As the 32nd anniversary of June 4 approaches, commemorative events are being planned around the world. The China Democratic Party, Humane China, China Foundation for Democracy Education, China Democratic Front and many other organizations will hold a dedication ceremony for a large sculpture of the “Chinese Communist Virus” and a groundbreaking ceremony for the “Memorial for the Victims of Communism” at the “Freedom Sculpture Park” in Southern California on June 4. The groundbreaking ceremony of the “Communist Victims Memorial” will add a new chapter to the June 4 commemorative activities and continue to pass on the spirit of June 4.
The Voice of America reporter visited the “backyard” of the Freedom Sculpture Park —- sculpture farm, the birthplace of the Freedom Sculpture Park’s works. The production of the large sculpture “Chinese Communist Virus” is nearing completion.
The simple farm, named “Newberry Springs Institute,” is located in the middle of the Mojave Desert in Southern California.
Liberty Sculpture Park’s “64” landmark, Tank Man, and the Indian “Crazy Horse Chief,” “Liu Xiaobo in the Cage,” and “Hong Kong Time Revolution” and so on, are all here through the fingers of sculptors and countless volunteer staff to complete the sublimation from clay to art, until it stands next to the 15 freeway connecting Los Angeles to Vegas, becoming a shouter that does not close.
More than a floor high, the “Communist Virus” is in the process of being completed. It is a large scale work consisting of the head of Xi Jinping, the top leader of the Chinese Communist Party, and approximately 30 “New Crown Viruses”.
Chen Weiming, the sculptor who led the design and production of the work and chair of the Los Angeles committee of the Chinese Democratic Party, told VOA, “This is the 32nd year of 64. 32 years ago, the Chinese Communist Party suppressed a pro-democracy petition, and democracy was aborted. If Zhao Ziyang and Hu Yaobang had won their reforms, there would not have been the subsequent lack of freedom of press and speech, and Li Wenliang would not have been admonished. If the virus leak had occurred in the United States, the information would have been made public long ago and would not have spread to the world.”
Chen Weiming told the Voice of America that the work was made of fiberglass, “the same material used to make yachts, with a steel and angle steel structure inside.”
Chen Weiming said, “The main sculpture, not counting the virus, is made up of about 60 molds; more than 30 viruses, each requiring four molds. Because there is only one set of such molds, we can only do a maximum of three viruses per day.”
Sculptor Sulid is a longtime supporter of the work at Freedom Sculpture Park. Living thousands of miles away, he frequently travels between the two places at his own expense in order to participate in various projects at the Freedom Sculpture Park.
He told Voice of America, “I believe that as an artist, there should be a responsibility for justice, to reveal what I believe to be the truth through my work. Although (the Chinese Communist virus sculpture) may seem like a very flirtatious thing, who’s to say it’s not real? The professional team took the work designed mainly by Mr. Chen and did their best to bring it out for the world to see.”
Chen Weiming said the sculptures, which he presided over the design of, were basically made possible with the long-term support of volunteers; generally, each project takes about a few months to complete, “The Communist virus was started last November.”
Zhao Yongkui is one of the board members of Freedom Sculpture Park and a volunteer. He told Voice of America, “I’ve been doing the same thing with Mr. Chen, since the founding of Freedom Sculpture Park. Home is in Los Angeles, so I’ve been working here ……”
Yuan is a professional photographic artist with his own business and has worked with several top commercial brands. He told Voice of America that he has settled in the U.S. since he came to study and is committed to the pursuit of democracy and freedom; he now works for the Freedom Sculpture Park on a variety of “jobs” from external liaison to specific sculpture work, and is what Chen Weiming calls a “workhorse. He is what Chen Weiming calls “the main team member”.
Also present was photo artist Jerry, a photojournalist who has been following sculptor Chen Weiming’s journey in recent years.
He told the Voice of America that he had heard some dissidents say that Mr. Chen had done something that he had wanted to do for years but hadn’t. “I felt interested and thought that Vermin was someone who did something real. Wanted to do his documentary. I studied journalism, so I dug into his journey and explored why he was doing this.”
He said that originally, Chen Weiming intended to make “Liu Xiaobo in the Cage” during Liu Xiaobo’s lifetime, “…… after he finished a sentence, the electric drill squeaked, the powder flew, the camera captured the tearing of the sound in the telling. Li Wangyang works, I am most proud of the shot is when the plaster is knocked off the face. Chen Weiming said that the sculpture felt ugly to the layman, but after we plucked away the layers, we saw the tall image of a man willing to die for the democracy movement who was beheaded and never looked back, and it came out.”
Mr. Yuan, the photographer, told Voice of America that the sculpture park has so far produced about 10 sculptures; moreover, these sculptures have been completed with the selfless help of volunteers; no less than 100 people have enthusiastically contributed to the sculpture park’s works in various ways.
The 32nd anniversary of June 4 will be marked by the presence of U.S. Congressman Chris Smith, a long-time critic of the human rights situation in China; Wei Jingsheng, Chairman of the Overseas Joint Conference of the Chinese Democracy Movement; and Wang Dan, one of the leaders of the Tiananmen Student Movement.