Internationally-acclaimed graffiti artist Alex Face has been told to remove his iconic three-eyed kid character, Mardi, from the exterior of Peranakan Nitat Museum in Phuket Town.
The move was fuelled by complaints from locals about the artwork.
Weerachai Pranpeerapaiboon said in a press conference last Friday that the move comes after analyzing the findings from a survey conducted by “So Phuket”, the group behind the graffiti project. Weerachai is the project coordinator of the group.
The 10-day survey revealed that people fall into three categories in regards to their views on the mural: those who support the project, those who are against the project for conservation reasons, and those who believe the situation is causing a rift in society.
So Phuket has decided to delete the artwork to keep the peace in the local community.
Alex Face will have to repaint the mural himself and it is expected to be completed by May 15.
Alex Face’s controversial art work depicts the tradition of how Phuket locals celebrate the birth of a child. He painted Mardi with a Phuket brooch and holding a Peranakan wooden basket filled with “Eiw Pueng” fried sticky rice with BBQ pork and Chinese red eggs to share with neighbors.
The mural is one of 12 murals privately-funded by F.A.T. Phuket to celebrate Phuket being named the fifth “City of Gastronomy” by Unesco.
The three other finished works are Mardi with a Loading Cart by Alex Face at a wet market in downtown Phuket, Mardi in a Chinese Red Tortoise Cake Dress by Alex Face in the old town area and the Pigeon by street artist Rukkit on Thalang Road.
The 12 murals will be completed by October 2016.
Mardi on the wall of Paranakan Nitat Museum.
Mardi in traditional costume holding a loading cart.
Mardi in Chinese red tortoise ‘Ang Ku’ cake dress.
The Pigeon by Rukkit.