Tassanai Setthaseri : Chiang Mai University martial arts master who has become “short art, long cause”

Narathorn Netrakul

BBC Thai special correspondent

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image source, Netracool Narathon / Thai BBC


Tassanai Setthaseri Allegations that the university is harassing its students

Tasnai Setthaseree, a lecturer in the Department of Media, Arts and Media Design, Chiang Mai University, along with those accused in the 2021 case of “invading the art gallery and breaking the chain”, submitted a letter to the Chancellor of Chiang Mai University. Blame the university by suing its teachers and students.

Today (10 November) Tasnai Setthaseree and Srayut Iamueayut of the Faculty of Fine Arts of Chiang Mai University, together with Yossunthorn Rattapradit, a student of the Faculty of Fine Arts Traveled to acknowledge the statement at Phu Phing Krachaniwet Police Station, Chiang Mai Province of the case of Asavinee Wanjang, before Dean of the Faculty of Fine Arts It was reported that the three people were robbed in the case of trespassing to the art and cultural exhibition hall. Chiang Mai University and joint property loss case in 2021

Around 1:00 PM, the three came to report to the police station. Along with the banners of supporters who came to express their stances such as “If there is no freedom, why have art?” and “Short art, long cause”, along with the turmoil between the protesters and the police. As a result, one student was injured and the investigators made an appointment to hear the results of the subsequent investigation into the allegations on December 13 to hear the outcome of the case.

Tasnai expressed his disappointment at Chiang Mai University, stating that such allegations should not have happened. and disappointed that the professor informed the students in the university for academic freedom And universities should not file lawsuits related to teaching and learning. And it is an exhibition of students at the university itself.

“It’s like we’ve set up an exam room. And then there are people who don’t let the students enter the exam room. Don’t allow students to submit grades So what should we do? This kind of thing should not happen in any university in the world, it is very shameful,” said Tasnai.

Invasion of the art gallery, break the chain

On October 16, 2021, students of Media Arts and Design, Faculty of Fine Arts of Chiang Mai University have organized the art thesis “Whiplash” for 4th year students of the Faculty of Fine Arts The show is scheduled for October 18, and students must bring their works to be installed and displayed in the area by October 16, according to the original schedule they used to request permission to use the area.

The art gallery informed that the schedule of activities is empty between the beginning of October and October 25, 2021, but the Faculty of Fine Arts has not yet approved the use of the space. claiming that the student’s work is linked to politics

image source, Facebook/Page of the Mocha Community


Events in 2021

The faculty members who agreed with the students’ proposals were led by Tassanai Setthaseri, professors of the Faculty of Fine Arts. Chiang Mai University and Nithi Eawsriwong, former professor of the Faculty of Humanities at Chiang Mai University It was decided to take over the CMU Art Gallery area by the students using a tool to cut the key chain. After the university locked the door of the CMU Art Gallery and does not allow the works of students involved in politics to be exhibited in the area.

A student who is “shocked and disappointed”

Yossunthorn Rattapradit, a student who was charged, said he was shocked at first and disappointed that he would be prosecuted.

He revealed that the act was just a presentation. It also inhibits student expressions. And that area is also a thesis display area. to be part of the examination and graduation

While Watcharaphat Thammachak, former student and president of the Faculty of Law student club Chiang Mai University revealed that the case This is a tragic and embarrassing case, as Chiang Mai University has expressed its stigmatization of the student’s right to present their work.

image source, Netracool Narathon / Thai BBC


short art, long case

In the afternoon on 10 November, a group of protesters, together with Tasnai Srayut and Yossoonthorn, a group of people who have been accused of marching from Phu Phing Krachaniwet police station. Go to the Chiang Mai University President’s Office to submit a letter of request requesting Chiang Mai University’s role in filing a claim

The details of the letter submitted by the Tasnai group to the President of Chiang Mai University are as follows:

The incident when the three people were accused of invading the building of the Art and Culture Exhibition Hall and destroying the property This is to protect the rights and interests of students who must display their artwork in a timely manner. to prevent damage from happening If students are in the area Unable to display and those responsible teachers Therefore, it is necessary to enter in order to prepare a place and install such work.

before the event An application for permission to use the site is required in accordance with university regulations. And such actions are done with rights and they have a duty to prevent damage that will occur. All 3 therefore require the university to take action. by asking justice to withdraw the complaint and continue to investigate the offense in the case of dishonest performance

image source, Thasnai Sethaseree


Tassanai Setthaseri posted a question on his own page. “Does it have to be 10 fingers for handwriting now?”

From the aforementioned case Therefore, the executive officers are requested to do so and the President of Chiang Mai University acts as follows

1) Withdraw the complaint to the investigating officer of Phuping Police Station and provide additional evidence according to the facts appearing to the Chiang Mai Administrative Court as referred to.

2) establish a fact-finding committee to investigate the facts of the executive officers of the Faculty of Fine Arts relating to the procedure in this incident whether there was a crime in connection with the performance of a duty or negligence in the performance of the duty, and to report a false statement for the officer to investigate or not; quickly and if it appears that there is a person involved in this case acting illegally May you prosecute and take disciplinary action to the fullest extent.

“Universities must stop harassing students.”

The General Commission protects students from harassment by the state in political cases. Chiang Mai University Student Council Issued a statement to demand and ask questions to Chiang Mai University 3 items as follows

1. Chiang Mai University Must show a stance to maintain academic freedom by having to withdraw the prosecution order.

2. Chiang Mai University The Disciplinary Examination Asavinee Wanjat must be called for as personnel in the university administration Because there are reasons to believe that such an action is not for the benefit of the university for education, but for the benefit of the students who are partisan to many of deeds.

3. The university must come out and communicate to the public whether this complaint is the intention of Chiang Mai University administrators or not. And how does the university stand for academic freedom and the service that favors students to use university spaces to study? And how will the university ensure that university administrative personnel do not harass? Or use the lawsuit as a tool to scare the students, personnel and community of Chiang Mai University again.

However, after having representatives from the Office of the President of Chiang Mai University He came out to accept such a claim and sign the acknowledgment letter The protesters eventually dispersed.

Who is Ajarn Tassanai Setthaseri?

After the 2021 event, Assistant Professor Tasanai posted a message on his personal Facebook page saying that “art” and “freedom” are actually spelled differently. But they have the same meaning. The more you subdue, the more you explode. The more she was opposed. The art school is different from the mosquito larvae pool. in such a way.”

He later posted another message. By expressing gratitude for all the words of appreciation One section also discusses the nation’s youth being accused and imprisoned, so I hope everyone can help them. with freedom and respect

The incident caused the word “Tasanai” to be searched a lot on Google. by users in Chiang Mai and Bangkok

Assistant Professor Tasnai was born in 1968, graduated with a master’s degree in Visual Arts from the University of Chicago, USA, before joining in 2004 to work as a teacher. Department of Media Arts and media design Faculty of Fine Arts Chiang Mai University until now

As well as the role of the teacher in the role of an artist He was also attracted to the technique of using colour. There have been many exhibitions, for example, in 2018, he had a solo exhibition in Singapore in the series “Some Deaths Can’t Be Buried”, reflecting thoughts on Thai politics, including “What You Don’t See” Will Hurt Show You are Thai” which conveys the history of politics and the creation of Thai society.

Asst. “Operation 112 Hunger Strike” (Hunger Strike 112) with a group of independent artists to oppose Article 112 of the Criminal Law and political demonstrations after the coup on May 22, 2014 by signing a petition calling on the junta to maintain peace. National Stop restricted the freedom of academics and students.

image source, Facebook/THASNAI SETHASEREE


Professor Tasanai used to join “Operation 112 hours of fasting in protest”

In 2016, an article called “surrealism of the physical attraction In the history of Thai politics” in Matichon weekend, Ajarn Tasanai mentioned that Ajarn Tasanai is an artist who has played a role in expressing social and political attitudes through different forms of art continuously since a long time because believe Art is more than a reflection of the artist’s identity. And it must also be the mercury thermometer of society. where freedom is paramount in creating works of art and democracy is the only way to achieve that goal.

Asst is a group of more than 60 academics. 31 organizations signed a petition asking the court to review the bail order for Anon Nampa, Prit Chivaruk (Penguin), Somyot Pruksakasemsuk, and Mr Patiwat Seaweed Yam (Molam Bank)