November 8, 2020 By bangkok7
Hey there, cyberwanderer. Welcome to my blog. I’m Bangkok Seven, and today I have, for your reading pleasure, an interview with our fried Jack—the man behind Sweet3Mango and the wildly-popular Bangkok Nites.
Jack is really a “Jack” of many media trades. He does PR, he handles social media for a handful of businesses in Nana and Patpong, he’s a photojournalist for events in BKK. But his real talent is in the area of art photography, which he has honed over many years in the back alleys and night streets of this unique metropolis. As an amateur observer, to me his eye seems to swing like a pendulum between the stark steel and geometric concrete of the architecture to the softer, rounder, organic edges of the people who inhabit the nooks and crannies of Bangkok. Call it the yin and yang of his lens, if you want. His work is evocative and soul-stirring. But as we all know, art don’t pay the bills. Thank Buddha for Jack’s backup plan: Twitter god.
Recently, Bangkok Nites’ Twitter account (@BKKNites) hit a milestone—24,000 followers—making it the most-followed BKK nightlife feed on the planet. That’s no small feat. Last week, I had a beer with Jack in Shenanigan’s where he shared some of his insights. Here’s a snippet of our conversation:
BS: Where do you hail from?
Jack: I come from the North East of England, if you cut me, I bleed black and white.
BS: What brought you to Thailand and when?
Jack: I had a couple of holidays here and decided England was no longer for me. I wanted to try something different and came here for initially 6 months. 7 years later, and I am still here. I had also met my future wife and decided why not give it a go, as a side note I arrived late 2013 just 5 short months before the last coup.
BS: What’s the best part about living here?
Jack: I love to travel, and as you know street photography is my passion and I love the freedom to move around here and take photos (Thai people are so open to having a pic taken). I love the food, where else can you eat for 50 baht? but on the other hand you have some amazing Japanese, Chinese and Western restaurants that are high end. The place is diverse and no matter what night you want to go out something is happening.
BS: As a Bangkok photographer, you see a side of the city that most don’t. What have you learned from looking through your lens?
Jack: As above, Thai people love to have their photograph taken, I have seen the community of Klong Toey during the lockdown (children were so generous in their smiles) and after the death of the late King Rama 9 where thousands of people showed their love. I have shot in gogo bars where girls show they are not just sex workers and have a personality and a life outside of that environment. I also have met some great people (present company included) whom I would never have met without picking up a camera.
BS: Aw, thanks Jack. We feel the same way.
Congrats on having the most popular BKK Nightlife Twitter account. How does it feel to be top dog?
Jack: Haha the fact that over 23k people follow me is a huge “no way”, but I just like to post and give myself little targets.
BS: You were on the ground at the recent pro-democracy protests. Without saying something that could get us into trouble, what insight can you offer from the experience?
Jack: I try to stay out of Thai politics (difficult, as I have an opinion on everything) but as a photographer, I like to think my photo tells a story without having to mouth off and upset people. If someone gets the wrong edge of the stick, they are free to Tweet or email me. Also, all of the protests this time around have been fairly peaceful with a good atmosphere, no edge to them at all.
BS: What do you like most about Thailand?
Jack: I love it all. The food, the people, the Temples (true) and the beaches are amazing, the fact you can fly somewhere like Krabi for 800 baht is so fucking cool.
BS: I understand you recently started helping out the Patpong Warriors with photos and PR. How’s that going?
Jack: It’s going well, the guys at the top have some great ideas, and for me, they are trying to bring something different to Patpong and also evolve and develop the area. The entertainment industry can’t survive the way it is at the moment, so working for people that are trying to change things and try something different is not only hard work but is great fun and rewarding. Just yesterday they decide to turn the area that is normally Barbar Fetish Club into a Haunted House, and by all accounts was a huge success, a great idea and something different.
BS: What’s next for you? What should we keep an eye out for?
Jack: I keep on plugging away, working with Patpong Warriors takes up a lot of my time. But it also has given me the inspiration to evolve and work with people on growing their business through social media, content and photography. I would like to travel a bit more before the hordes are allowed back in. Looking to rebrand the Mango brand and try something different with that, as reporting on the news here is tedious and there is so much more to talk about besides politics.
Thanks for putting up with our questions, Jack, and for being a big inspiration for us starting this very blog. Catch you one of these weekends in either The Strip or Black Pagoda.
And if you’d like to catch more of what Jack’s cookin’ you can check out his websites: Sweet3Mango.com and BKKNnites.com and of course, follow him on Twitter. That’s all for this week, gents. Until next time, keep your balls warm, your beer cold, and cheers to another week above ground in this tropical wonderland. Drink ‘em if you got ‘em.