Poster of Apichatpong Weerasethakul

ShanghART is pleased to present the first solo exhibition in China by the internationally acclaimed and award-winning Thai filmmaker, video and new media artist Apichatpong Weerasethakul. Consisting of video installations and photographic works created between 2007 to the present, the artist himself states that the scope of the exhibition is comprised of “selected works from the past ten years that reflect a journey and discovery of places in Northeastern Thailand, from Khon Kaen where I grew up, to Chiang Mai where I now live, where fact, fiction, and dream merge.”

Long known for how his work intertwines memory with intimate experience, the title of the exhibition, Monuments, literally refers to both the solid, recurring images of statuary featured in the artist’s work, which, by extension, bears his amorphous indelible memories. This seemingly paradoxical context unifies Apichatpong’s profound sense of a spiritual realm within the boundaries of his homeland and places of alienation; the past and present, a seemingly hallucinatory memory commingled with mundane reality. His reflexive, non-linear narratives enable ephemeral elements to merge and reemerge, such as light and phantoms to be attached to his personal existence and experience. Works featured in Monuments reflect various stages of the artist’s self-exploration and persistent discovery from his birthplace in the northeastern Thailand to his current residence in Chiang Mai during the past decade.

Each work in Monuments can be read as a passageway with fragmented traces in motion, leading toward the artist’s floating world. The ascending chronological order of how the works are arranged from Haiku (2009), screened at the Tate Modern in 2016, to async – first light, (2017) the new music video collaboration with Ryuichi Sakamoto, to the latest works on the gallery’s second floor, further emphasises the artist’s multiple diverging paths. Viewers are invited to contemplate “a future.” Video installations shown on the gallery’s first floor, Fireworks (Fans), also known as Home Movie, featured at the Biennale of Sydney last year, and Invisibility, both from 2016, which premiered at the Saitama Triennale, enrich the visitors’ experience in comprehending the pattern and trajectory of the artist’s creations. Following one work to the next the journey itself generates a dislocating ambiance as if following the artist from cave to cave in the deep Thai jungle that is featured in many of the works on view.

Highlighted Works

async – first light (2017), a music video collaboration with Ryuichi Sakamoto, premiered in Watarium Mu-seum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo, Japan 2017

Invisibility (2016), 1st Saitama Triennale, Saitama, Japan, 2016; Museum of Contemporary Art and Design (MCAD), Manila, Philippines, 2017

Fireworks (Fans) (2016), The 20th Biennale of Sydney, 2016; Apichatpong Weerasethakul: ‘BODY / PLAY / POLITICS’ at Yokohama Museum of Art, Kanagawa, Japan, 2016

Haiku (2009), Tate Modern, “A night with Apichatpong Weerasethakul” , 2016

About the artist

Apichatpong Weerasethakul (B. 1970) was born in Bangkok and grew up in Khon Kaen in north-eastern Thailand. He studied Architecture in Khon Kaen University and later obtained M.F.A in filmmaking in the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He has set up his studio in Chiang Mai, Thailand where he lives and currently works.

Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s feature films, short films and video installations have won him numerous influential awards and widespread international recognition. He was awarded the title of Chevalier de l’ordre des arts et des lettres and Officiers de l’ordre des arts et des lettres in 2008 and 2011 respectively. Apichatpong was honoured Japan’s “Fukuoka Art and Culture Prize” and the Sharjah Biennial Prize of the 11th Sharjah Biennial in 2013. He was one of the shortlisted artist of the 2010 Hugo Boss Award. He received the Principal Prince Claus Award in 2016. Apichatpong’s film works, Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives has won the Cannes Palme d’Or in 2010, Tropical Malady won the Cannes Competition Jury Prize in 2004 and Blissfully Yours won the Cannes Un Certain Regard Award in 2002. His three films were listed in “The 21st Century’s 100 Greatest films” released by BBC Culture in 2016.  In the same year, a retrospective of Apichatpong’s films was presented at Tate Britain, UK.

His works are in numerous international museum of distinguished public collections, including Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA), Spain; Tate Modern, London, U.K.; Fondation Louis Vuitton, Paris, France; FRAC, Regional Collections of Contemporary Art-Champagne-Ardenne; Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA), U.S.; Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago; Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo, Japan; Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art, Japan; M+ Art Museum, Hong Kong; Irish Museum of Modern Art, Ireland.

About the exhibition

Duration: 28 May – 27 July, 2017

Location: ShanghArt Gallery, Westbund, 2555-10 Longteng Avenue, Xuhui District, Shanghai

Opening: May 27, 2017, Reception: 4-7 pm

Courtesy of the artist and ShanghArt Gallery, for further information please visit www.shanghartgallery.com.

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