PRIMITIVE Installation


In the course of  researching a feature film about Uncle Boonmee, a man who can recall his past lives, Apichatpong Weerasethakul visited and worked in the north-east of Thailand close to the Laotian border. Among several villages he visited was the sleepy village of Nabua. It was one of the places the Thai army occupied from the 60s to the early 80s in order to curb those who were accused of being communists. Nabua was the scene of fierce oppression, fighting and violence. Many people fled into the forest. Those that remained in the district were mainly the women and children. This reality echoed an ancient local legend about a 'widow ghost' who abducts any man who enters her empire. Thus in the legend, the district is devoid of men. Its nickname became 'widow town'.

Apichatpong Weerasethakul's PRIMITIVE is about re-imagining this little terrain of Thailand called Nabua, a place where memories and ideologies are extinct. The young generation doesn't recognise the Nabua of the past. The installation is a portrait of the teenage male descendants of the farmer communists, freed from the widow ghost's empire.