Lagos X Bangkok = funk

27 09 2014

Last night in the Thai capital – a Nigerian funk night organised by the always interesting DJ Maft Sai from Zudrangma. I would have loved to have been there! I wonder what the crowd was like – Thai/expat hipsters or Nana wideboys?

Thawan Duchanee: into the black house…

5 09 2014

Thawan Duchanee, one of Thailand’s most acclaimed artists, passed away this week aged 74. Although I was not a fan of his paintings – with their heavy red and black colour palette  and broad brushstrokes – I have no hesitation or embarrassment in labelling the man a genius, if only for the retreat/museum/art installation he created in Chiang Rai, the Black House. This was – and remains – one of the most mysterious and beautiful places I have seen on the planet. The Black House is  a macabre, strange and savagely beautiful place – a masterfully realised monument to – ironically – death.


For more on the Black House see here.

And vale, Thawan Duchanee.

Blonde ambition

1 09 2014

Fresh from her triumphant Blonde 2 Be Wild concert, Gene Kasidit is back with new single – and blonder than ever!

Thai indie: Gym and Swim

11 08 2014

Love the title, and cute tune.

Bangkok street art: worldwide tropical

11 08 2014

More of the pan-Third World street art by Brazilian Cece Nobre in Bangkok.

Bangkok grey

9 08 2014

Work by artist Ludo in the Thai capital.

Goodbye to the aquarium of dreams

7 07 2014

It could be the end of the line for one of Bangkok’s most fantastical attractions. After reaching the English language blogosphere about a year ago, the bizarre fish pond in the ruins of the New World Department store hit critical mass online last week. In a short time, its image popped up on several major blogs and my Facebook news feed. The appeal of the site – a ruined department store, now flooded and teaming with tropical fish, swimming endlessly in circles in the dark past dripping escalators and old cosmetics counters – is deeply intuitive, a kind of dystopian Atlantis.

It even inspired one online artist to produce the piece above.

The fish had originally been introduced to the flooded basement of the department store to control mosquitos breeding in the dark, stagnant pool but without predators, they multiplied rapidly. But now with the spotlight suddenly shining brightly on its murky waters, the pond faces a new threat. Thai authorities have stepped up the barricade around the hulk of the New World building and announced that it could be demolished – finally, after a decade in ruin – within thirty days.

Report from my own not-very-successful expedition to see the fish here.


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