This gallery showcases the faces and bodies inside Bangkok’s infamous Patpong neighbourhood, a street where foreigners and locals alike gather to share in the revelry. These four acres of vice arose in the 1940s around the city’s airline offices and continues in the same tradition to this day. The photography has a unique and candid perspective on a nightlife where all inhibitions have been shed, in an environment where partygoers can feel comfortable exhibiting themselves amongst like-minded hedonists.
Taken by C. Flower & Mr Flash, this small selection of photos, on show for the first time, reflect an intimate portrayal of Patpong Road in its heyday — the late 1970s to the late 1990s, a time never to be seen again.
There has always been a strictly ‘no photo’ policy at Patpong, but these two photographers, being Thai and spending most evenings at Patpong, managed to sidestep this rule. They worked selling Polaroid snapshots to tourists but both took their own personal photos using 35mm cameras and analogue film. Over two decades, they gained the trust of not only the bar owners, security guards and the girls who worked in the bars, but also the regular foreigners who frequented the bars.
This unique photo collection, unobtainable by anyone else, captures the eroticism, the celebration and the crazy spirit of this most recognised road; a road frequently talked about, but up to now, only ever seen by those who were there.
© Private collection, courtesy of www.nickyakehurst.com
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