The Faculty of Fine and Applied Arts at Chulalongkorn University has opened up its ambitious community outreach art program to online audiences, with the launch of an online exhibition and virtual tour on Google Arts & Culture, called “Chula Art Town: A public space for the community.”
Dean of the Faculty, Professor Dr Bussakorn Binson noted that the project, which began in the middle of 2019, was implemented to celebrate the 36th anniversary of the faculty. “We realize the importance of art … How could it serve the community around Chula?”.
She said that the faculty wanted to create a project that would not only serve the local community but also enable everyone visiting the area to enjoy and appreciate street art.
“We intend to make our Street Art accessible to the global community by presenting a range of local narratives from over 50 street artists,” she said
With support from the university’s property arm, Property Management of Chulalongkorn University (PMCU) and funds provided by the university’s Second Century Fund (C2F), ably supported by Urai Paints and ATM Spray and Thaweemongkol Construction, more than fifty well-known street artists descended onto the districts surrounding the university’s campus to create striking paintings and artworks.
Students from the university also joined in the outreach program; they created public health-themed street artworks on the walls of the university’s Faculty of Dentistry and brightened up the small alleys and streets in the Siam Square area.
Famous street artists like Goh M Buddha and Alex Face created graffiti-inspired artworks in Siam Square (a popular area with the young generation) as well as in the traditional Thai-Chinese communities which are adjacent to the university, such as Samyan and Suanluang.
The project was further developed in January this year when an innovative ‘Riding Tours’ program was created using a custom-made phone app to enable motorcycle taxi drivers to ferry art lovers and visitors to more than 50 artworks in the area.
Information on each artwork and artist is made available via QR code. The next stage is to invite tuk (3-wheeled vehicle) drivers to train on a similar program.
The software was developed by Dr. Vorapoj Songchareon, a multimedia and computer graphics lecturer working in tandem with the Faculty of Fine and Applied Arts Multi-disciplinary Art Innovation Center (FAAMAI).
FAAMAI is developing a digital arts hub in the faculty, which includes two new facilities: FAAMAI Dome, an innovative geodesic dome space for exhibitions and events, located next to the university’s Centenary Park; and FAIMAI Studio, an art and design lab fully-equipped with a comprehensive range of tools needed for digital arts production.
A print and virtual guide to Chula Art Town was launched on 11 August 2020.