Art media

art and badminton team up to help ex-prisoners

A new chance: Thailand Badminton Association President Khunying Patama Leeswadtrakul, center, poses with Thailand Institute of Justice Executive Director Phiset Sa-ardyen, third from right, and Thailand’s national players badminton as well as former detained artists.

The Thai Institute of Justice (TIJ) has partnered with the Thai Badminton Association (BAT) to organize an art exhibition aimed at supporting ex-prisoners in their return to society.

The “Beauty of Opportunity” exhibition features watercolors inspired by the stories of prisoners and the importance of providing reintegration opportunities for people who have made mistakes in life.

The stories were shared through artists’ productions in various media, including photography and street art. The artists also chronicled the experience of incarceration under the concept “Opportunities and Sports”.

Opportunity knocks: Khunying Patama, left, presents a collection of paintings to Mr. Phiset.

The exhibition is held in front of the Impact Arena stadium and is open during the Total Energies BWF Thomas & Uber Cup 2022 Finals from May 8-15 and the Toyota Gazoo Racing Thailand Open 2022 from May 17-22.

The exhibition was initiated by BAT President Khunying Patama Leeswadtrakul, who is also a TIJ Board Member.

Khunying Patama said the association cooperated with the TIJ to give prisoners a chance to start a new life and put on an exhibit that depicts the backgrounds of those who had previously made mistakes.

Khunying Patama, who is also a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and vice-president of the Badminton World Federation (BWF), said the exhibition project had been proposed to the BWF and the federation had accepted, allowing the exposure to be presented amidst international tournaments with purpose, the project will bring benefits to the society apart from any commercial purpose.

“The association supports those who provide opportunities for social reintegration by offering sports as an alternative option for people who have already made a mistake,” Khunying Patama said.

Chontit Chuenurah, director of TIJ’s office for Bangkok Rules and Treatment of Offenders, said the exhibit was previously held at Chulalongkorn University’s Centenary Park.

There he presented the background stories of ex-convicts who struggled to start a new life in society.

Hey, this is us: The Thailand women’s national badminton team looks at portraits of themselves before they are displayed at the ‘Beauty of Opportunity’ exhibition at Impact Muang Thong Thani.

The stories were told through paintings drawn by many artists including Anuchit Khamnoi, owner of Facebook page “Kiwtum”, and street artist Norarat Thawin-anan, alias “Abi”.

For example, the hourglass the painting, drawn by Abi, is inspired by the prisoners’ handwritten letters in which they reflect on their life in prison while waiting for freedom.

Along with the paintings, photos by PPTV documentary photographer Somsak Netthong follow the life of a former inmate.

“We find that sport is important for our body and mental state and can create positive conditions for inmates to move on,” Ms Chontit said.