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The Controversy around the Tienanmen Square Glass

If you are reading this you are probably aware of a glass I recently designed that contained an image similar to the Tank Man photo from the 1989 Tienanmen Square Massacre. It depicted the same scene as the iconic photo but Tank Man was replaced by a beer hop.

Upon posting this to Facebook, I was immediately met with comments in the “too far” and “offensive” categories and one in particular likening it to a 9/11 glass really hit home as I had not imagined that the glass would be in any way offensive in nature. To me it was more of a memorial or a symbol of standing up to oppression but due to the comments and what appears to be a faux pas on my part, my knee jerk reaction was to remove the image but leave up the post so that I could properly handle any backlash and deal with it right then. The last thing I want to do it try and pretend like it never happened but that brings me to my next line of thinking.

I feel like as a society we are in a time where people sensibilities are at an all time state of readiness, waiting to espouse some signal of their virtue to those that might feel the same way. This design was not meant to offend or even be controversial. I can empathize with those that may see it is in poor taste but I do not share that sentiment. I think anything we can inject into our lives that remind us of the courage it takes to stand against oppression and reminds us that there are people out there with that level of courage inside of them, is a great reminder that it can be inside any one of us. I am not trivializing what happened during the event or the courage of Tank Man in any way and if you feel that my design, by nature is doing so, I apologize to your personally but it is not intended.

With all of that being said, I am going to release the glass in a small run as close to cost as I can reasonably estimate. I will not advertise it on the Facebook group where I initially posted the image as to not further offend anyone who had issue with the design as that is the last thing I want. I’ll leave it on my site only for those that want to see it to voluntarily do so.

Let me know how you feel. Leave a comment down below and express your opinion. I am open to hearing you out on the situation. I’m not an unreasonable person and I enjoy the discourse.

My apologies to those that were offended and thanks to the outcry of support I received as well.

Trey Green

2 thoughts on “The Controversy around the Tienanmen Square Glass

  1. Count me in for one of these.

  2. Im in. Hope you post the time with a little notice in advance tomorrow.🍻
    Part of my comment to your FB post: I don’t understand the misguided outrage on the concept. The idea wasn’t intended to glorify the Chinese government’s Communist regime, if anything it’s the opposite–an act of defiance against it, risking his own life to stand up for what is right. Not to mention it’s one of the most iconic photos ever. He (tank man) should be revered as one of the bravest mofos of our lifetime. Profiting off that is open to debate i guess, but i get the op’s intention.

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