Local news

Teachers, students break through art gallery gate over cancelled exhibition


SOME teachers and students at Chiang Mai University today (Oct. 16) broke through the gate and door of an art gallery to prepare for an annual art exhibition after being stopped from doing so with power and water supply being cut, Thai Rath newspaper said.

These students also filed a complaint to pursue a lawsuit against the university management for violating their rights and blocking self-expression by refusing to let them use the gallery even though this event is a continuation of an annual tradition.

This year’s exhibition was to run for a week and preparation to be made this weekend. However with power and water supply being cut this issue has to be resolved before it could open for outsiders to attend.

The professors who supported the students said they did so to uphold their rights and are not worried about a lawsuit for breaking through the gate and door as an art exhibition does not cause any damage.

Assoc. Prof. Somchai Preechasilpakul, of the university’s Faculty of Law, said the university management refused to let the event take place this year because they did not want political interference with this being the grounds that not just this university but many others too use to block events.

However he said these are all lies because this area had been used for political rallies before the 2014 coup and the university should allow different groups to freely express their opinions regardless of which side they are on with this being an important function of the university.

Universities should create intellectual growth not just in the field of art but all academic disciplines, he added.

Asst. Prof. Tassanai Setthaseri, of the department of media arts and media design Faculty of Fine Arts, said in banning this exhibition the university referred to an announcement made last April that it intends to make it more difficult for students to hold political events in order to prevent chaos in the society and not damage morals.


Chiang Mai University teachers and students breaking through the art gallery gate and door today. Photos: Thai Rath

Leave a Reply