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New CMU art gallery opens – aims to provide funding and inspiration


New CMU art gallery opens – aims to provide funding and inspiration

Siriporn Raweekoon
A new and inspiring addition to the large number of art galleries in Chiang Mai opened on July17 at Chiang Mai University’s Faculty of Fine Arts. The gallery will feature works of art including paintings, sculptures, ceramics, mixed- media works and installations created by CMU’s students, graduates, lecturers and senior faculty members. All the works of art on display will be for sale, with 30% of the profits being used to fund supplies of materials for art students’ use. Students from CMU’s Faculty of Fine Arts will also be able to gain inspiration for their own works from the exhibits.

A close- up of one of the pair of large ‘Sand Pictures’ of dragons shows the texture created by coating the canvas with sand before beginning to paint.
The opening was a fun occasion, presided over by CMU’s president, Pongsak Angkasith and attended by guests of honour including Chiang Mai’s deputy Governor Chumporn Saengmanee. The new gallery and the surrounding area was crowded with visitors, students and alumni, viewing the exhibits and enjoying music provided by a traditional Lanna band as well as a rock band, both featuring students from the Faculty of Arts. Other entrepreneurially- minded students had brought selections of their specially-designed t-shirts, which sold well at very reasonable prices! Famous Thai artist, Ajarn Thepsiri Suksopa, was on hand to provide charcoal portraits of guests and their families.

Somkiat Tungnamo (left) pictured during the opening ceremony of CMU’s new Faculty of Fine Arts Art Gallery, giving a souvenir of the event to the CMU President, Pongsak Angkasith.
The works of art on show at the opening reflected the amazing talent of the young people studying at or graduating from CMU, and of their teachers. Paintings in a variety of styles, subjects and sizes, most with a modern, somewhat abstract flavour, vied with ceramics, mainly of free-form shape, with thick, meticulously applied colourful glazes. Two large paintings of dragons in particular caught the eye – the ‘Sand Painting’ technique, used incredibly well in these images, is ancient and traditionally used across south-east Asia for temple and other decorations. With this technique, cloth is textured with sand before the artist commences painting. Another unique and very interesting technique shown was the use of monochrome glass mosaics to create a large portrait of His Majesty the King. All the works on display were affordable; all represented the flowering of art and its varied components and techniques within Chiang Mai University.
The new CMU Art Gallery, (very well worth a visit!), is open Monday to Friday between 8. 30 a.m. and 4.30 p.m. daily, on the ground floor of CMU’s Faculty of Art building.

Many from the crowd who attended the opening spent some time happily browsing through the selection of art books for sale – and, of course, buying the specially-designed t-shirts!

Famous Thai artist, Ajarn Thepsiri Suksopa,
 pictured drawing a charcoal portrait of one of the guests’ children.

A fine – looking new gallery at CMU for the exhibition of Faculty
of Fine Arts students’, alumni’s’ and teachers’ works of art.

Students from CMU’s Faculty of Fine Arts, pictured during their traditional Lanna music performance at the opening of the new art gallery.

A selection of the works of art on show, including a large glazed terracotta ceramic flower container modelled as a very cute monster.