CMU faculty: Art pieces were removed as they could be seen as illegal
Chiang Mai University’s (CMU) Faculty of Fine Arts came out to defend itself after being criticised for removing certain art installations at an exhibition, saying: “We decided to move the art pieces since they could be seen as illegal things.”
On Monday, a video clip showing a CMU art professor attacking university executives for removing students’ art installations went viral.
The story started when a group of people attired in yellow entered the exhibition and began moving some pieces on display to a parked pick-up truck that belonged to the faculty.
The installations appeared to depict the aftermath of protests.
The executives ignored students and other officials who tried to stop them until art professor Thasnai Sethaseree appeared at the scene.
Thasnai immediately began asking the execs to explain themselves, and when they couldn’t, he began attacking them for not appreciating art. The incident was live-streamed on Facebook and went viral.
The execs eventually agreed to bring back the pieces they had removed, claiming they thought they were “clearing trash”.
The university management has also called on the executives to explain themselves.
On Tuesday, the Faculty of Fine Arts issued a statement clarifying their controversial action. The statement explained that some “suspicious” art pieces – such as an adapted flag with improper sentences – were found, and was not claimed by anyone. So the executives decided to move the particular pieces as they could be seen as “illegal”, in order to protect the whole faculty – professors and students.