Apichatpong Weerasethakul [Thailand]
“A Conversation with the Sun (VR)”

  • VR performance
© Jörg Baumann
Is it a dream, or a return to the origin of life?
Filmmaker Apichatpong’s first VR piece on the depths of memory and existence arrives in Tokyo.

Apichatpong Weerasethakul is a filmmaker known for his tranquil and lyrical works that deal with legends and folklore, personal memories of the forest, anecdotes about past lives, and current issues against the backdrop of the northeast region of Thailand. He continues to break ground in film history with numerous masterpieces, such as Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives (2010, winner of the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival) and Memoria (2021, winner of the Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival).
Commissioned by Aichi Triennale 2022, this work was created in collaboration with Japanese creatives as an experiential performance piece, with the director delving into VR technology for the first time.
Communing with invisible spectral beings, bodies in sleep or states of sickness, and experiencing time suspended in a circle—Apichatpong, who has brought to life the intangible, the invisible, and the inaudible through his unique visual lexicon, further expands his world in the realm of virtual space through VR. Visual poetry that reaches beyond language, ripples created by Ryuichi Sakamoto’s music, particles of light floating in the air—is it a dream, a return to the origin of life, or a near-death experience? This work is certain to welcome us into a completely new time-space.

Profile

Apichatpong Weerasethakul
Born in Bangkok, Thailand in 1970. He is currently based in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Apichatpong began making films and video shorts in 1994 and completed his first feature in 2000. Apichatpong is recognized as a major international filmmaker and visual artist. His works are characterized by their use of non-linear storytelling, often dealing with themes of memory, identity, desire, and history. His works have won him widespread international recognition and awards, including the Cannes Jury Prize in 2021 for “Memoria”, his first film shot outside of Thailand. He also won the Cannes Palme d’Or in 2010 with “Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives”. His “Tropical Malady” won the Cannes Jury Prize in 2004 and Blissfully Yours won the Cannes Un Certain Regard Award in 2002. His large-scale video installation “Primitive” (2009) is a multidisciplinary creation that has toured many museums, including the Haus der Kunst in Munich. He participated in documenta thirteen (2012) and won the Gold Prize at the 11th Sharjah Biennial (2013) for his collaboration with Chai Siris. In the same year, he was awarded the Fukuoka Asian Culture Prize. In 2016, he held his first large-scale solo exhibition in Thailand at the MAIIAM Contemporary Art Museum in Chiang Mai. His recent installations include “Constellations” (2018), “Fiction” (2018), “SleepCinemaHotel” (2018), “A Minor History” (2021, 2022), and “Solarium” (2023).

Courtesy of Apichatpong Weerasethakul
Photo by Supatra Srithongkum and Sutiwat Kumpai

Dates

March 7th [Thu]/
18:00/18:30/19:00/19:30/20:00/20:30
March 8th [Fri]–11th [Mon]/
13:00/13:30/14:00/14:30/15:00/15:30/18:00/18:30/19:00/19:30/20:00/20:30

*Commons Forum #3 (March 10th [Sun], Booking essential.)
March 12th [Tue]/
13:00/13:30/14:00/14:30/15:00/15:30/18:00/18:30/19:00/19:30

Performance times

Approx. 60 min.

Venue

Miraikan – The National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation, 1F Special Exhibition Zone b
2-3-6 Aomi, Koto-ku, Tokyo 135-0064

Ticket

Adults | 4,000 yen
Students | 3,000 yen

Buy tickets

Language

Thai (with Japanese and English subtitles)

Credit

Concept and Direction | Apichatpong Weerasethakul
Creative Assistant | Sompot Chidgasornpongse

Cast | Jenjira Pongpas Widner, Sakda Kaewbuadee Vaysse, Chai Bhatana, Sam Mitchell, Sita Kiatneramit

Music | Ryuichi Sakamoto
Sound Designers | Akritchalerm Kalayanamitr, Koichi Shimizu

Director of Photography | Chatchai Suban
Camera Assistant and Production | Thanayos Roopkhajorn
Set Director | Natchanon Pribwai
Film Production Crew | Jirayu Rattanakhanahutanon, Pongsakorn Nanta, Suttipong Nanta
Film Production Manager | Phatsamon Kamnertsiri
Film Production Assistant | Somporn Ruensai

Film Production by Kick the Machine Films

VR Creator | Katsuya Taniguchi
VR Production | Taisei Yamaguchi, Hideyuki Kido, Nuttanit Thiantanukij, Kana Kondo, Satomi Yoshizawa, Hisashi Sato, Yoshinori Ikeda, Hikaru Takatori
VR Adviser | Tsuyoshi Nomura

Thai Translation | Sho Fukutomi

Technical Manager | So Ozaki
Stage Manager | Sato Oikawa
Lighting Designer | Kazuya Yoshida
Sound Engineer | Shinjiro Doi

Producer/Curator | Chiaki Soma
Production Coordinator | Haruka Shibata

Premier Performance/Produced by Arts Commons Tokyo
Premier Performance/Co-Production | Aichi Triennale 2022, The Japan Foundation, Theater der Welt 2023

Organized by Theater Commons Tokyo Executive Committee
Co-organized by Miraikan – The National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation
Special Support | Shane Akeroyd
Co-operation | RHINO STUDIOS INC., SCAI THE BATHHOUSE, Museo Larco
Equipment Support | STYLY, Inc.

Related programs

Commons Forum #3 “What is reality? A conversation between Apichatpong Weerasethakul and Naotaka Fujii”
Date | March 10th [Sun] 16:30–18:00

Commons Tour (Tour B)
Dates | March 9th [Sat], 10th [Sun]