Ricker Choi (b. 1975)

Winnie the Pooh at Tiananmen Square

Original artwork: acrylic on canvas
Print edition: pigment print on PVC Foam Board

24 x 30 in.
Executed in 2021

Chinese netizens ridiculed Xi Jinping using the cartoon character Winnie the Pooh. For example, when Xi shook hands with Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, netizens posted Winnie the Pooh and Eeyore shaking hands. In China, as in other authoritarian society, the leader is sacred and must not be mocked. Hence, Chinese censorship had since then banned any images of Winnie the Pooh.

In the painting, the artist portrays the cartoon character raising the Hong Kong's Revolution of Our Times flag, in front of Tiananmen Square where Chinese army opened fire into Chinese students protesting on 1989 June 4th. In the painting, the HK protest flag comically hid the head of the soldier. The artist has changed the Chinese words at Tiananmen Square into "Democracy Freedom Human Rights Rule of Law" (left) and "Heaven Ends CCP" (right).