The people walking the streets of Chiang Mai city yesterday got an eyeful. At 5pm on July 27th students and artists took to the streets.
At each junction and corner of the moat, 18 guerilla-style performance artists began their unique expressions. These artists could be seen dancing, singing and acting at various points along the old city. What was their message? Freedom.
In what these performance artists called “HOPE / BREATHE / DE-” the Thai artists explored interpretations of freedom of speech as well as freedom of expression.
These brave young artists came from two local groups: 15 of them from the Lanyim Theater group and three from a new performance artists alliance called The CMPF or The Chiang Mai Performance Artist Group.
The artists used their bodies and actions in an art form known as: performance art. This artform grew in popularity in the 1960s as an alternative artform but has garnered global acceptance as a growing way of art expression.
For two hours, the Lanyim Theater group and CMPF members took the spotlight. Members could be seen sewing, reading, eating and dancing as pedestrians, motorcyclists, shop owners, police and foreigners watched in awe.
Chiang Mai born Boat Sutasinee Kansomdee, a Chiang Mai University Masters Degree student and CMPF performer said about the event, “I’m so excited and worried about the show, but totally, I’m so glad to be a part of this event.” When asked about the most meaningful aspect of the demonstration she replied, “Freedom of expression by performance art for communication. Freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impartial information and ideas without interference by public authority. This is most important to me.”
New events from these two Chiang Mai groups are already in the works. CMPF can be contacted below for upcoming events and information: