Although it has been more than twenty years since Tiananman Protest took place in 1989, the authority persistently uses all means erasing the facts that Chinese people pursued democracy in this democratic and anti-corruption movement. In China, nowadays, young people are not aware the courageous actions, such as ‘Tank Man’ and erecting ‘Statue of Democracy’ facing Mao’s portrait on Tiananman Tower, emerged during student movement of 1989. Nonetheless, history should not be forgotten.
Information and communication technologies have inspired people to express their thoughts freely. We as artists, taking advantages of the development of mobile phone technology and smartphone applications, have revived the history of 1989 Tiananman Protest that has tremendous implications waiting for further examinations by our contemporaries.
Deploying Augmented Reality application, Layar (free download at http://layar.com) for Android and iPhone, we have created virtual ‘Statue of Democracy’ and ‘Tank Man,’ and installed those monumental icons on the physical sites where the real incidents took place. Any visitor, domestic or from abroad, can find those virtual monuments on Tiananmen Square and nearby East Chang’an Street with an iPhone or Android mobile device, as well as taking picture with them.
The images above indicate the real incidents, making process of Statue of Democracy & Tank Man (F1 & F3), the Augmented Reality on mobile devices (F2 & F4), and the exact locations of the AR work on Google map (F5).
Once the audience downloads the Layar Augmented Reality Browser to their Android or iPhone, he or she could stand in Tiananmen Square and point their device’s camera towards the northern side of the plaza where the Goddess of Democracy was originally erected. The application uses geolocation software to superimpose a computer generated 3D graphic of the Goddess of Democracy at the precise GPS coordinates of the original, enabling them to see the augmentation integrated into the physical location as if it existed in the real world. Similarly, the Tank Man augmentation would be placed on Chang’an Avenue northeast of Tiananmen Square in the exact location of the original event. Both augmentations will appear in the original scale and orientation.
1. Hardware: iPhone or Android Phone
2. Software: Layar, free download at http://layar.com
On February 4, 4 Gentlemen placed a Goddess of Democracy augmentation in Al Tahrir Square in response to the uprising in Cairo."