Apichatpong WEERASETHAKUL

At Media City Seoul 2010

Primitive (2009)

7-channel video installation

SeMA Gyeonghuigung Annex, Gallery G-1

Artist Profile

Born 1970; Lives and works in Chiang Mai

Working outside the studio system for over a decade, filmmaker Apichatpong Weerasethakul has developed an international reputation for his feature length films and video installations. Weerasethakul riveting body of work creates a cinematic space in which mystifying forces (phantasms, ghosts and afterlives) have starring roles.

His recent project Primitive was developed during Weerasethakul’s visit to northeast Thailand near the Laotian border while conducting research on his latest feature film Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives. During the research, he came across the sleepy village of Nabua, which had once been designated a ‘red zone’ and hence the target of fierce oppression, fighting and violence in the Thai government’s attempts to eradicate Communist sympathizers in the 1960s through the 1980s. As a result, the village is devoid of men as many villagers were either killed or had fled to the forest. Those who remained were mainly women. This reality of Nabua, known as ‘widow town’, is echoed in a local legend about a widow ghost who abducts men who enter her domain.

Weerasethakul’s Primitive re-imagines this terrain by creating various fictional scenarios in order to implant memory into a context that was stripped of it. The multi-platform work consisting of video projections, photographs, sculpture and synchronized sound conjure a dreamscape in the jungle, following the imagined male descendants of the Communist farmers as teenagers who lead a journey into fabricated memories.

One Response to “Apichatpong WEERASETHAKUL”

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  1. Yangachi wins Hermes Misulsang « Media City Seoul 2010 – Trust - September 5, 2010

    […] Apichatpong WEERASETHAKUL […]

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