1970, Bangkok, Thailand
Working in the space between cinema and contemporary art, Apichatpong Weerasethakul creates installations, videos, short and feature films that are often non-linear and transmit a strong sense of dislocation and otherworldliness. Through the manipulation of time and light, Weerasethakul constructs tenuous bridges for the viewer to travel between the real and the mythical, the individual and the collective, the corporeal and the chimeric. Over the years, the majority of his projects have involved many of the same actors, which has allowed him to capture different phases in their lives and their experience of ageing. Frequently set in rural Thai villages and forests, his films traverse an extremely personal territory, inviting the viewer to enter the subjective world of memory, myth, and deep yearning. By using unconventional narrative structures, expanding and contracting the sensation of time, and playing with ideas of veracity and linearity: Weerasethakul’s work sits comfortably in a world of his own making.
In 1994, Weerasethakul earned his BA in architecture from Khon Kaen University in Thailand. In 1998, he received his MFA in Filmmaking from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, as well as an Honorary Doctorate from the same institution in 2011. In 1999, he co-founded Kick the Machine Films, a company that has produced many of his own films as well as other experimental Thai films and videos that could not find support under the established Thai film industry. The French Government named him Chevalier de l'ordre des arts et des lettres and Officier de l'ordre des arts et des lettres in 2008 and 2011, respectively. His art projects and feature films have won him widespread recognition and numerous festival prizes, including three from the Cannes Film Festival: A Certain Regard for Blissfully Yours in 2002, Prix du Jury for Tropical Malady in 2004, and Palme d'Or for Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives in 2010.
Apitchatpong Weerasethakul lives and works in Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Past exhibitions and screenings include: A Conversation with the Sun (VR), Theater der Welt/Theater of the World, Frankfurt and Offenbach, Germany (2023); The World of Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Film at Lincoln Center, New York (2023); Roots are Tentacles, Stadtkino Basel, Switzerland (2022); Periphery of the Night, Institut d’Art Contemporain Villeurbanne/Rhône Alpes, France (2021); Apichatpong Weerasethakul: The Serenity of Madness, Taipei Fine Arts Museum, Taiwan (2019), Oklahoma City Museum of Art (OKCMOA), OK (2018), Museum of Contemporary Art and Design (MCAD), Manila, Philippines (2017), School of the Art Institute of Chicago, IL (2017), Para Site, Hong Kong, China (2016), MAIIAM Contemporary Art Museum, Chiang Mai, Thailand (2016); Apichatpong Weerasethakul. Luminous Shadows, Contemporary Art Centre, Vilnius, Lithuania (2018); Tate Film Pioneers: Apichatpong Weerasethakul: Mirages, Tate Modern, London (2016); Fireworks (Archives), SCAI The Bathhouse, Tokyo (2014); Photophobia, Stenersenmuseet, Oslo, Norway (2013); For Tomorrow For Tonight, UCCA Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing (2012) and Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA), Dublin (2011); Primitive, New Museum, New York (2011) and Musée d'art moderne de la Ville de Paris (2009); Retrospektive Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Filmmuseum München, Munich, Germany (2009), among others.
Past group exhibitions include: Downbeat: Denniston Hill at Marian Goodman Gallery, Marian Goodman, New York (2023); TODOS JUNTOS (All Together), kurimanzutto, New York, NY (2022); Building Romance, Toyota Municipal Museum of Art, Aichi, Japan (2018); SUNSHOWER: Contemporary Art from Southeast Asia 1980s to Now, Mori Art Museum, Tokyo (2017); BODY/PLAY/POLITICS, Yokohama Museum of Art, Japan (2016); Today is the day – 70th Memorial of Atomic Bombs in Hiroshima, Watarium Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo (2015); A Journal of the Plague Year. Fear, Ghosts, Rebels. SARS, Leslie and the Hong Kong history, KADIST, San Francisco, CA (2015), Arko Art Center, Seoul (2014) and Para Site, Hong Kong, China (2013); Thai Transience, Singapore Art Museum (SAM) (2012); Transformation, Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo (MOT) (2010); The view from elsewhere, Sherman Contemporary Art Foundation (SCAF), Sydney, Australia (2009) and Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA), Brisbane, Australia (2009); among others.
Weerasethakul has participated in various international biennials, including: Aichi Triennale 2022, Japan; International Art Exhibition at the 58th Venice Biennial (2019); 12th Gwangju Biennale, South Korea (2018); 14e Biennale de Lyon, France (2017); 20th Biennale of Sydney, Australia (2016); Sharjah Biennial 11, United Arab Emirates; dOCUMENTA (13), Kassel, Germany (2012); 6th Seoul International Biennale of Media Art (SeMA) (2010); Singapore Biennale 2008; 3rd Guangzhou Triennial, China (2008); 5th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art (APT5), Brisbane, Australia (2006); IX Baltic Triennial of International Art, Vilnius, Lithuania (2005); 2004 Taipei Biennial, Taiwan; 1st T.I.C.A.B – Tirana International Contemporary Art Biannual, Albania (2001) and 7th International Istanbul Biennial (2001).