Born in Bangkok, Apichatpong grew up in Khon Kaen in north-eastern Thailand, works and lives in Chiang Mai now, having graduated from School of the Art Institute of Chicago with Masters in Filmmaking. He began making films and video shorts in 1994 and completed his first feature in 2000. He has also mounted exhibitions and installations in many countries since 1998 and is now recognised as one of the major international visual artists. Lyrical and often fascinatingly mysterious, his film works are non-linear, dealing with memory and in subtle ways invoking personal politics and social issues.
Working independently of the Thai commercial film industry, he devotes himself to promoting experimental and independent film-making through his producing company Kick the Machine Films, founded in 1999, which also produces all his films. Apichatpong Weerasethakul is recognised as one of the most original voices in contemporary cinema. His feature films, short films and installations have won him widespread international recognition and numerous awards, including four prizes from the Cannes Film Festival.
His major retrospective solo exhibition, The Serenity of Madness, was first shown at the MAIIAM Contemporary Art Museum, Chiang Mai, Thailand (2016), and has since toured globally to Para Site, Hong Kong (2016); Museum of Contemporary Art and Design (MCAD), Manilla, Philippines (2017); School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC), Chicago (2017) and Oklahoma City Museum of Art, Oklahoma City, U.S.A. (2018); and Taipei Fine Arts Museum, Taipei, Taiwan (2019). Other recent solo exhibitions include Periphery of the Night, Institut d’art contemporain, Lyon, France (2021); Luminous Shadows, Contemporary Art Centre (CAC), Vilnius, Lithuania (2018); Apichatpong Weerasethakul: Monuments, ShanghART Shanghai (2017).
He has also participated in various group exhibitions and biennales such as the Guangzhou Image Triennial 2021: Rethinking Collectivity, Guangdong Art Museum, Guangzhou (2021); 58th Venice Biennale: May You Live in Interesting Times, Venice, Italy (2019); Gwangju Biennale 2018: Imagined Borders, Gwangju, South Korea (2018); SUNSHOWER: Contemporary Art from Southeast Asia 1980s to Now, National Art Centre Tokyo, Mori Art Museum, Tokyo, and Fukuoka Art Museum, Fukuoka, Japan (2017); Ghosts and Spectres – Shadows of History, NTU Centre for Contemporary Art, Singapore (2017); 14th Lyon Biennale: Floating Worlds, Lyon, France (2017).