24 October 2021


ART SG reviews Apichatpong’s latest exhibition, “A Minor History”, a tribute to forcibly disappeared political dissidents in the Northeastern Thai region of Isan. | Vipash Purichanont

Written by Vipash Purichanont

(excerpt from the original article

Apichatpong Weerasethakul, multi-award winning film director, once declared that he would not film in Thailand again. However, this does not stop him from speaking about and producing his artwork in the country. “A Minor History,” his new exhibition at 100 Tonson Foundation in the heart of Bangkok, delivers a declaration and powerful critique of Thailand’s current political landscape from the perspective of Isan, the Northeastern region that the political ‘centre’ has long oppressed. The exhibition is a result of Apichatpong’s research in the region during the recent pandemic lockdowns. The director, who just completed his Cannes Film Festival’s Jury Prize feature film “Memoria” (2021), returned to his hometown in Khonkaen, and travelled throughout the region gathering new material and meeting new generations. 

In this new work, the director has taken the role of a mentor by recruiting new talents into the production. For example, young Isan poet Mek Krung Fah wrote the dialogue in the work; the sound component of the work is the result of a collaboration with Akritchalerm Kalayanamitr, who is a sound designer for several of Apichatpong’s films and artworks. The exhibition showcases not only the magical realism that has been the center of his artistic practice but highlights the creativity that has been the driving force behind current social movements in the region. Unlike most of Apichatpong’s art projects that relate to the production of a feature film resulting from long contemplation, “A Minor History,” is a stand-alone piece which offers us a window into his current view of the region and the country.


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