Transglobal underground

23 02 2017

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It has been a flurry of activity lately, with various cool projects crisscrossing the globe. Taiwanese rapper Aristophanes and Bangkok’s Paradise Mo Lam Orchestra are arriving in Melbourne for the contemporary Asian arts festival Asiatopa. Melbourne’s Trough X party meanwhile is exploring another continent, branching out to London while Korean gay hipster magazine Duiro is popping-up in Seoul.





New sensation

18 02 2017

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Thailand led the world in embracing internet-sensation-du-jour, the headbanging “trash dove” – now more sinisterly co-opted by white nationalists online.





Bangkok: design city

18 02 2017

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The Thai capital continues to blossom as a design force with this co-working space in the Habito mall recently awarded a prestigious prize from Archdaily magazine for “Best interior of 2017”.

Below, street art from Lisbon artist Vhils on the wall of the historic Portuguese embassy, marking the four hundred year old ties between Thailand and Portugal, one of its first Western traders, who left a now-almost-vanished expat community on the Thonburi side of the river for centuries.

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Subhashok The Art Centre, an impressive concrete structure in the leafy Sukhumvit hinterland, is another addition to the city’s growing and impressive art scene, with mural by Cece Nobre.

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And finally hair salon Klinsuwan reconnect with the city’s Southeast Asian roots, through walls of golden bamboo.

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Instafamous

14 01 2017

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I recently joined instagram, mostly to brighten up my life with a feed of #instagay celebrities, avant-garde fashion icons and other assorted interesting people while I sit on the bus.

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Like the flamboyantly funny Thai TV hostess Madam Mod.

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New York go-go boy Matthew Camp, currently hawking his own fragrance, called 8.5.

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Belo Horizonte muscle-hipster Joapane.

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The swoonsome immense_ray (言武) in Shanghai.

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Dandrogyny, who performs at Melbourne’s HonchoDisko night (how did I miss that?)

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And Japanese go-go king Kenta, now repping his boyfriend’s Korean clubwear brand, VEAKSeoul.





Asian eats

31 12 2016

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Tucked between the State Library and Spring Street, along Little Lonsdale street and around there are a bunch of interesting, low-key Asian eateries: a bak kuh teh palce nearer Chinatown, this Uyghur restaurant, places serving Shanghai-style dumplings and Chongqing noodles, and an Indonesian “mohon doa restu”.

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My favourite discovery though was Thailicious on Exhibition Street, a straight-out-of-Chiang Mai hangout for expat Thais, with beer towers, fermented raw pork (among more conventional menu options), posters for visiting Bangkok rock bands and, when I was there, a lovely acoustic duo performing. If I were living in Melbourne, I would be a regular.

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Hipster food heaven

30 12 2016

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Smith Street’s Neko Neko vegan ramen, Annoying brother espresso and the logo for Chalawan, the new Thai cocktail bar by the management of Bangkok “it bar” Hyde, named after the legendary Thai crocodile king.

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Thai style

15 12 2016

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I popped into Samsen this week, the buzzy new Thai noodle shop opened by a former chef of Chachawan. Located on one of Wanchai’s most atmospheric backstreets, Stone Nullah Lane in the shadow of the Blue House, it is an appealingly laid out little place designed to look like an old Thai shophouse (a look it pulls off pretty well) and named after the riverside district famous for its ferry stop with catfish milling around the pier and flower markets, home to a Catholic cathedral and the little-visited Thai National Library. The Hong Kong version however is packed with throngs of urbane professionals getting down to bowls of Thai street-style noodles. Fun. I’d go back.

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