Curatorial Projects > Present Tense Biennial: Chinese Character (2009)

Khiang H. Hei
The Gate of Heavenly Peace 5, 2008
Digital c-print

“I went to China in search of my identity, to explore my own and my family’s past, and to understand the "Cultural Revolution" that spread from China to Cambodia. Before I had the opportunity to explore my own ancestry or personal history, I found myself in the middle of China’s turmoil. These explorations led to a dramatic conclusion as the political activism and awareness taking place among young people in China culminated in the student-led Tiananmen Square demonstrations in Spring 1989. From mid-April to June 9, I spent most of my times between my dormitory and the Square, talking to students and taking photographs. I felt both an insider and an outsider in Beijing, and the photographs I took reflect the intimate access I had to the demonstrations being Chinese, and I was still discovering and confronting what it meant to be Chinese during this turbulent time.” - Khiang H. Hei

Present Tense Biennial: Chinese Character

May 1 - August 23, 2009
Chinese Culture Center
San Francisco, CA