The Yanghyun Foundation (Eunyoung Choi, Chief Director), announced Apichatpong Weerasethakul as the winner of the 7th Yanghyun Prize on September 22 2014.
He is awarded the 7th Yanghyun Prize as the honorable winner of the year at the award ceremony held at the Main auditorium
of the National Museum of Korea, Seoul, Korea, on Nov. 11.
Raised in the north-eastern Thai city of Khon Kaen, where his parents were doctors, Apitchatpong Weerasethakul trained in architecture before graduating in film at the Art Institute of Chicago in 1997. Subsequently he founded his own production-company 'Kick the Machine' in 1999, working independently from the Thai commercial film industry. Weerasethakul curretnly lives and works in Chiang Mai.
Weerasethakul's 'little films' first got noticed by the art world in France - in circles around Dominique Gonzales Foerster and Philippe Parreno - before entering the international film-circuit with the feature-length Blissfully Yours. This film received the Prix Un Certain Regard at the Cannes Film Festival in 2002, and in 2004 Tropical Malady won the Jury Prize there.
His acclaimed 2006 feature Syndromes and a Century was produced in the context of a music and opera festival in Vienna,organized by theatre director Peter Sellars.
Despite winning the Palme d'Or, again in Cannes in 2010, for his feature film Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives, Weerasethakul remains committed to making photographs, short films and film-installations and showing them in museums, art biennials, small scale art spaces and commercial art galleries.
His ambitious multi-platform installation Primitive constitutes an extraordinary and unusual project that reinvented the way of displaying moving images within an art space.
It has been shown in major international museums and art centres, among them Haus der Kunst, Munich, FACT, Liverpool, ARC, Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris,
New Museum, New York, HangarBicocca, Milano. Weerasethakul presented an outdoor sculpture The Importance of Telepathy, co-created with Chai Siri, in the last Documenta in Kassel in 2012.
Weerasethakul creates images that appear in art venues, film museums and film festivals alike. He is not the only artist or film-maker to do so.
Do they have toé Absolutely yes: in a world of heavy industry and rough commerce, there is little place for 'other' films.
Weerasethakul's oeuvre makes up a perfect case for 'other' means of production - read: funding sources - as well.
As a result he likes to adopt many different forms of presentation as well, from spatial installations on screens, sculptures and still photographs, to web-films, video clips and artist’s books, thus expanding the possibilities for display and audience.
The 'films' of Weerasethakul are characterized by 'margins': they are fragmented yet slow, they show erratic transitions and transformations, they accentuate subsidiary characters and sounds and they don't have real beginnings or endings. Weerasethakul has invented a new poetics of film:
known as 'Joei' or the 'Sergei Eisenstein of the jungle', Weerasethakul's films present a world that is distinctly mutable and elusive. Inspired by surrealism, Buddhism, soft homo-erotic imagery and his childhood love of science fiction, Weerasethakul depicts the jungle and rural Thai villages as places inhabited by ghosts and mystery, in which distinctions between the fictional and the real dissolve.
Weerasethakul is currently working with Illumination Films in London on a new feature film, provisionally entitled Love in Khon Kaen.
He is represented by the galleries such as Scai the Bathhouse in Tokyo, Kurimanzutto in Mexico City and Anthony Reynolds in London.
His works are in a number of public collections such as San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Foundation La Caixa, Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris and Tate.