A MAN WHO ATE AN ENTIRE TREE


Thailand 2010
A single-channel video installation, 9:00 minutes, loops, HD, colour, sound
A Photograph

Editor: Apichatpong Weerasethakul
Camera: Akekarat Homlaor, Chadil Yuenying, Chaisiri Jiwarangsan
Photographic reproduction: Tomo Suzuki

First installed at "Transformation", Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo. Oct 29, 2010 - Jan 30, 2011
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The project deals with an ecological disturbance. The subject is the spreading of various types of vines that have become a threat to the local forest. The propagation of the vines has disrupted the tracks of the animals and their feeding grounds. They also block sunlight, paralyse the growth of trees, and with their massive weight, cause the forest canopies to collapse.






























































Apichatpong documents a national park in the west of Thailand where the rapid growth of the vines has thus far covered 480 million square metres. In this particular video at MOT, he focuses on a group of forest rangers and hired villagers whose duty it is to cut down the vines that obstruct the important paths of the wild animals. Some of the rangers, in order to be able to work long hours, use Kratom leaves (Mitragyna speciosa), an illegal psychoactive substance as a stimulant, mentally and physically. (After the desired effect wears of, a prolonged sleep ensues.) At present, the park employs less than 100 forest rangers.