Phantoms of Nabua is a single channel installation that extends many of the recurring themes in Weerasethakul’s internationally celebrated feature films into a more politically conscious terrain. Focusing on the Thai border town of Nabua, the site of bloody confrontation between Communist farmers and the army in 1965, Weerasethakul engages the local boys – descendants of the persecuted farmers – and captures their masculine juvenescence in light and in shadow.
A haunting and ethereal meditation about light, ghosts, reincarnation and transformation, Phantoms of Nabua is one segment from the artist’s larger multi-platform project, Primitive, which explores themes of remembrance and extinction in his home country.
About the artist
Apichatpong Weerasethakul is a singular and distinctive artist and filmmaker. All his films and artworks are set in his native Thailand. Often non-linear, and with a strong sense of dislocation, his works deal with memory, subtly addressing personal politics and social issues. Working independently of the Thai commercial film industry, he is active in promoting experimental and independent filmmaking through his company Kick the Machine. His films have received numerous awards, including two prizes from the Cannes Film Festival. His feature Syndromes and a Century (2006) was the first Thai film to be selected for competition at the Venice Film Festival. Alongside his other feature Tropical Malady, Syndromes and a Century has been found at the top of several polls as among the best films of the last decade. His video installations and other works have attracted great acclaim at major international exhibitions such as the Istanbul Biennial, the Taipei Biennial, and the Busan Biennale. In 2007, the Thai Ministry of Culture awarded Apichatpong with one of Thailand’s most important awards for visual artists, Silpatorn. In 2008, he became the first artist to receive the Fine Prize from the 55th Carnegie International, USA. In 2010, he was awarded the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival for Uncle Boonmee who can Recall his Past Lives and was nominated for one of the art world’s most prestigious awards, the Hugo Boss Award. –
Curated by Andréa Picard
Commissioned by Animate Projects, London with Haus der Kunst, Munich and FACT, Liverpool