Artwork Details

  • Artist Apichatpong Weerasethakul and Chai Siri
  • Title Dilbar
  • Date 2013
  • Medium Black and white HD video projection with sound
  • Duration 9 minutes
  • Credit Commissioned by Sharjah Art Foundation
Dilbar Image


Dilbar is an imaginary portrait of a city builder, one of a million Bangladeshi workers currently living in the United Arab Emirates. The title character, whose name means 'full of heart', is a construction worker on a new museum building.

The film presents the physical and spiritual transmigration of this voiceless soul as he is driven by the warm winter into a 'sleeping' existence that moves between the construction site and his lodgings. This comatose journey slowly turns into a symphony of dreams and hallucinations, as his senses are possessed by the unseen water in the desert and he becomes part of a source that feeds the trees, birds, machines and buildings.

The only sounds are the noises of the city and the dialogues of nature – lullabies for this hibernating character, who epitomises the act of waiting and the desire for escape. The film transports this 'sleeper' across the boundaries of economic and social status, of meaning, and of life and death.

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Siri, Chai

Chai Siri’s videos and photography deal with the reconstruction of personal and social histories.