Phil America's The Nefarious Face of Chinatown
09:23 AM
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Gritty yet beautiful photographs of Bangkok's Chinatown and criminal underworld comprise artist Phil America's solo exhibition The Nefarious Face of Chinatown, which opens September 28th at Vess in Copenhagen, Denmark -- despite Danish police confiscating a number of artifacts from the show (I believe the trademark infringing fake Rolex watches, and other knockoffs). According to, the show is still complete and will run until November 10th, 2013.

Here's more about the exhibit:

Over the course of 30 days he spent nearly every day in Bangkok's Chinatown, betting on Fan-tan and Hi-lo with the old men and got tattooed with a magical sak yant tattoo by a master. He built relationships with prostitutes outside the tea shops, painted fake license plates and put together knock-off Louis Vuitton bags with local workers. He even spent a day with a young gang members riding around dropping off fake Valium and Viagra to shops around Bangkok. During the process he gathered artifacts relating to the neighborhood and it's crime, some of which were confiscated by the law-firm owning the rights to Rolex and by the Danish police.

The series of photos shows a strong, underlining strength in the eyes of the pimps and drug lords and contrasts that with the tattooed hands of the criminals on the street. Phil America takes his time to show that, here, the face of the criminals and crime itself are both honest and nefarious.
See more photos from the show here. Also check Phil America's blog.

[Via Susannah Breslin.]

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