Tasteless Painting of Hitler in a Bangkok Art Studio
I was walking around Bang Rak district of Bangkok yesterday when I came across this art studio. I know artists are often trying to be provocative and I guess this one did their work as it did catch my attention. But it wasn’t exactly something I really wanted my eyes to see – a man wearing women’s lingerie with his legs spread. What’s worse of course is that the man in question here is Adolf Hitler in Nazi uniform. This painting is so tasteless that I cannot stand to look at it. It should have been put on display in the toilets, not in the window near an international hotel where anyone can see it. Thais are very sensitive about Buddha images being used improperly, why can’t they see that their use of Hitler is equally as offensive to much of the world.
What do you think?
12 thoughts on “Tasteless Painting of Hitler in a Bangkok Art Studio”
I suppose it depends on whether or not you approve of the use of an image of an extreme racist megalomaniac who tortured and murdered 6000000 people as an image of “art” or “fun”. There are many still alive who had close family who suffered and died because of him. I don’t think it is appropriate to use his image for “art” or decoration
Tasteless indeed!! Thais think they’re the only people in the world. Ask high school kids who Hitler is and they have no idea! But yes, I find their display of the swastika and hitler very offensive. They need to be informed about these things!
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I couldn’t agree more Richard and recently wrote a piece about this problem in Thailand for Al Jazeera – http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2013/08/20138916509337563.html
I could be wrong, But I believe the French, or someone in Europe started using men for modeling women’s clothing and women modeling men’s clothing. The Swastika has been in Asian and European(Aryan) Ancestry for many, many year. The Vikings, Anglo Saxon, and lots others used different types of Swastika symbols. Hitler and all his followers were never “Nazi’s” They were NSM(National Socialist. Nazi is more of an insult term. Although this may offend supremacist. I highly doubt that these underwear are women’s in the first place. I believe it’s suppose to symbolize (sexy) and that perhaps Hitler even had a sexy side. I do have to say that Hitler is not and was not a LADY BOY! KAH PUNA
De gustibus non est disputandum
you are starting to sound like those muslims who go around killing people over cartoons, movies, and books.
Perhaps the BBC can guide you in today’s interpretation of art and law. It seems the argument (that won) was that the “use of the Hitler salute and the swastika symbol are satirical and aim to diminish, not increase, their potency”. With regards to your statement “they complain so much about Buddha images being used inappropriately”, do they really? I know the Thai inform and request that respect is shown but “complain so much”? The one time I know of was on 2 July 2013 when a complaint was handed to the German embassy in Thailand for “disagree of (sic) the art of Face-up Buddha” in Munich. Which “so much” times did I miss? Finally: You mention is “being insensitive. Particularly as Bangkok has so many foreign tourists”. Hmmmmmm. . . I believe the the last Hitler fiascos in Thailand drew complaints from the Simon Wiesenthal Center (USA) and Germany. I can’t recall complaints from the GLBT community, the Romani or Russia, all three groups that also suffered terribly under Hitler. Nor were there complaints from China, Malaysia, Korea and Japan who, with the Russians, made up 44% of the 22 million tourists visiting Thailand in 2012. The Germans constituted 3% with the Americans even less. Do you really think many of the foreigners care? Congratulations on a very interesting post and without further ado here is the BBC (but quickly . . . the Brits weighed in at 4%):
For once I disagree with you Richard. If this was Thaiand’s ‘elite’ educational facility and the Hitler picture was on a mural depicting super heroes and senior students doing fascist salutes for their Facebook status, or little kids goose stepping round schools in Chiang Mai while their clueless teachers all shout ‘oooh naaaa raaak jaaaang” in unison or his face is used as a copy of a well known fried chicken franchise then I would be in agreement. However this is obviously some form of abstract expression and not some form of Nazi ideology (misplaced or otherwise).
The right to paint such pictures without fear of reprisal was afforded to us by our forefathers who fought for this right against the Fascist regimes of the 1930s and 1940s. How ironic you want to take that right away from people.
Thais (rightly or wrongly) are so easily offended by buddha images used inappropriately because they worship this idol. The only reason I would think someone would get upset of an image of Hitler being used inappropriately would be for the same reason.
You are definitely over reacting in this instance.
“why can’t they see that their use of Hitler is equally as offensive to much of the world”
Is it though? It’s a picture. Who really cares anymore? Some Thai ‘artist’ has seen a Banksy or a Hurst on the internet and come up with this relatively unoriginal idea. Yawn…big deal.
Personally, Hitler images and Swastika’s don’t bother me, but I do recognize it as being insensitive. Particularly as Bangkok has so many foreign tourists. Anyway, as they complain so much about Buddha images being used inappropriately, why can’t we say the same about Hitler images?
I don’t know about you Richard, but I don’t idolise Hitler images the same way Thais idolise Buddha images and therefore don;’t get offended when pictures of the hairy lipped one are used inappropriately.