Tuesday 15 October 2019

Thai filmmaker wins prestigious £40,000 UK art prize

He has been named the winner of the Artes Mundi.

Apichatpong Weerasethakul. (Artes Mundi)
Apichatpong Weerasethakul. (Artes Mundi)

By Craig Simpson, Press Association Reporter

An experimental Thai filmmaker has been named the winner of a prestigious UK arts prize valued at £40,000.

Apichatpong Weerasethakul won the biennial Artes Mundi prize for his film work, which judges of the art prize said offered a “powerful weapon in these turbulent times”.

Weerasethakul has previously been honoured for his work at the Cannes Film Festival, and is better known as a director of feature films.

His work has been recognised by Artes Mundi, which focuses on conceptual and international artworks.

The film Invisibility, a 12-minute short depicting shadows and silhouettes between poetic statements, has been singled out for praise by prize judges.

Apichatpong Weerasethakul. (Artes Mundi)

Artes Mundi judges made a statement, saying: “When times are tough it is sometimes not safe to talk about politics explicitly and Apichatpong Weerasethakul provides us with some subtle tools of resistance: the methodology of camouflage demonstrated in Invisibility is a powerful weapon in these turbulent times.

“While in the west Weerasethakul is better known as a feature film director, the jury wished to pay homage to the vigorous interrogation in his gallery work of filmmaking, storytelling and the political and social position of the artist.”

Weerasethakul was born in Bangkok, and his work features depictions of Thai history and culture.

He began making short films in 1994, and completed his first feature in 2000.

His 2010 film Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives won the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival.

PA Media

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