At a ceremony Thursday in Cardiff, Wales, the Thai filmmaker and video artist Apichatpong Weerasethakul was awarded the 2019 Artes Mundi prize, which comes with £40,000 (about $52,600). Also shortlisted for this year’s prize were Anna Boghiguian, Bouchra Khalili, Otobong Nkanga, and Trevor Paglen.
Weerasethakul is regarded as one of the most important filmmakers to come out of Thailand, and is known for feature films such as Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives and Tropical Malady, which deal with the thin boundary between the living and the dead as well as the malleability of memory. Weerasethakul has also created video and sound installations that have been shown at biennials around the world, including the 2018 Gwangju Biennale. “The Serenity of Madness,” a survey of his work that originated at the MAIIAM Contemporary Art Museum in Chiang Mai, Thailand, showed last year at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art.
The jury that selected Weerasethakul was chaired by Oliver Basciano, the international editor of ArtReview and ArtReview Asia, and included Mori Art Museum deputy director and chief curator Mami Kataoka, curator Laura Raicovich, and G39 creative director Anthony Shapland.
Past winners of the Artes Mundi prize have included John Akomfrah, Xu Bing, Teresa Margolles, and Yael Bartana.