Skip to main content

Dissident 'pork' artist Guo Jian arrives in Sydney after deportation from China

By Zoe Li, CNN
updated 8:58 AM EDT, Tue June 17, 2014
Artist Guo Jian arrives at Sydney Airport on June 17.
Artist Guo Jian arrives at Sydney Airport on June 17.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • After being held by Beijing police for more than two weeks, Guo Jian is deported to Australia
  • The artist created a miniature model of Beijing landmark Tiananmen Square and covered it in ground meat
  • A former participant of the 1989 student demonstrations at the square, Guo is highly critical of Chinese army

(CNN) -- Prominent Chinese-Australian artist Guo Jian has arrived in Sydney after being deported from China where he was held by police for 15 days following his comments on the 25th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square military crackdown.

Guo arrived at Sydney Airport early Tuesday morning and told awaiting media that he was "happy to be back here."

Chinese-born Guo, 52, previously lived in Australia for nearly two decades. He returned to Beijing in 2005 to live and work.

Chinese artist Guo Jian arrested
Chinese dissident: NYU is forcing me out

According to a spokesman from Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Chinese authorities said Guo was detained and deported due to visa irregularities.

Artist Guo Jian's 2014 installation, "The Square", consists of a model of Beijing's Tiananmen Square covered in 160 kilograms of ground pork. Artist Guo Jian's 2014 installation, "The Square", consists of a model of Beijing's Tiananmen Square covered in 160 kilograms of ground pork.
'The Square'
HIDE CAPTION
<<
<
1
2
3
4
>
>>
Guo Jian\'s \ Guo Jian's "The Square" (2014)

Guo was detained on June 1 of this year after a profile of him was published in the Financial Times featuring his latest work: a billiard table-sized diorama of Tiananmen Square covered in 160 kilograms of ground pork, evoking memories of the bloody suppression of protesters in 1989.

Guo was an active participant in the 1989 demonstrations, which lasted weeks and culminated in Chinese troops opening fire on a largely student crowd which had occupied the central Beijing landmark.

In the FT article, Guo was highly critical of the People's Liberation Army: "The army is regarded as a loveable institution. But at Tiananmen I realized it's not, they will kill you if ordered to," he was quoted as saying.

Two days after the article was published, Guo was taken from his Beijing home.

Detentions were on the rise ahead of the 25th anniversary of the Tiananmen massacre, which was on June 4. Authorities across the country arrested a number of prominent dissidents and critics of the government, many of whom are still being held.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 5:29 AM EDT, Tue September 16, 2014
Christians in eastern China keep watch in Wenzhou, where authorities have demolished churches and removed crosses.
updated 1:38 AM EDT, Wed September 10, 2014
Home-grown hip-hop appeals to a younger generation but its popularity has not translated into record deals and profits for budding rap artists.
updated 1:45 AM EDT, Tue September 9, 2014
Reforms to the grueling gaokao - the competitive college entrance examination - don't make the grade, says educator Jiang Xueqin.
updated 8:18 AM EDT, Fri September 5, 2014
Beijing grapples with reports from Iraq that a Chinese national fighting for ISIS has been captured.
updated 10:00 PM EDT, Sun August 31, 2014
CNN's David McKenzie has tasted everything from worms to grasshoppers while on the road; China's cockroaches are his latest culinary adventure.
updated 8:57 PM EDT, Thu September 4, 2014
Beijing rules only candidates approved by a nominating committee can run for Hong Kong's chief executive.
updated 3:14 PM EDT, Fri August 29, 2014
China warns the United States to end its military surveillance flights near Chinese territory.
updated 11:12 PM EDT, Thu August 28, 2014
China has produced elite national athletes but some argue the emphasis on winning discourages children. CNN's Kristie Lu Stout reports
updated 1:13 AM EDT, Tue August 19, 2014
Chinese are turning to overseas personal shoppers to get their hands on luxury goods at lower prices.
updated 5:08 AM EDT, Fri August 15, 2014
Experts say rapidly rising numbers of Christians are making it harder for authorities to control the religion's spread.
updated 12:52 AM EDT, Mon August 11, 2014
"I'm proud of their moral standing," says Harvey Humphrey. His parents are accused of corporate crimes in China.
updated 3:42 PM EDT, Wed August 6, 2014
A TV confession detailing a life of illegal gambling and paid-for sex has capped the dramatic fall of one of China's most high-profile social media celebrities.
updated 12:10 AM EDT, Thu July 31, 2014
President Xi Jinping's campaign to punish corrupt Chinese officials has snared its biggest target -- where can the campaign go from here?
updated 3:12 AM EDT, Wed July 30, 2014
All you need to know about the tainted meat produce that affects fast food restaurants across China, Hong Kong, and Japan.
updated 10:30 PM EDT, Thu July 17, 2014
Some savvy individuals in China are claiming naming rights to valuable foreign brands. Here's how companies can combat them.
updated 5:11 AM EDT, Wed July 16, 2014
Is the Chinese president a true reformist or merely a "dictator" in disguise? CNN's Beijing bureau chief Jaime FlorCruz dissects the leader's policies
updated 11:44 PM EDT, Mon July 7, 2014
With a population of 1.3 billion, you'd think that there would be 11 people in China who are good enough to put up a fight on the football pitch.
ADVERTISEMENT