Thai army censors exhibition in Bangkok

Harit Srikhao, Heaven Gate, 2015–16, print on fine art paper, 55.46 × 84 cm. Courtesy Gallery Ver, Bangkok.

Last week in Bangkok, Thai soldiers stormed into Gallery Ver and took down three works by Harit Srikhao that were included in his exhibition WhitewashArt Asia Pacific reports. Though the army didn’t provide any justification and Harit told the media he wasn’t sure what had happened, he also admitted that ‘it wasn’t beyond expectation’. Indeed, his Whitewash photographic series revisits some of the country’s recent political ruptures, including the military crackdown against the Redshirt protesters in 2010, which caused the death of over 90 people. The 22-year-old Harit started to dig into his country’s history after the 2014 coup, and realised that ‘although the death toll of this incident remains the highest in Thai history, none of the victims has received any justice from the law or society’. Whitewash, then, is an attempt to humanise these victims and provoke empathy, but also to highlight the brainwashing and ‘moral attunement’ on the young generations led by the government, and counter such ‘history laundering’. 

20 June 2017