HD, Colour, Dolby 5.1, Thailand, 2007 Commissioned by Ministry of Culture, Thailand
Camera and Edit: Apichatpong Weerasethakul Sound Design: Akaritchalerm Kalayanamitr Post Production Supervisor: Lee Chatametikool Finance: Parichart Puarree
I remember the simplicity and the value of goodness – that of happiness such as waiting with my mother before the sky turned orange to give alms for the monks, or walking silently in the orchid garden, or watching the stars at night.
Inside our house there was a calendar with an image of the king. It was by the door for ones to see when entering the house. Years later, we moved to a new house, a concrete one. The king followed with a new calendar year, a new design, and a new kind of paper. In retrospect, he remains a fixture that relates to time. Somehow the familiar image of the bespectacled man is still linked with the lights of my childhood years. Other than that, I only know him through various images and stories from the news, presumably much of those were approved and issued by the Palace. They contain a different kind of value – a more polished one. Through the years, the physical quality of these images has been transformed – from the grainy analog video to a hi-definition digital format. Obviously the technology miraculously rids the artefacts and makes the images clearer. But the more polished the value, the more it manifests its opacity.
In the early 2007, The Office of Contemporary Art and Culture, under the Ministry of Culture contacted me to make a moving image about the king. For me, the king never changes despite the rage of the passing calendar years that brought about many changes in Thailand’s landscape. But at the end of the day I asked myself, “Who is this man?” Can I make a movie “about” him? Do I assume that the information I have learned through the years can constitute a movie?
After much pondering, I decided to make a film on the subject that I know of: my life - my mother, my nephew, my niece, my brother, my sister, my lover, my dog, my room, my favourite landscapes, and other things including my light.