Bondage slaves, drag queens, and vibrant neons: the paintings of James Jirat Patradoon‘s INFERNO transplants the red-light district into the gallery with a comic-book aesthetic. Bulging male muscles and ballooning breasts are squeezed into leather and latex, Chinese type and luxury brand names sit alongside each other, and latticed borders that call to mind the intricate designs of Chinese-style windows frame the entire composition. These works are intentionally loud and exaggerated, designed to draw parallels between distant cultures.
如果要形容起 James Pirat Patradoon 的绘画系列《INFERNO》，那一定可以这样总结——充满着捆绑奴役、变装皇后和充满活力的霓虹色彩。将红灯区的景象凝成漫画风格搬到画廊展墙之上：肌肉彪悍的猛男、穿着紧身皮革和乳胶衣的性感美女，汉字和奢侈品牌交相辉映，而格纹边框则让人联想到错综复杂的中式窗户，将整个构图融入其中。这些作品刻意而为的抢眼、夸张风格，旨在将不同的文化相联系。
“I spend a bit too much time in strip clubs,” Patradoon laughs. “I find them fascinating. Performers occupy this space where the audience only experiences them as a fiction. The drag queens here in Bangkok are like real buff dudes in regular life. When they perform, they’re like superheroes with a fictional identity.” His art draws on this type of contrast, pulling it to extremes until it becomes something else.
“我好像太常去脱衣舞厅。” James Pirat Patradoon 笑着说，“我觉得那里很有意思。表演者是整个空间的主角，为观众提供一种虚幻的体验。曼谷的变装皇后在平日里都是很健壮的男人，但当他们在舞台表演时，就像变成了一个个有虚构身份的超级英雄。”他的作品借鉴了这种对比，通过极端的演绎，呈现出别样的景象。
Patradoon is Chinese and Thai but grew up in Australia. He’d been based in Sydney until last year when he had the chance to move to Bangkok. With his illustration career at a standstill and the local art scene feeling stagnant, he jumped at the opportunity. “Friends would ask me if Thailand’s nightlife is really as crazy as its reputation, and I couldn’t answer back then,” he says. “It definitely hasn’t disappointed.”
Since moving there, he’s immersed himself in the city’s nightlife, making friends with punk rockers, embedding himself in the local electronic music scene, and getting to know the city’s queer community. Bangkok’s LGBTQ culture especially has had the most impact on him. “Nightlife has been my interest since before I moved and these paintings were based on ideas from before I came, but the energy here motivated me to work and made things much clearer in my mind,” Patradoon says. “You have to experience this stuff first hand and in person. It’s just not the same online.”
INFERNO, which debuted at Superchief Gallery in Los Angeles late last year, is the culmination of his nocturnal escapades in Bangkok. For this series, he began without clear intent, digitally sketching his stream of consciousness. These illustrations were then combined to form his visually dense compositions. The final step was to then paint the finished work on canvas.
James Pirat Patradoon 是中泰混血，但自小在澳大利亚长大。一直生活在悉尼的他，直到去年搬到曼谷。当时正值他插画创作的瓶颈期，加上当地的艺术场景的停滞不前，于是，他选择了搬离。“有朋友会问我，泰国的夜生活是不是像传闻的那样声色犬马，我当时还不知道怎么回答呢。但肯定不会让人失望。” 他说道。
自从搬到曼谷，他就沉浸在这座城市的夜生活，结识朋克歌手，进入当地的电子音乐圈，并接触了这里的酷儿社区。其中曼谷的 LGBTQ 文化对他的影响最大。“在搬到曼谷之前，我就一直很喜欢夜生活，这些画是我根据以前的想法创作的，但这里的能量让我有了创作的欲望，也让我有了更清晰的创作理念。”James Pirat Patradoon 说，“你必须要去亲身体验。这跟网络上的是不一样的。”
《INFERNO》系列于去年年底在洛杉矶的 Superchief 画廊首次亮相，是他对曼谷夜生活的写照。这个系列开始时并没有明确的初衷，James Pirat Patradoon 只是用电脑描画出脑海的想法，然后将这些插图合并成在视觉上复杂紧凑的作品，最后在画布上完成画作。
Life in Thailand has actually made Patradoon identify more as a Westerner and more as an Australian. In Sydney, he always felt out of place because of racism. But in Bangkok, although he’s surrounded by other Thais, he still feels like an outsider. “All I have to do is open my mouth, and it’s obvious I’m an ‘other,'” he says. “But it’s to my advantage because I can ask questions about anything since they’re more forgiving with me as an outsider.”
在泰国生活实际上让 James Pirat Patradoon 更强烈地感觉到自己作为西方人，作为澳大利亚人的身份。在悉尼，因为当地的种族歧视，他总是觉得格格不入。但在曼谷，虽然他身边都是与他相同国籍的泰国人，但他仍觉得自己身在局外。“我只要一说话，就很明显是个‘外国人’。”他说，“但这也是我的优势，因为我可以问任何问题，毕竟他们对外国人比较宽容。”
“These reflections on race and identity have also led him to explore issues of gender and sexuality. He’s straight, but in Bangkok he’s often perceived as gay. It’s a challenge he hadn’t encountered very often before. “I don’t have a problem with it, but in the West, you don’t necessarily have to label yourself and can live in a grey area if you want,” he says. That freedom is a foundation of Patradoon’s work, mixing everything together without really trying to define it. “It’s not necessarily about being one or another, but that a lot can be true at the same time.”
这些关于种族和身份的思考也促使他去探索性别和性取向的问题。他是直男，但在曼谷他常被以为是同性恋，这是他以前很少遇到过的问题。他说：“我其实不介意，但在欧美国家，你不一定要给自己贴上标签，如果你愿意，也可以选择留在灰色地带。”这种自由是 James Pirat Patradoon 创作的基础，将各种元素融合在一起，又不需要去做任何定义。“世事不一定是非此即彼，有很多东西是可以同时并存的。”