RICHARD MARK DOBSON
Puntopia
RICHARD MARK DOBSON Puntopia Pigment Ink on Hahenmuhle Photo Silk Baryta 310gsm
Performance Lake. Wynn Macau. MacauR. Cidade de Sintra, MO Rua Cidade de Sintra NAPE
2019

RICHARD MARK DOBSON Puntopia Pigment Ink on Hahenmuhle Photo Silk Baryta 310gsm
Av. do Infante Dom Henrique
2019
RICHARD MARK DOBSON Puntopia Pigment Ink on Hahenmuhle Photo Silk Baryta 310gsm
Romeo. Doorman. Studio City. MacauEstr. do Istmo, Taipa
2019

HENRY'S POV

WE SEE a Cadillac pull up to the cabstand. WEE SEE the
car rise slightly when TWO huge, dapper HOODS get out.

On HOOD #1 WE SEE large diamond pinky ring on a sausage-
thick finger.

On HOOD #2 WE SEE a broken-nosed hood's tie hangin loosely across his monogrammed shirt like a silk bandolier.

GOODFELLAS SCRIPT.

RICHARD MARK DOBSON Puntopia Pigment Ink on Hahenmuhle Photo Silk Baryta 310gsm
Sands Hotel and Casino. 203 Largo de Monte Carlo. Macau
2019
RICHARD MARK DOBSON Puntopia Pigment Ink on Hahenmuhle Photo Silk Baryta 310gsm
Hotel Lisboa. 2-4 Av. de Lisboa, Macau
2019

RICHARD MARK DOBSON Puntopia Pigment Ink on Hahenmuhle Photo Silk Baryta 310gsm
Lobby. Grand Hyatt. Macau, Estrada do Istmo City of Dreams, Taipa
2019
RICHARD MARK DOBSON Puntopia Pigment Ink on Hahenmuhle Photo Silk Baryta 310gsm
MGM Cotai Hotel. Av. da Nave Desportiva, Taipa
2019

RICHARD MARK DOBSON Puntopia Pigment Ink on Hahenmuhle Photo Silk Baryta 310gsm
MacauEstr. do Istmo, City of Dreams # 1
2019
RICHARD MARK DOBSON Puntopia Pigment Ink on Hahenmuhle Photo Silk Baryta 310gsm
City of Dreams #2 Macau Estr. do Istmo, City of Dreams
2019

RICHARD MARK DOBSON Puntopia Pigment Ink on Hahenmuhle Photo Silk Baryta 310gsm
Elevator # 1 Hotel Lisboa. 2-4 Av. de Lisboa, Macau
2019
RICHARD MARK DOBSON Puntopia Pigment Ink on Hahenmuhle Photo Silk Baryta 310gsm
StarWorld Hotel. Macau Avenida da Amizade, Macau
2019

RICHARD MARK DOBSON Puntopia Pigment Ink on Hahenmuhle Photo Silk Baryta 310gsm
Bus Lines #1. Lisboa. 2-4 Av. de Lisboa, Macau
2019
RICHARD MARK DOBSON Puntopia Pigment Ink on Hahenmuhle Photo Silk Baryta 310gsm
Av. de Lopo Sarmento de Carvalho # 1
2019

RICHARD MARK DOBSON Puntopia Pigment Ink on Hahenmuhle Photo Silk Baryta 310gsm
Av. de Lopo Sarmento de Carvalho, Macau # 2
2019
RICHARD MARK DOBSON Puntopia Pigment Ink on Hahenmuhle Photo Silk Baryta 310gsm
Av. de Cotai, Taipa. Macau
2019

RICHARD MARK DOBSON Puntopia Pigment Ink on Hahenmuhle Photo Silk Baryta 310gsm
Sintra Hotel. 58-62 Av. D Joao IV, Macau
2019
RICHARD MARK DOBSON Puntopia
Morpheus City of Dreams, Estr. do Istmo, Taipa
2019

RICHARD MARK DOBSON Puntopia
MGM Cotai Av. da Nave Desportiva, Macau
2019
RICHARD MARK DOBSON Puntopia Pigment Ink on Hahenmuhle Photo Silk Baryta 310gsm
Lisboa Hotel. 2-4 Av. de Lisboa, Macau
2019

RICHARD MARK DOBSON Puntopia Pigment Ink on Hahenmuhle Photo Silk Baryta 310gsm
Lisboa Hotel. 2-4 Av. de Lisboa, Macau
2019
RICHARD MARK DOBSON Puntopia Pigment Ink on Hahenmuhle Photo Silk Baryta 310gsm
Lisboa Hotel. 2-4 Av. de Lisboa, Macau
2019

RICHARD MARK DOBSON Puntopia Pigment Ink on Hahenmuhle Photo Silk Baryta 310gsm
Lisboa Hotel. 2-4 Av. de Lisboa, Macau
2019
RICHARD MARK DOBSON Puntopia Pigment Ink on Hahenmuhle Photo Silk Baryta 310gsm
Lisboa Hotel. 2-4 Av. de Lisboa, Macau
2019

RICHARD MARK DOBSON Puntopia Pigment Ink on Hahenmuhle Photo Silk Baryta 310gsm
Lisboa. 2-4 Av. de Lisboa, Macau
2019
RICHARD MARK DOBSON Puntopia Pigment Ink on Hahenmuhle Photo Silk Baryta 310gsm
MGM Cotai Hotel. Av. da Nave Desportiva, Macau
2019

NOT FOR SALE

RICHARD MARK DOBSON Puntopia
MGM Cotai Av. da Nave Desportiva, Macau
2019

NOT FOR SALE
RICHARD MARK DOBSON Puntopia Pigment Ink on Hahenmuhle Photo Silk Baryta 310gsm
Hotel Lisboa. 2-4 Av. de Lisboa, Macau
2019

RICHARD MARK DOBSON Puntopia Pigment Ink on Hahenmuhle Photo Silk Baryta 310gsm
Hotel Lisboa. 2-4 Av. de Lisboa, Macau
2019
RICHARD MARK DOBSON Puntopia Pigment Ink on Hahenmuhle Photo Silk Baryta 310gsm
Hotel Lisboa. 2-4 Av. de Lisboa, Macau
2019

RICHARD MARK DOBSON Puntopia Pigment Ink on Hahenmuhle Photo Silk Baryta 310gsm
Hotel Lisboa. 2-4 Av. de Lisboa, Macau
2019
RICHARD MARK DOBSON Puntopia Pigment Ink on Hahenmuhle Photo Silk Baryta 310gsm
Grand Royalton, One Grantai, Estrada Governador Nobre de Carvalho, Taipa.
2019

RICHARD MARK DOBSON Puntopia Pigment Ink on Hahenmuhle Photo Silk Baryta 310gsm
Diamond Casino. 82-86 R. de Pequim, Macau
2019
RICHARD MARK DOBSON Puntopia Pigment Ink on Hahenmuhle Photo Silk Baryta 310gsm
R. de Fat San, Macau
2019

RICHARD MARK DOBSON Puntopia Pigment Ink on Hahenmuhle Photo Silk Baryta 310gsm
Corner of Av. da Praia Grande & Av de Lisboa, Macau
2019
RICHARD MARK DOBSON Puntopia
MGM Cotai Av. da Nave Desportiva, Taipa
2019

NOT FOR SALE

RICHARD MARK DOBSON Puntopia
Estr. do Istmo, Taipa
2019
RICHARD MARK DOBSON Puntopia
The Parisian. Lote 3, Strip, SAR, P.R. China, Estr. do Istmo, Taipa
2019

RICHARD MARK DOBSON Puntopia
Studio City. MacauEstr. do Istmo, Taipa.
2019
RICHARD MARK DOBSON Puntopia
Studio City. MacauEstr. do Istmo, Taipa.
2019

RICHARD MARK DOBSON Puntopia
Bus Lines #2. Lisboa. 2-4 Av. de Lisboa, Macau
2019
RICHARD MARK DOBSON Puntopia Pigment Ink on Hahenmuhle Photo Silk Baryta 310gsm
One Central Macau Novos Aterros do Porto Exterior, Macau
2019

RICHARD MARK DOBSON Puntopia Pigment Ink on Hahenmuhle Photo Silk Baryta 310gsm
The Parisian. Lote 3, Strip, SAR, P.R. China, Estr. do Istmo, Macau
2019
RICHARD MARK DOBSON Puntopia
Centro Comercial. MacauEstr. do Istmo, City of Dreams
2019

RICHARD MARK DOBSON Puntopia
Morpheus City of Dreams, Estr. do Istmo, Taipa
2019
RICHARD MARK DOBSON Puntopia Pigment Ink on Hahenmuhle Photo Silk Baryta 310gsm
MGM Casino Macau. Av. Dr. Sun Yat-Sen
2019

RICHARD MARK DOBSON Puntopia Pigment Ink on Hahenmuhle Photo Silk Baryta 310gsm
Morpheus. City of Dreams, Estr. do Istmo, Taipa
2019
RICHARD MARK DOBSON Puntopia
One Central Macau Novos Aterros do Porto Exterior, Macau
2019

RICHARD MARK DOBSON Puntopia
One Central Macau Novos Aterros do Porto Exterior, Macau
2019
RICHARD MARK DOBSON Puntopia Pigment Ink on Hahenmuhle Photo Silk Baryta 310gsm
One Central Macau Novos Aterros do Porto Exterior, Macau
2019

RICHARD MARK DOBSON Puntopia Pigment Ink on Hahenmuhle Photo Silk Baryta 310gsm
Performance Lake. Wynn Macau. MacauR. Cidade de Sintra, MO Rua Cidade de Sintra NAPE
2019
RICHARD MARK DOBSON Puntopia
Wynn Hotel. 394 Rue Cidade de Sintra, Macau
2019

RICHARD MARK DOBSON Puntopia
Mui Mui Store. Shop S42 Wynn Macau Resort, Macau
2019
RICHARD MARK DOBSON Puntopia Pigment Ink on Hahenmuhle Photo Silk Baryta 310gsm
Rue de Pequim, Macau
2019

RICHARD MARK DOBSON Puntopia
Grand Lisboa #1. 2-4 Av. de Lisboa, Macau
2019
RICHARD MARK DOBSON Puntopia
Countdown Hotel. Crown Towers Estr. do Istmo, Taipa
2019

RICHARD MARK DOBSON Puntopia Pigment Ink on Hahenmuhle Photo Silk Baryta 310gsm
MGM Cotai Av. da Nave Desportiva, Taipa
2019
RICHARD MARK DOBSON Puntopia
Centro Comercial. MacauEstr. do Istmo, City of Dreams, Taipa
2019

RICHARD MARK DOBSON Puntopia
Gas Station. Estr. Gov. Nobre de Carvalho, Taipa
2019
RICHARD MARK DOBSON Puntopia Pigment Ink on Hahenmuhle Photo Silk Baryta 310gsm
Morpheus City of Dreams, Estr. do Istmo, Taipa
2019

RICHARD MARK DOBSON Puntopia
Morpheus City of Dreams, Estr. do Istmo, Taipa
2019
RICHARD MARK DOBSON Puntopia
Signature Club. Centro Comercial. MacauEstr. do Istmo, City of Dreams, Taipa
2019

The men in black know the cameras up high, above their heads, are watching them as much as they are watching the punters; they are been watched watching the watched.

For the men in black observing and being observed know it's the name of the game. Welcome to the City of Dreams. They play their part, in the dream surveillance state.

The men in black stand below black eyed ceiling cameras, which relay choppy footage to eyes backstage, beyond everyone's line of sight. Security central is always full of chatter...

The men in black are part of the system designed to catch the punters cheating. Punters who cheat get ruffed up. Punters who are seen losing are left alone to lose more. Those who turn up dreaming of fortunes, often leave in tears.

The men in black greet you with 'welcome to the city of dreams', all knowing that behind the gloss n glitter facade it's the humming of dirty closed circuit TV's and the buzz of the push to talk, coiled security radio earpieces.

RICHARD MARK DOBSON Puntopia
Morpheus City of Dreams, Estr. do Istmo, Taipa
2019
RICHARD MARK DOBSON Puntopia
City of Dreams, Estr. do Istmo, Taipa
2019

RICHARD MARK DOBSON Puntopia
City of Dreams, Estr. do Istmo, Taipa
2019
RICHARD MARK DOBSON Puntopia
Signature Club. Centro Comercial. MacauEstr. do Istmo, City of Dreams, Taipa
2019

RICHARD MARK DOBSON Puntopia Pigment Ink on Hahenmuhle Photo Silk Baryta 310gsm
Morpheus. City of Dreams, Estr. do Istmo, Taipa
2019
RICHARD MARK DOBSON Puntopia
Out through the in door.
2019

Galaxy Macauâ„¢ Estrada da Baía da Nossa Senhora da Esperança, s/n, COTAI, Macao

The blue planet, Earth, whirls around the sun with the harvest moon, Jupiter, Saturn, Mars, Venus as glowing companions. Unlike a revolving door, their inertia is spent across eons of time. At the Galaxy, punters spin in through the outdoor and spin out through the in door.

Here in the subdued galactic light life is a game of chance, that rotates around spinning wheels, and twirling little white orbs….those hoping to hit the supernova jackpot, give one last throw of the dice…

RICHARD MARK DOBSON Puntopia
MGM Casino Macau. Av. Dr. Sun Yat-Sen, Macau
2019
RICHARD MARK DOBSON Puntopia Pigment Ink on Hahenmuhle Photo Silk Baryta 310gsm
Praca de Dom Afonso, Macau
2019

RICHARD MARK DOBSON Puntopia Pigment Ink on Hahenmuhle Photo Silk Baryta 310gsm
Morpheus City of Dreams, Estr. do Istmo, Taipa
2019
RICHARD MARK DOBSON Puntopia Pigment Ink on Hahenmuhle Photo Silk Baryta 310gsm
Hotel Lisboa. 2-4 Av. de Lisboa, Macau
2019

RICHARD MARK DOBSON Puntopia
Grand Royalton, One Grantai, Estrada Governador Nobre de Carvalho
2019
RICHARD MARK DOBSON Puntopia Pigment Ink on Hahenmuhle Photo Silk Baryta 310gsm
Gas Station. Estr. Gov. Nobre de Carvalho, Taipa
2019

RICHARD MARK DOBSON Puntopia Pigment Ink on Hahenmuhle Photo Silk Baryta 310gsm
Rue de Desporto, Taipa
2019

Opposites attract or do they? This image, all horizontal and vertical lines, beckon us to consider the two figures, converging,
• (converge on/upon) come from different directions and meet at (a place): half a million gambling fans will converge on the punting capital that is Puntopia.

It's been a long hard night on the tables, he centre stage, all trussed up with memories of capitulation, his money not limitless. The other fella in blue, well he's heading to the Venetian, hopeful....

The banyan trees, hemmed by brick, glass and concrete court the eye. They offer for those willing to see, a way out of addiction to chance and the clutches of linearity....for their shadowy diagonal branches offer a clue to the reality of non-linearity. Life is a game of luck?

 
PUNTOPIA

I knew Macau had modernized and had become a mega Chinese gambling mecca on a scale equal to Las Vegas.  The sleepy quaint Portuguese flavoured backwater I remembered from the early 90’s had long been buried under steel and concrete .  It had eclipsed Vegas some time ago in terms of revenues generated.  My interest then was to return after a 27 year absence and develop a series I would call Puntopia. A sequel to the dystopian street photography series I created a year earlier in Hong Kong.  A collection of images with a neo noir vibe. Work I call Neonopolis. Puntopia I thought is where I present a sort of futuristic pleasure dome, the place where Neonopolis fat cats and high rollers come to play and gamble away their illicit fortunes.  

Like with all of my street projects it often takes some time before I begin to see the nuances of place and a style emerges. I like to let what I’m seeing and feeling decide the visual narrative/style of the pictures.  For example high key, low key.  In fact my camera dictates to me how this is going to emerge stylistically.  Yes the ‘look’ almost has a life of its own.  I don’t ‘try’ to force anything.  And I don’t mean the story!  Because a lot of what I do today is less about story and more about vibe.  The vibe is the story, the narrative is the vibe.  The construct of the picture and how I frame eventually becomes central to the way the series emerges photographically speaking.  The cameras finds the frame and vibe for me.  At least it seems that way to me.  I find that a fascinating process.  Hence my love for street photography.

In the case of Puntopia the myriad floors and walkways of hotels, mega shopping complexes and casinos are paradoxically the streets.  Retail high streets tucked away in gargantuan glitzy malls. 100’s of kilometers of shopping and eating strips, stuffed with nothing else but A-list brands, Gucci, Bulgari, Hermes, Prada, Kate Spade.  Add in the multi-level gambling floors from VIP to mass gaming across the 49 plus Macau casinos.  Equally the preponderance of colossal 60 floor high hotels scattered across both Macau and Taipei added another yet more levels of excess.  

Yes Puntopia is about excess.  Excessive gambling, eating, shopping.  Under the bright lights the punters dream. Desire. Succumb to the illusion. Mostly they don't get it. That gambling is the ultimate bait and switch. They are presented with glamour and gucci, but what they get is loss, poverty and despair. The odds are stark and real: the odds don't lie. They get buried in existential punting addiction and greed.

And within the serried ranks of this gambling madness there are legions of Chinese croupiers and observers, and security guards from places such as Wuhan, Tianjin, Manila, Katmandhu or Cox’s Bazaar.  They sit or stand watching, observing 12 hours a day.  They watch the winners and losers, the big spenders.  They are watched themselves by the big bosses upstairs!  Eyes and cameras are everywhere.   Frugality is a dirty word in Macau. Unless of course you are one of the security team on a minimum wage. Uncountable numbers of tourist and gamblers from mainland China descend on the town, bussed in and out. 24/7.  The place never sleeps.  The shops never close.  Hookers linger day and night. 

Oh and it’s all so amazing stylish.  The level of grandeur is stupendous.  The quality of furnishings opulent beyond my wildest dreams.  I thought to myself.  Goodness when I walked this enclave some 25 years ago, those across the border were still walking about in blue, grey or green Mao suits.  And in many cases rags too.  Could they have ever imagined this level of luxury and sophistication? And if not, then why are they not showing amazement now as they stroll around heads bowed into their smart phones?  They seemed to be missing the miracle of it all.  I certainly wasn’t!

Ultimately there are so many sub-subjects buried within this place I call Puntopia that I could never hope to complete the work I envisage in just 5 days.  The images you see here are merely just the building blocks to something bigger.  

I would like to get in much closer to the gambling tables, and capture the tempo, moods and characters of the players.  The nuances of winning and losing big money.  Cooperation from the casinos will be necessary.  Or I go in with some spy cameras.  There is the ‘hidden’ sex industry.  Massage parlous and karaoke bars.  All of these take serious time to penetrate (excuse the pun), if one can get access at all.  Therefore certainly for now, I’m more than happy to make inference to some of these no-go areas. I like to imagine what’s happening in that building, room or behind those closed doors.  Imagination is a fascinating thing.

 
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