RICHARD MARK DOBSON
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
Series. Puntopia.  Title: On the hour. Every Hour. Sands Hotel and Casino. 203 Largo de Monte Carlo. Macau
2019

Gambling is an all encompassing activity at the Sands. On the hour. Every hour. They should know, for at the Sands, they watch the punters pour in and pour out like sand in an hourglass. Cash slips though fingers, well, like grains of sand down at the Sands!

The punters, start with a pile of chips under their chin, and before long, the chips are piled high on the opposite side of the table. It doesn't matter. The clock keeps ticking. Time slips by. The cash keeps flowing. From him to her. Here to there. Thee to thou. Now and thereafter.

How many stars are there in the Universe? Some reckon 1 billion trillion. And grains of sand on earth? Heck, a conservative estimate is 500 Quadrillion. But calculating how many dollars bills are stashed in pockets, wallets, socks, bra's, knickers at the Sands, is quite frankly, anyone's guess. But one thing for sure and not hard to fathom, is that much of the lucre spent down at the Sands, was not made legitimately. Yes the Sands is where racketeers go sit on the proverbial beach. Seen, not so inconspicuously in Hawaiian shirt and dark ray-bans, with glass of cognac in hand, a dolly bird on their arm and a pile of chips in their fingers, wearing aftershave that smells, well, like sun tan oil.

The hourglass, sometimes with the addition of metaphorical wings, is often depicted as a symbol that human existence is fleeting, and that the "sands of time" will run out for every human life. Well here at the Sands, for some of the punters, nasty, brutish, their time on the tables can be short, and when their luck runs out, which it eventually does, they leave solitary and poor.
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

A primary goal of the human visual system is to reconstruct the three-dimensional structure of the environment from two-dimensional retinal images. For example, the visual system appears to assume that convex surfaces are more common than concave ones, biasing perception toward convex surfaces when the image is ambiguous.

Who is this individual anyway? On his phone probably speaking with his chums across town who reside down loan shark alley.

With this fella we identify a new probabilistic cue for surface shape: a form with a visible specular highlight, and therefore more likely to be convex? Highlights occur when light is reflected in a mirror-like way from glossy surfaces such as polished marble or metal or heck, even skin and bone.

You see, numbskulls, knuckleheads, blockheads are two to a penny around here. For this place welcomes those daft enough to think they can outwit the rigged system. Yes Puntopia actively encourages boneheads that sparkle with specular highlights, hoping to hit that elusive spectacular jackpot.

They want those on the tables, with more overtly convex configured domes containing steeply shaped concave minds to punt on spinning wheels and bouncing orbs, which of course have their own revealing specular highlights too.
RICHARD MARK DOBSON Puntopia Pigment Ink on Hahenmuhle Photo Silk Baryta 310gsm
Series. Puntopia.  Title: A fine white line. MGM Cotai Hotel. Av. da Nave Desportiva, Taipa
2019

"the fine white line dissecting two temporary scenarios, is a line that exists in reality and nowhere else.  For glass has to be framed for rigidity. Two sheets of glass. Two opposing views. What happens behind the glass and in front, merge.  They merge life.  Glass mirrors life, and life, like glass is fragile.  What holds them together is a fine white line. 

Let's face it, existence balances on a fine line between life and death.  Applaud and regret.  Success and failure.  Sickness and health.

In Puntopia, a fine line divides the winner and losers, the haves and have nots.  The lucky and unlucky. The moral and immoral. Those with honest intentions and those that cheat.  Here in Puntopia, glass reflects a dream like, fantastical reality. The Oxford dictionary definition of 'fantastical' is 'remote from reality'. And that's exactly what Puntopia is. It's a charade. Wholly not what it appears to be and VICE versa...

RICHARD MARK DOBSON Puntopia Pigment Ink on Hahenmuhle Photo Silk Baryta 310gsm
Series. Puntopia. Title: 3 Punters. Praca de Dom Afonso Henriques, Macau
2019

Three is an odd number. Punters are odd people. They gamble on chance.

You might notice 3 punters appear before you, and yet they're not in front of you at all. Such is the illusion. The law of reflection states a ray of light leaves a mirror at the same angle it enters. Light is known to behave in a predictable manner, unlike the punters, who arrive with grandiose delusions of winning the jackpot, and leave, mostly, disillusioned. Often angry and delusional!

That's when they regress psychologically and with it their composure changes. All decorum evaporates. At this juncture, Puntopia's observation system matrix takes over, making notes on their behaviour, which often turns for the worse. Usually manifesting in the form of binge drinking and then seeking out sexual gratification with the legions of hookers who ply their trade along the Cotai strip. Here onward, it's a spiral down. From 10-3. The girls usually make sure they clear out what little money they have left.

Below three it's game over.....the surveillance apparatus kicks in, tips off the security detail and the punters are rounded up. They spend the next 48 hours behind steel, not glass, where the angle of incident is reported, and after writing a 20 page confession, those guilty have had, without doubt, plenty time to reflect upon their misdemeanor.

Many of them though are back in week for more of the same. Such is the power of illusion that this place promotes and capitalizes upon.

The moral of the story is, Puntopia is a moral free zone.
RICHARD MARK DOBSON Puntopia Pigment Ink on Hahenmuhle Photo Silk Baryta 310gsm
Puntopia. Title: The Red Guard.. City of Dreams #2 Macau Estr. do Istmo, City of Dreams 2019
2019

It’s all hush hush here behind the velvet drapes. His barely discernible footsteps muffled in plush pile carpets all the while, louder, is the squeak of his starched green tunic.

This night, like all of them, around this corner of the Gambling Industrial complex, fusty air hangs under glowing ceiling lamps. The night is still young but it feels old, and stale. He's been here far too long. He just keeps his mouth shut and walks the blocks. Taking 90 degree turns, pacing through the City of Dreams, Block- A, B, C, D.

His repetitive long march, from the front to the back and from the back to the front, night after night, along red corridors, the colour of his arm bands. Two crimson ribbons with a number instead of his name, signifies that he's security detail. City of Dreams, or is that City of screams?

He clocks in as a Red Guard Security employee? No coincidence it seems in the name. Around here people don't get the book thrown at them, but they do get thrown out for unruly behaviour. And get trussed up and a good hiding if found trying to cheating the system.

RICHARD MARK DOBSON Puntopia Pigment Ink on Hahenmuhle Photo Silk Baryta 310gsm
Series. Puntopia. Title: Ground Floor.  Going Down. Hotel Lisboa. 2-4 Av. de Lisboa, Macau
2019

Ground floor.  Going down.  How far can the punters go?  Well at Puntopia's celebrated gambling spot, the Lisboa casino, they can go as low as they want.  Or don't want! You see, the management know, that here, they don't have a lot of control over how far down they go, for management decides that for them.  Only they, the punters, don't know that.

Heck, those with some common sense would not even enter the building, let alone get in the elevator.   And for those foolish enough to step in, again common sense should dictate they best flee before the doors close behind them.  But sadly sense is none too common around Puntopia. 

So the doors close, and down they go. The basement beckons. It's a black marble causeway of grand tackiness.  It's an underground avenue crammed with humans. A procession of rude and dodgy folk, stinking of tobacco and cheap vodka.  It's the hall of infamy.  Here congregate the un-famous, famous for getting wasted and throwing it all away.  Their cash first.  Then what they can pawn off, from their wrists, finger and around their necks. When that's all be tossed away on the roulette wheel, they head for the cash machines one floor down.  Basement level 2.  Here they try and remember their credit card PIN number and hope they can extract a few more Patacas, squeezed from their already over the limit overdraft limit.

Then when it's whats' called, game over, they head down to basement level three.  And what happens there is, well, err, humm, another story.
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
Series. Puntopia. Title: Strip the Light Fantastic. Av. de Cotai, Taipa. Macau.
2019

The Cotai strip. It's where street walkers come to hustle their wares. It's hookers row. Whore haven. Doxy's boulevard, siren street, wenches way. Whatever you wanna call it, call it what you will. It doesn't matter to the girls. They couldn't care less. They're just after your money.

They have their clock on you. In, out, shake it all about, do the hokey cokey and hurry the fuck up! Pay and bugger off. That's their sentiment. Woe betide anyone foolish enough to try short change them on the agreed tariff. The good time girls can turn your evening into a very bad one if you engage them of their services and then try nickle and dime them down them after shedding your load. Or not pay them at all. Heck you do that, and they might just feed you to the chickens.

Now if you don't know what feeding to the chickens means, it's common practice in China. Your wife, girlfriend or mistress, finds out you are been unfaithful. Well one night while you are blissfully asleep, she'll lop off your member with a butchers knife, chop it u into fine bite sized pieces, and then toss the bits out of the window to the chickens in the yard. It's might be for this reason the Chinese men have a word for prostitutes. They call them 'chicken girls'.

Well it's strip the light fantastic here along the Cotai, and the chicken girls are strutting their stuff. 24/7/365.

RICHARD MARK DOBSON Puntopia
They'll see you on the dark side of the room.. 2-4 Av. de Lisboa, Macau
2019

Series. Puntopia.  Title: They'll see you on the Dark Side of the Room. Hotel Lisboa. 2-4 Av. de Lisboa, Macau

They'll see you on the dark side of the room,
All that you touch, and all that you see,
All that you that you taste, all that you drink,
All that you give and all that you deal,
All that you buy, beg borrow or steal,
And all that you do, and all that you say,
And all that you eat, and everyone you meet,
All that you think, and all that you thought,
And all that you hide, and all that you lose,
And all that you cry, and all that you try,
They'll see you on the dark side of the room.

There is no dark side of the room really
Matter of act it's all dark.....
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
Series. Puntopia. Title: All that Glitters is not Gold. Hotel Lisboa. 2-4 Av. de Lisboa, Macau
2019

It’s not that difficult to spot the losers.  For example, stand around in the ornate lobby of the Lisboa hotel for a while and soon enough one or more comes slouching along, often hands in pockets, with a sort of dead pan expression, neither smiling or grimacing. Their faces sullen with a wax like complexion from lack of sun and fresh air, resemble that of a dead person. They certainly don’t notice the gold trimmings on their way out.  And probably didn't notice them on their  way in either.  

However it's a good bet, that while heading for the casino, they most certainly had gold on their minds. The golden hues of the macanese 1000 pataca notes. They came in dreaming of winning as many of those as they could.  Puntopia stats however claimed that after spending an average 8 hours huddled around the gambling tables, the so called hard core punters would then slouch away, with far less golden patacas in their pockets than when they arrived.  It was a numbers game alright. 

The stats on the homicide rate, recorded by the police, especially around silly season, which in Puntopia was Monday to Friday, January to December, was quite staggering. The Macau-Taipa bridge a mere 400 yard slouch away from the Lisboa was a favorite jumping spot.   Punters would prefer to wait for one of the passing steel hull cargo ships to pass underneath, before they leaped, worried that the murky waters just 114ft below might not be enough to end their misery.  For the captains of their ships it was a big inconvenience. They had to stop their boats.  Send down a few deckhands to go scrape off the remains of the now almost unrecognizable mangled punter, and hand the bits of him/her over to the harbor police.  

It was ionic really, for those who arrived dreaming of gold, that for many, the last thing they saw before before they departed, was not gold and sparkling at all, but rather the dull grey of merchant ship steel.
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
Series. Puntopia.  Title: Faunacation. MGM Cotai Av. da Nave Desportiva, Macau # 1
2019

Around Puntopia, marble, glass, brass, gold and concrete is the primal source for the origins of emotional life. All sentient beings around here wear leather, and silk, prada, and gucci, while other creatures of greater splendour, those multicellular eukaryotic organisms that form the biological kingdom animalia, are nothing more than plastic dummies or plasma effigies. Puntopia is all about fornication and faunacation. The birds and the bees.

In this hermetically sealed biosphere, nothing gets in that has more or less than 2 legs and 2 arms. Monkeys and chimpanzees are stopped at the door. That said, great apes are welcome. Orangutans in Armani are especially welcome....

RICHARD MARK DOBSON Puntopia
Series. Puntopia. Title: Faunacation. MGM Cotai Av. da Nave Desportiva, Macau # 2
2019

Around Puntopia, marble, glass, brass, gold and concrete is the primal source for the origins of emotional life. All sentient beings around here wear leather, and silk, prada, and gucci, while other creatures of greater splendour, those multicellular eukaryotic organisms that form the biological kingdom animalia, are nothing more than plastic dummies or plasma effigies. Puntopia is all about fornication and faunacation. The birds and the bees.

In this hermetically sealed biosphere, nothing gets in that has more or less than 2 legs and 2 arms. Monkeys and chimpanzees are stopped at the door. That said, great apes are welcome. Orangutans in Armani are especially welcome....
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
Title:  Clockwork Orange. Hotel Lisboa. 2-4 Av. de Lisboa, Macau
2019

Clock in, clock out. Puntopia’s legions of ‘workers’ toil 24/7/365. That’s not a date. It’s the number of days they work. All day, every day. All day, all night. Shifts break on the hour, every hour. Back door entry. Back door exit. Usually sidling past half asleep security personnel, dozing off in their cubicles. It’s a strange twilight existence. They work day shifts. They sleep all night. They work night shifts. They sleep all day. No wonder their already yellow skin, turns a funny mustard orange. It’s lack of vitamin A, D and C.

They arrive dressed all dandy, cheap leather jackets with tiger motifs on the back are a favorite among the male staff. Who work long hours dreaming of a better life. They change into dull gun metal grey jackets, trousers and white shirts. Many decide to drop out of full time Puntopia employment and join the local triads, so they can wear their leather jacket all day, every day. They can also then look forward to been on the other side of the gambling tables. Spending the proceeds of their latest heist or money laundering scam. Much more glamorous. And having a dolly bird in a leather jacket with a tiger motif on her back too, is for many of these young men, the pinnacle of accomplishment.
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
Title: Raise the Red Lantern. Diamond Casino. 82–86 R. de Pequim, Macau
2019

'Within its shade we'll live and die, Tho cowards flinch and traitors sneer, We'll keep the red lantern flying here'

How much can they make from a Diamond Casino Heist?

Raise the red lantern. Raise the red flag.   The payout for a Diamond casino heist is a gamble they want to go all in on. This  isn't any old heist job. According to some crime bosses, this would be the biggest,  most audacious, most complex criminal operation to ever hit Macau.  A heist that would be expensive both in terms of time and resources planning the breach of the well defended Diamond vault. But worth it they figure, given the rewards and satisfaction of relieving the Chan family of a great chunk of their worth.  Yes they plan to fill their suitcases full of cash, and take Miriam Chan, Vice President of Chan Holdings, down a few pegs.  To achieve their aim the fat cat rats down by the creek, consider a few options;

1. Silent & Sneaky: they attempt to enter the vault undetected, giving them the least resistance and the longest amount of time to steal from the vault.
2. Aggressive: they attempt to enter the vault by force, using weapons to overcome extreme levels of resistance.
3. The Big Con: they attempt to enter the vault by passing themselves off as visitors, candidly wheeling out their takings in a big fat, burgundy coloured suitcase.

Seems that option number 3 is top of their options list.....
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
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
Series. Puntopia. Title: Do Androids Dream of Electric Sleep. Morpheus. City of Dreams, Estr. do Istmo, Taipa.
2019

The effects of sleep deprivation are well catalogued. A chronic sleep-restricted state adversely affects the brain and cognitive function, inducing confusion, false memory, seizures, mania, temper tantrums, and often violent behaviour.

The automatons charged with the drudgery of meeting and greeting the fat cats who roll up in their rollers, certainly do dream of getting more electric sleep. For their work is debilitating. Often 24 hour shifts. Back to back. 7 days a week, 365 days a year. They can't complain. They are not allowed to, so all they can do is dream. Dream of a deep, deep electric sleep.

The oligarchs who run the show around here, know, the more sleep deprived the punters are, the riskier their behaviour. They want them insensible, on and off the tables. A stupefied punter is a welcome punter. They like to see them sat there with glazed expressions, slouched over the slot machines, yanking the handle. Again and again and again.

Puntopia encourages no clarity and even less reason. They coax those punters towards a wasted mental state, so comatose from lack of sleep, that when they pull out their credit cards, they spend like there is no tomorrow'.

And guess what? In Puntopia there is no tomorrow. For night and day blur into one.

RICHARD MARK DOBSON Puntopia
Series. Puntopia. Title: Standing on the Pavement, Looking at the Pavement. One Central Macau, Novos Aterros do Porto Exterior, Macau
2019

Loitering with discontent. Turning their backs on the shop windows and bright lights. Usually because it’s just best for them to look away. Or down at the brick or concrete. For they know the feeling, when a stunning hooker saunters by and they have no cash to purchase her services. Then it’s best to stare at something else, like a distant spec of light out in the darkness. A mundane distraction, to prevent crotch tightness and that dizzy lusty, longing feeling. I mean there’s no point window shopping if there’s no Patacas in the pocket. We all know that. It’s pretty universal. “No money, no honey”.

Then best they pull on a fag instead. Inhale deep and let the smoke ease the pain. Dull their fizzy heads with a blast of nicotine. Skulking about, away from the tables and glitter wheels helps. Brings them down to pavement level. Since they’ve all spent up and the sooner they accept that the better. However loitering on the periphery is the punters folly. For deep down they know no pot of cash is going to magically appear before them and that hanging around is only going to make them feel worse. Let the little loser voice in their head ring louder and louder.
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
The Getaway Car. Wynn Hotel. 394 Rue Cidade de Sintra, Macau
2019

Getting away in a hurry for those who have lost a pile of cash, is a prerogative.  Emotionally they offer themselves very little forgiveness, certainly not for the system that has ‘robbed them’ of their hard swindled fortunes! Stepping demonically on the gas, leaving the marble and glitter, and fancy shop windows behind them, it’s now all about flinging themselves into the Puntopia’s clogged streets.  Arteries of traffic madness!  It’s a flee and forget thing.

Having a performance getaway car might alleviate a little of that psychological misery. Helping them commiserate over their foolishness, and sense of loss. I mean, surely dropping a few million on the roulette tables gotta hurt even the most resilient zillionaire….

So they sit there in their getaway car, doing the hurry up and wait, stuck in the traffic, listening to the growl of the V-8 engine slurping on that high octane fuel.  It helps too, having the hired dolly bird beside them, massaging their aching crotch.

Look she's happy. The dolly bird. Because the getaway car trunk is full of shopping bags. She's got her fill of designer clothes, shoes and handbags, plucked greedily from luxury brand stores. She made sure she got what she wanted on his credit card, before she opened her legs and offered up her honey pot. It's a deal made in heaven. Or hell, depending on how willing he was to keep signing credit card chits. Chits for tits. No chits and no tits, or anything else for that matter....

But now she's on her merry way, he's on his un-merry way, and never shall the twain meet, ever again.... ! He keeps the getaway car,  for future getaways, and she keeps the shopping spree items, and will add to them, on the next shopping spree, with a guy with a different get away car….
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
Series. Puntopia. Title: dupliCITY. Av. de Cotai, Taipa. Macau.
2019

Puntopia is a double-crossers delight. The management know this and therefore they are on the look out for them. One double crosser is a headache. Two double-crossers is a much bigger headache.

Now this time they have to deal with a double crosser, often referred to as double dealer, who appears very cunningly to duplicate himself. Not once. But twice. Let's say by way of some sort of deceptive process. Like an optical illusion for example.

They (the management) are now forced to deal with the notion of a double-crosser doing a double duplicity stunt, and that starts the alarm bells ringing. For them, dealing with what appears to be four two timers and certainly a two fold increase in double dealers, at any one time does cause some consternation in the surveillance room.

They have to very quickly access the authenticity of the duplicate, and gauge the intensity of it's audacity, tenacity and potential ferocity with regards to having the capacity.....to rip the management off with an unbiased rapacity.
RICHARD MARK DOBSON Puntopia
Series. Puntopia. Title: Under the Skin. Av. de Cotai, Taipa. Macau.
2019

You see them wander Puntopia's glitzy malls with ruddy faces, and you might think it's a casino cognac flush! But no, it's more serious than that. They're overtaken with what's known as a Puntopia induced 'wanting' flush. Not flush with cash mind you, but desire. This is lust so acute it gets under their skin, like scarlet fever. It's a sort of foot down, full throttle craving for the shiny red object. An icon of style, with a name they can't pronounce, with a price tag they can't afford.

The punters here today, from Dingnan county with their cheap dolly birds, hoping to win the jackpot, have most probably never heard of Enzo, and sadly, Enrico from Manila, charged with keeping an eye on it, this objet d'art and desire, has to make sure they don't scratch it. For while peering inside hoping to get a glimpse of it's leathery interior is not banned, they, the punters, almost squatting down to see through low windows, at close quarters, often in a state of inebriation, does give the management reason to enroll Enrico to stand close and attentive.

He doesn't speak Spanish or Chinese, only Tugalog and English. The punters don't speak Italian. It doesn't matter to the management. Punters must be seen and preferably not heard. They can look but can't touch, and unless they win the jackpot they can't have either.....it's Enrico's job to enforce the house rules. 24/7, 365 days a year.

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

Accretion disks are rings of super heated gases which turn around dark central regions and point to places where black holes are expected to lurk.   At this rim of bright light, one supposedly stands at the event horizon, which it has been said is the ultimate prison wall — one gets in, but one never gets out. You see, a black hole's event horizon is essentially the point from which nothing can return.  Not even light. 

Puntopia's dazzle lures gambling addicts from afar, where they come to witness their very own event horizon. Tiptoeing to the edge of the abyss. Falling headfirst into financial black holes.  The gravitational pull to spin and spend, consume, buy, squander, ingest, sniff, snort, fuck, loan, steal, and often die.  Their open hotel window becomes the event that leads them to a fall into OBLIVION.
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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