When Paris really was the center of culture, it was also a wild city, where prostitution was a nearly as public as it is in modern day Bangkok. Bangkok Noir seems like a spin-off from those long gone days. And not a particular tasty one in my personal opinion. But that’s the thing about art – what some people like is what others don’t like. To me, it seems like a phenomenon that’s largely catering to dirty old men who don’t like to think of themselves as dirty old men.
I love a good Charles Bukowski. But the man was brilliant. And that’s what the Bangkok Noir guys are lacking. The “Thailand Interest” bookshelves are filled with “bar girl books” and “poor farmer girl sells sex to buy rice for her starving family” fairy tales. Most of the time the people who buy this are: single retired foreign men. It’s cheap fascination.
But be free to disagree. You might like it – check out the Bangkok Noir blog.
Otherwise, there’s a lot more interesting art going on in Bangkok. Just sneak into Chulalongkorn university and talk with the art students there to get a feel for what’s going on in modern Thai art.