Painting: 5 December 2019
Acrylic paint on canvas
On November 21, 2019, I received a text from Chut: "Kamin, can I ask you for a favor? I'm driving an effort to mitigate the air pollution problem in the name of the Chiang Mai Breathe Council (CMBC) and would like to produce blue T-shirts with the words 'same breath' screen-printed on the left chest. These T-shirts will be sold to raise funds to support our activities. Can you design it for us? Thank you very much." I then gave Chut a call.
How much can you make from the sales? Why don’t you go get funding from relevant government bodies? I did so, but they only provided us 10,000 baht and that’s not enough. I think you are not putting the right man on the right job. It’d be better to ask my students or other artists with brighter and more colorful designs to help. For my part, I think I could help to raise more money than selling T-shirts. I’m thinking of hosting an artwork auction to raise at least one million baht for you.
On November 26, 2019, I called my fellow artists and culturalists to invite them to have a conversation with Chut at the studio. They had many questions to ask prior to deciding whether to join the Art for Air project.
1. What is the CMBC?
2. How do you plan to make use of the money? Why do you need money? Isn’t this a charitable effort?
3. Is Chut a good guy?
4. What are CMBC’s past activities and future plans for both the short and long term?
5. Who would join this auction? What if the auction didn’t go through?
That’s why I invited them all to listen to Chut’s explanation and answers to their queries. In fact, although I myself didn’t know a single thing about this issue before, I still wholeheartedly believed in Chut right from the start. I’ve known him for more than 20 years and have seen how he’s always been engaged in community service. We worked together in the watershed forest conservation project, and I later saw him build the Lanna Wisdom School. So, I have no doubt in him. I think the majority of people nowadays have lost significant trust in each other. I believe everyone is willing to contribute to society but doesn’t know whom to trust when it comes to providing financial or physical help. Air pollution is everyone’s problem. So, in a way, we are helping no one but ourselves. All of us are part of the CMBC because we share the same breath.