The Serenity of Madness is the first solo exhibition of Apichatpong Weerasethakul presented in Hong Kong, with a selected survey of rarely-seen experimental short films and video installations by Weerasethakul, alongside his photography, drawings, sketches, and archival material that explore threads of socio-political commentary.
A leading figure in contemporary film and art, Apichatpong Weerasethakul has developed a singular realist-surrealist style in which he portrays the everyday alongside supernatural elements suggesting a distortion between fact and folklore, the subconscious and the exposed, and various disparities of power. His work reveals stories often excluded in history in and out of Thailand: voices of the poor and the ill, marginalised beings, and those silenced and censored for personal and political reasons.
Apichatpong Weerasethakul was born in 1970 in Bangkok and raised in the north-eastern Thai city of Khon Kaen. Working independently of the Thai commercial film industry, he is active in promoting experimental and independent filmmaking through his company Kick the Machine, which he founded in 1999. With Gridthiya Gaweewong he founded the Bangkok Experimental Film Festival in 1997, and presented it three more times through 2008. His work has been presented widely in art and film contexts internationally, including the Sharjah Biennial in the UAE (2013), dOCUMENTA 13 in Kassel, Germany (2012), Liverpool Biennial (2006), Busan Biennial (2004), the Istanbul Biennial (2001), and in solo and group exhibitions at art spaces including Haus der Kunst in Munich, Germany; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; New Museum, New York; Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin; and Musée d’Art Modern de la Ville de Paris. Weerasethakul’s 2009 film, Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives, won a Palme d’Or prize at the 63rd Cannes Film Festival. His feature films include Cemetery of Splendour (2015), Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives (2010), Syndromes and a Century (2006), Tropical Malady (2004), The Adventures of Iron Pussy (2003), Blissfully Yours (2002), and Mysterious Object at Noon (2000).
Apichatpong Weerasethakul: The Serenity of Madness is a traveling exhibition curated by Gridthiya Gaweewong and produced by Independent Curators International (ICI), New York. The exhibition and tour are made possible, in part, with the generous support from MAI IAM Contemporary Art Museum, Chiang Mai; ICI’s International Forum and the ICI Board of Trustees. The presentation at Para Site has been organised in collaboration with Cosmin Costinas.