OCEAN FANTASIES AND DREAMS
BY ANTONIO PINEDA
F-Stop gallery in Bangkok was the venue for an exhibit of underwater photo imagery by Alex Wu. A totally unique art form creates new sensations via a lense by combining water and modern imagery tecniques. Alex was born in Singapore, educated in Toronto and Vancouver and resides in Bangkok. He specializes in creating underwater images and video for multi-media. His work ranges from portraits to artistic interpretations of oceans and wildlife, seascapes and conservation efforts to save our seas.
A smart Bohemian crowd is on hand, greeted by our charming French hostess Sylvie. She has just returned from a trek up Mt. Kilimanjaro. Ricardo Ponce and his mate Carlos make a dashing entrance accompanied by a dozen suave and smashing salceros. Ricardo is instrumental in bringing salsa dance to Bangkok. A Romanian lady named Laura introduces me about to the crew of lovely women and well turned out gents in Ricardo and Carlos posse. The salsa kings are in their element as the alcoholic punch enlivens spirits. Iam invited to join them apres le exibition at the Dream Hotel, where they will hold court in the weekly salsa night for their fans and devotees. Bangkok enjoys a vibrant ballroom dance scene, there is a large contingent of locals addicted to salsa,tango and Brazilian dance. Ricardo is from Peru, Carlos hails from Ecuador and they intend to bring Latin American culture to Krung Thep -City of Angels.
Writer, producer , director Martin Zweiback arrives with his charming lady Virginia. Martin is a veteran of the Hollywood film wars. He was nominated for a WGA award for the film Me Natalie. The movie starred Patty Duke, James Farentino, Martin Balsaam and Salome Jens. Zweiback wrote and directed Cactus in the Sun. His television credits include writing episodes of the original Kung Fu for David Carradine, as well as teleplays for The Rifleman And Combat. Martin is just back from the Hong Kong Film Festival. He loves the Bangkok scene and divides his time between here and Malibu while he works on his new film projects. He engages Alex Wu in conversation. Alex has won 15 prestigious international awards from underwater photo contests and film festivals around the world. His work has been published in magazines and exhibited in London, Chicago, Australia, Jakarta and Switzerland.
The salsa kings do the rico suave as another contingent of salceros invade the space. Sylvie cranks up the volume on the Barry White. Disco music from the 70s provides the background for the scene. Sylvie informs me that Harvey Weinstein, producer of the John Cusak movie Shanghai is reviving the Halston label. The iconic Halston was the face behind the fashion of the sexy disco era. Hia fashions were the staple for the glitterati of the day who jammed Studio 54 and dined at Le Jardin.Shanghai will be shot on location here in Thailand. The buzz surrounding this production is hotting up the town sHANGHAI was originally scheduled to shoot in China but production difficulties shifted the location to Thailand.
Martin and Virginia retire to dine on the rooftop restaurant. The rico suave crowd ready themselves to go on to the dance party at the Dream Hotel and invite me along. I decline gracefully as I must wend my way to my hair stylist in Pattaya for the ubersexual manicure, pedicure and cut and color job to prepare me for a very important film audition next week. But that mes cher chiens Andalou is another story for another day.