Background and Necessity of the Establishment

Photograph is significant and meaningful since it was originated because a photograph can record truth and information of an event occurred at that moment perfectly.  It has become well known and widely utilized.  According to the truth which has been recorded at specific moments together with taking notes, it allows us to see many past histories and allows us to learn and witness the condition of the truth which can be referred to without question.  The importance of photographs has gradually risen according to the evolution of cameras.  Those cameras have been developed for further utilizations rather than recording data, as we can see that they have been used for creating arts, for advertisements and media and for other purposes nowadays.

In our history, we have used photographs since King Rama IV as seen a photograph of him taken with Queen Debsirindra of Siam which was sent as tribute to the president Franklin Pierce of the United States of America in 1856.  This photo is now exhibited at the Smithsonian Museum in Washington DC, United States of America.  From this event, it allows the president Franklin Pierce and people of the United States of America to be aware of tons of information about Kingdom of Siam during that period, and it is also a significance which indicates that we are civilized, not just an uncivilized country as seen from photographs.

The utilization of photographs has spread from Bangkok to other provinces in the Kingdom of Siam including Lanna provinces.  The utilization of photography has been used for recording information; such as photos of people, important places, way of life, and conditions of people in Lanna.  Once these photographs have been inherited from generations to current generation, they have become significant historical learning evidences, and they can also be referred without doubts.  However, Photographic Art Program of Media Arts and Design Department are aware of the values of these ancient Lanna photographs that should not be ignored.  Therefore, they act as the center of storing these valuable ancient Lanna photographs.

Photographic Art Program of Media Arts and Design Department starts being a leader in establishing Chiang Mai House of Photography in order to be the center of storing valuable ancient Lanna photographs and information of those photographs because there are tons of scientific and artistic information embedded in those photographs.  Those tons information are considered very valuable for Lanna and have been well stored systematically and orderly to be the learning center and to distribute to public in different manners in order to be utilized in the highest level of Lanna culture which is our uniqueness.  It can establish knowledge in which we will be able to develop further to extend the education which is our good identity.  However, this place also gathers researches and photographically-related articles which will be beneficial to the society for further studies or the application of sample researches to create more works.  Besides, it will push forward the photographic industries in Thailand for more strength because of the application of the cultural information which can create more outstanding works, and it can also create more values for domestic photographic industries as well.

Chiang Mai House of Photography will be the first officially-established place in southeast Asia region which shows the technological advancement in many manners including the preparedness of Chiang Mai University which provides scientific and artistic diversity and distributes for systematic learning.  This will show the potential of Chiang Mai University to step forward as the leader of Lanna cultural information to become an outstanding university and to prepare for AEC in the unique way.