15 July 2023



Ohm Phanphiroj’s new photography exhibition Desire opened today at VS Gallery in Bangkok. The exhibition is split into two parts, on different floors of the gallery, and runs until 1st October (extended from 23rd August). (Desire is also the title of a compilation of Ohm’s erotic short films, available on DVD.) On the ground floor are Ohm’s nude portraits of fashion model Nicholas Mamedia, collectively titled Desejo, para Nico (‘desire, for Nico’), the artist’s visual expressions of desire for his muse.

On the upper floor, the dynamic is reversed, as the photographer—or his feminine alter ego—becomes the object of desire. For this series, Gina’s Journey, Ohm took a self-portrait as a ladyboy, known as Gina. (Almost exactly a century earlier, Marcel Duchamp created his own female persona, Rrose Sélavy.) Posing as Gina online, Ohm solicited nude photos from dozens of bi-curious men, whose selfies are now on display.

Ohm Phanphiroj Rrose Selavy

Ohm’s work has always been controversial—his video Underage was withdrawn from another Bangkok gallery a few years ago—and Desire is no exception. The images submitted by Gina’s unwitting admirers raise privacy issues. Many of them are also incredibly graphic: Desire is one of only a few exhibitions in Bangkok to feature such sexually explicit content, the others being Shotbyly’s Boy x Therapy, Thunska Pansittivorakul’s Life Show (เปลือยชีวิต), and Tada Varich’s Story of the Eye.

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