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Cabaret by Simon Kolton

Cabaret (watch teaser) is a backstage photos coverage from the Tiffany and Alcazar cabaret shows in Pattaya captured by Bangkok-based French photographer Simon Kolton. The series was not premeditated. Luck took Kolton to the front door of the famous Alcazar, where he met the director who invited him in for backstage shots. The series was made within a few nights between the Tiffany and the Alcazar shows. This impressive series has been shown in Frenchn restaurant Chez Pepin during March and April 2013. Kolton has always had a true passion for photography and has had a camera in his hands since his teenage years. His favourite subject has always been the people around him. In his work, close friends and strangers have the same status, making his photos very human and intimate. As he puts it, Thailand is a gigantic photo studio with a few million actors. Finally, the result is stunning with lots of poetry, tenderness and humor is the key. The dancers are generous because of their spontaneity, their physical transformation is any point remarkable and the universe to which they belong is like a Pandora’s box that Simon opened for you … Lady and Gentlemen, showtime !

Interview of Simon Kolton about Cabaret

Why did you choose photography as the medium for this subject?

I was in Pattaya for a few days to write a report about nightlife in the city. After two nights there I realised I did not like the subject. I wasn’t very comfortable with it for several reasons. The subject has been exploited all too often. I’ve travelled around Thailand a lot and taken a lot of photos. I thought the nightlife topic would do no good to the country’s image.

One day I was walking by Alcazar [a venue for a transgender show] and I had this flash of inspiration: it would be nice to shoot the action backstage. We are all curious to know what could be happening behind the stage, the look and ambiance of backstage life. I asked to see the manager, who did not quite understand my motive at first, but she eventually agreed and asked me to come the same evening. After three nights of shooting, I had an idea: compile a book on the subject… but for some reason the project didn’t come through. So I then turned to Tiffany’s [another transgender show] and proposed to them the same thing. They liked the idea and we started shooting… but again, the book didn’t materialise. So now the photos are on exhibition.

Explain the concept and why you chose to put this “Cabaret” collection on exhibition?

I had shot heaps of photos of the cabaret shows, Alcazar and Tiffany’s, and was disappointed for not being able to compile them into book form. So I archived the pictures and left them there for a long time, without using them. Sometimes it is necessary to let things ripen. And then the opportunity to exhibit them presented itself. I was so pleased!

You’re a Frenchman and same-sex marriage is a big issue in your country at the moment. Tell us your view.

I am open-minded, and I am for gay marriage. I think gay couples should have the same rights [as heterosexual couples]. Societies change, we must change the laws to reflect these changes. Homophobic discourse is something I can’t bear to hear anymore.

Read the the interview in Bangkok Post

How to apply for Online Exhibition?

Every month Rock Around Asia organizes on its website a virtual Exhibition to promote an artist, a concept, anything under artistic statement (photography, painting, sculpture, music, video, sounds, design, architecture, etc..). A newsletter presenting the artist and his project is then emailed to the whole Rock Around Asia community (customers, partners, supporters, suppliers, medias, artists, visitors, etc..). The artworks presented are of course offered for sale (see specifically for terms and conditions). If you are interested to introduce your art, please apply here.

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