedom of expression, freedom of information, and transparency and accountability in political governance.”
—Dr Myra Garces, GatheringBooks
“Chua himself has quite a reputation across Asia…[and] is no stranger to different governments not being entirely happy with his cartooning oeuvre (which to me means a cartoonist is doing their job properly and should be a mark of honour, surely!)”
—Joe Gordon, Forbidden Planet International
“This is Morgan at his satirical prime…This is Morgan drawing blood and letting it bleed.”
—Lim Cheng Tju, comics historian, Singapore Comix
“Cartoons have seldom told the story of the Tiananmen tragedy…[Morgan Chua's] despair is illustrated through single-panel cartoons, each one offering a graphic attack on the bloody crackdown. Most of these black-and-white creations showcase a dark humour, which at once draws a smile and chills the spine.”
—Peh Shing Huei, The Straits Times
“A wonderful refresher course on one of the pivotal episodes of the 20th century.”
—Akshita Nanda, The Sunday Times
About the Creator
Morgan Chua is a Singapore-born cartoonist who started drawing for the Singapore Herald in 1970. When the paper was closed down by the government in 1971, Chua moved to Hong Kong and joined The Asian for nine months.
He then joined the prestigious Far Eastern Economic Review, where he started as an editorial artist and over 24 years rose to creative director. At the Review, he was known for his incisive single-panel political cartoons and for arresting and provocative magazine cover choices. He has also drawn cartoons for Hong Kong’s Next Magazine and Apple Daily.
Chua has published Tiananmen (1989, 2014), My Singapore (2000, 2008), Divercity Singapore: A Cartoon History of Immigration (2010), In Memory of Madam Kwa Geok Choo 1920-2010 (2011) and illustrated former Singapore President S R Nathan’s 50 Stories from My Life (2013). Most recently, Chua released LKY: Political Cartoons (2014).
Size: 170 x 255mm
Published: May 2014