Thursday, June 30, 2022

Colors of the Night

My book of Expressionist Style paintings from the Bangkok Night, COLORS OF THE NIGHT, now available as quality paperback or e-book on Amazon dot com..............
Bangkok Soi Dog #1
Ladyboy Aree
Orange Flower
Blond Gogo Dancer
Blond Ladyboy
The Artist with just published "Navigating the Bangkok Noir"
Blue Flowers
Spirit House Japanese Karaoke
Soi Cowboy
Victor Bout
Ratchada Fishbowl
Red Mountain Flowers
Four Purple Flowers
Soi Cowboy painting as cover of "The Vincent Calvino's Reader's Guide"
Koi Gallery Sukhumvit 31 Show
Midnite Bar Koi Gallery Show
Midnite Bar painting as cover of "Navigating the Bangkok Noir" book
Cover of Christopher G. Moore's novel "The Corruptionist"

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Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Writings, Reviews & Interviews with Bangkok Noir Artist Chris Coles

This book of some of my writings, reviews and interviews is available on Amazon dot com as a quality paperback and e-book......

(The book is also available in PFD format at:

The Bangkok Night
by Chris Coles
(talk delivered at Bangkok Noir Evening Check Inn 99 on April 17, 2013)

Much of the Noir fiction written about Bangkok is set in and around what is often referred to as the Bangkok Night. But what actually is the Bangkok Night? The answer usually depends on who you ask. There’s the so-called real or objective version which turns out to be so subjective., it’s difficult to find two people who would agree on what it is.
Then there’s the mythic version which doesn’t really describe an objective reality but is more an entertaining yet hazy cloud of accumulated lore. Magazine and newspaper articles, tv reports, sensational and otherwise, pop music songs like One Night in Bangkok, stories told by friends and acquaintances, various newspaper reports or blog posts.
For instance, the Trink Column that used to be featured weekly in the Bangkok Post, the Stickman Weekly website or the Bangkok Eyes blog which presents a detailed, well-organized chronological history of the Bangkok Night.
The mythic version’s usually a little out-of-date as the actual Bangkok Night is always in a constant state of change in terms of venues, demographics, geography, fashions, fads, people and as a result, our accumulated perception always lags.
Other versions of the Bangkok Night are presented in the novels of various writers like Christopher G. Moore, John Burdett, Stephen Leather, Jake Needham. Dean Barrett, Tim Hallinan, James Newman, Tom Vater.
Or in Nick Nostitz’ Bangkok’s Twilight Zone, a brutal yet brilliant book of photos and commentary set in the Patpong District of the 1990’s. Or Cleo Odzier’s autobiographical Patpong Sisters.
There are also versions contained in films like the original very gritty BANGKOK DANGEROUS and even in the completely dumb and often unintentionally absurd HANGOVER II.
Or in the recent, very evocative and powerful short film, TRUE SKIN, of Bangkok-in-the-brutal-future, directed by Stephan Zlotescu, a young visual effects guy from LA.
Further versions of the Bangkok Night are in various music videos that play on Thai tv. Especially the Isan music videos, which often feature storylines of young Isan males and females migrating to Bangkok from the rural countryside to work in various nightlife venues.
Then there’s the version of the Bangkok Night as contained in my paintings which is the version I’m going to focus on.
To me, the Bangkok Night is a vast, dark, edgy and noir universe. It has a powerful density and velocity, a kind of Dark Energy. It’s full of nihilistic motifs and themes, populated by many different kinds of people from all over Asia and all over the world who, in the universe of the Bangkok Night, are often revealed in ways they might not have intended or wanted to be revealed. In ways that might contradict the version of themselves, that they project or present in their ordinary or so-called normal lives. 
Their daytime lives, when they’re suited up for work, constrained and subdued in all sorts of ways that are necessary for them to survive, replicate and succeed in terms of careers, families, financial security, etc.
Like the Paris Night circa 1900 painted by the Fauvists or the Berlin Night early 1900’s painted by the Expressionists, the Bangkok Night is a world without daylight or sunshine. It’s all about darkness, glowing neon, and various man-made and multi-colored lighting: florescent, blinking, reflected and otherwise. 
There are multiple and constantly over-lapping music tracks and sound effects. 
All different kinds of women and men, and ladyboys, dressed up and costumed for the night, not for the day, thousands of them, tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands, over the months and years, millions of every size and shape, beautiful, not beautiful, young, not-so-young, from everywhere in Thailand, Asia and the world.
Isan, Thai, Khmer, Chinese, Burmese, Russian, Indian, Japanese, Korean, Arab, Iranian, German, French, Italian, Turks, English, Scottish, Scandinavian, American, Australian, African.
One night, I even met a guy from Turkmenistan.
In my view, as I mentioned above, a key element in the Bangkok Night, is density and velocity. Without density and velocity, kind of like one of those gigantic Black Holes in Deep Space, the Bangkok Night would lose much of its power, its brightness, its almost irresistible attraction, its ability to draw in millions of people.
Another key element in the Bangkok Night are the extreme situations, often very personal, dramatic and acted out in strange ways in full public view. Many of which I use as raw material for my paintings, in which I try to convey not only the illusion of excitement and desire, but also the poignancy, the ugliness, the momentary glimpses of wonder and beauty, as well as the enormous loss of human potentials, damaged lives and tragedy.                     
The Bangkok Night is full of ambiguities, every kind of shading. Nothing is ever quite clear. It’s complex, multi-layered. 
Sometimes, it has an ironic overlay. Sometimes a touch of “noir” humor lurking somewhere underneath.                               
In my paintings, the men, women, ladyboys and even the soi dogs are portrayed at their best, in-between and worst. Usually caught up in a Darwinist dog-eat-dog setting.
Desiring, being desired, wanting, being wanted. Compulsively, sometimes mindlessly, devouring or being devoured. Consuming or being consumed.
It’s a world where only the strongest and luckiest manage to avoid being sucked into the vortex, and to somehow survive completely intact.
Bangkok Boys Town
Table of Contents

1. The Bangkok Night by Chris Coles, talk delivered at Bangkok Noir Evening Check Inn 99, April 17, 2013
2.  The Bangkok Noir Movement by Christopher G. Moore, New Mandala, March 2011
3.  Southeast Asia Noir by Chris Coles, New Mandala February 15, 2012
4.  Colin Cheney and Donald Quist interview Bangkok Noir Artist Chris Coles for their “Poet in Bangkok” Podcast, January 2017
5.  Berlin to Bangkok Nightline by Jade Conrad, Encounter Magazine, December 2012
6.  “Paint the Neon Night: Seeing in the Dark” by William R. Morledge, Bangkok Eyes, January 2016
7.  “Navigating the Bangkok Noir” - A Portrait of Thailand’s True Soul by Tom Vater, Asia Media, March 8, 2012
8.  Painting the Bangkok Night: An interview with American artist Chris Coles on his Watercolor Visions of Bangkok’s Seedy Side by Jonathan DeHart, Diplomat, September 2016
9.  Creatures of the Night by Jim Pollard, The Nation, October 2012 
10. Don’t Call Me Daughter Thailand for Sale by Federico Ferrara, Khi Kwai Blog, 2012
11. Hearts in the Darkness by Ezra Kyrill Erker, Bangkok Post, January 2013
12. Night Vision by Vincent MacIsaac, Phnom Penh Post, June 2012
13. Bangkok’s Sex Industry – A Movie In Paintings by Alex Watts, Khmer 440, February 2013
14. Chris Coles Night Vision Exhibit & Southeast Asian Noir by Bennett Murray, Phnom Penh Post, February 21, 2013
15.  Interview with Chris Coles on Colors of the Night Show by Suranand Vejjajiva, TNN TV24, May 2011
16. The Depraved Joy of Chris Coles and the Bangkok Noir by Chayanit Itthipongmaetee, Khao Sod English, January 2016
17. Beacons in the Boozy Night by Paul Dorsey, The Nation, November 24, 2017
18. Bright Lights, Big Mango: See Bangkok’s Neon Signs Shine On by Todd Ruiz, KhaoSod English, November 13, 2017
19. Traversing the Orient Interview with Chris Coles by Steve Hands, July 2011
20. CNN on Chris Coles & the Bangkok Noir by Tim Footman
21, Bangkok 101: Q&A with Chris Coles by Stephen Pettifor
22. Bangkok Post Interview with Chris Coles by Sean Trembath, Bangkok Post, May 12, 2011
23. Capturing the City’s Neon Lights by Kong Rithdee, Bangkok Post, November 17, 2017
24. Through the Neon & Black-Light Looking-Glass with Chris Coles by William R. Morledge, Bangkok Eyes, February 2010
25. Life in the Black Light by Sonny Inbaraj Krishnan, Khmer Times, February 2, 2018
26. Noir Nights in Phnom Penh by Sonny Inbaraj Krishnan, Khmer Times, January 19, 2018
27. Looking at Bangkok through a Noir Lens by Chris Coles, Absolutely Bangkok,  February 2009
28. Flowers in the Bangkok Night by Paul Dorsey, THE NATION, January 11, 2016 
29. Bangkok Le Noir, Edition Grope (en francais) 
30. Noir Nights in Phnom Penh by Marissa Carruthers, AsiaLIFE, February 8, 2018
31. Rainbow Arts Project: Kelvin Atmadibrata interviews Chris Coles, May 30, 2011
32. Big Chili Magazine Q & A with Chris Coles, December 2011
33.James Newman on Chris Coles and his paintings from the Bangkok Night and “Navigating the Bangkok Noir”....
34. Chris Coles Paints His Vision of the Bangkok Night by Rosanna Gargiulo, Times Record, May 23, 2014
35. The Stuff that Lies Beneath Bangkok & Southeast Asia Noir by Chris Coles, talk delivered at Check Inn 99 Bangkok Noir Evening Jan 5, 2014)
36. Interview with Bangkok Noir Artist Chris Coles by Suranand Vejjajiva, TNN TV24, April, 2009
37. Bangkok Noir - Not so Black and White by William R. Morledge, Bangkok Eyes, June 1, 2013
38. Introduction to Navigating the Bangkok Noir” by Chris Coles May 2011
39. Blurbs from the “Navigating the Bangkok Noir” Book Jacket, April 2011
40. My Introduction for Bangkok Noir Author Christopher G. Moore at Check Inn 99 Night of Noir, April 2013
41. Chris Coles “Flowers, One Butterfly and the Bangkok Night” by Alan Parkhouse, Bangkok Post, January 6, 2016
42. German Expressionism and the Bangkok Night by Chris Coles, FCCT/Bangkok, October 19, 2012
43. Time Out Singapore, August 2009
44. Singapore Straits Times One Night in Bangkok, August 2009
45. Anonymous Blogger on Chris Coles Paintings from the Bangkok Night
Walking Street Pattaya

 Link to Amazon dot com:

Link to PFD version:

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Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Flowers, One Butterfly and the Bangkok Night

My book of Expressionist-Style paintings from the Bangkok Night, FLOWERS, ONE BUTTERFLY AND THE BANGKOK NIGHT, is available as a quality paperback or e-book on Amazon dot com
Four Purple Flowers
Mountain Flowers
Pink Purple Blue Flowers on Yellow
Field of Flowers
Blue Ladyboy
Bangkok Author Lawrence Osborne with his Noir Portrait at Brainwake Show
The Brainwake Show
Thaniya Plaza
Elegant Ladyboy
Hollywood Agogo Nana Plaza


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