News & events > Apichatpong Weerasethakul awarded 2014 Yanghyun Prize
25 Dec 2014

Apichatpong Weerasethakul awarded 2014 Yanghyun Prize

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The Yanghyun Foundation in Seoul has announced the Thai artist and film maker Apichatpong Weerasethakul as the recipient of the 2014 Yanghyun Prize. The award ceremony and the recipient’s art lecture took place on 11 November at the Main auditorium, The National Museum of Korea.

Weerasethakul was selected by the distinguished jury panel consisting of Chris Dercon, Director of Tate Modern, and Adam D. Weinberg, Alice Pratt Brown Director of Whitney Museum of American Art.

Apichatpong Weerasethakul was born in 1970 in Bangkok and raised in the north-eastern Thai city of Khon Kaen. He studied architecture before graduating in film at Chicago Art Institute in 1997, and currently lives and works in Chiang Mai. Often non-linear, 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, which he founded in 1999. Weerasethakul’s 2009 film, Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives, won a Palme d’Or prize at the 63rd Cannes Film Festival in 2010. He has participated in a number of international exhibitions, including Documenta in Kassel, Germany in 2012 and Sharjah Biennale in UAE in 2013. His works have been presented in several art institutions such as Haus der Kunst in Munich, Germany; New Museum, New York; Musée d’Art Modern de la Ville de Paris, and HangarBricocca, Milan.

The jury panel commented in their statement,
“Weerasethakul’s films are characterized by ‘margins’: they are fragmented yet slow, they show erratic transitions and transformations, they accentuate subsidiary characters and sounds and they don’t have real beginnings or endings. Weerasethakul has invented a new poetics of film. Inspired by surrealism, Buddhism, soft homo-erotic imagery and his childhood love of science fiction, Weerasethakul depicts the jungle and rural Thai villages as places inhabited by ghosts and mystery, in which distinctions between the fictional and the real dissolve.”

About the Yanghyun Prize
The Yanghyun Prize was established in 2008 as the first international art prize by a Korean institution. Its key aim is to acknowledge and support outstanding mid-career artists by offering a global stage for exhibiting their work, a long-standing wish of the late Mr. Sooho Cho, who was a well-known art lover and philanthropist. The recipient is awarded a cash prize as well as a sponsorship for an exhibition at a world-renowned art museum of her or his choice. Past recipients are Cameron Jamie (2008), Isa Genzken (2009), Jewyo Rhii (2010), Akram Zaatari (2011), Abraham Cruzvillegas (2012) and Rivane Neuenschwander (2013).