I don’t usually risk photographing (fumbling for which a phone camera) bus art while driving. However the bus featured below felt worth the calculated risk (I was at a red light). Like the fantasy bus highlighted in a previous post, this one’s back art featuring superman is a refreshing departure from the usual photo montage and stencil based themes.
The colour scheme on the side art is restrained (by Sri Lankan vehicle graphic standards) yet cheerfully flamboyant. The iconography makes broad (perhaps unintentional) references to medieval Kandian motifs. I particularly like the integration of the colours with the logo artwork.
The bus also has a set of “paintings” on panels towards the front with unrelated content. The driver’s door panel carries the most colourful Painting detecting a vaguely European landscape. The subject matter seems more Cezanne in Van Gogh colours.
Overall a nice piece of Sri Lankan bus graphics. Aficionados might recognise this as a fine early work from the middle period of the late Borukatha school.
When driving in Colombo or anywhere else for that matter, I instinctively check the blind-spot just before I turn. Inevitably there is a previously invisible three wheeler ready for a collision. I was stuck in traffic when I noticed this one sneaking up on me. At least it had an interesting design. Now its blogged (see picture below) for all the world to see.
A more common detail of Sri Lanka’s three wheel taxi’s is the winged skull fastenings around the back that hold down the roof cover. Clearly visible in my old swathika taxi post.
Sri Lanka’s traditional wooden chase trucks have an interesting mix of traditional and modern motifs. This example (a rice truck I suppose) seems to emphasis the modern. Despite the otherwise familiar landscape vignettes , the collision course airplanes give a the design an unusual sense of movement. Air traffic control people will find this slightly uneasy though. :)
High time for a truck art post indeed. Here’s the picture:
Western fantasy theme vehicle graphics are rare in Sri Lanka. The image below shows the only one I have ever seen.
It would seem that Anura Advertising (the most frequent credit seen on bus art work in Sri Lanka) is diversifying its themes. The composition in this example seems to be more unified than the all over Photoshop montage style that dominate Sri Lankan bus graphics. The composition swirls around the centre dominated by a seemingly serene mountain. The eye is trapped in the midded of hemmed in by the shape of the bow and arrow clutching figrue on the right and the abstract bird wing forms on the left. There is a fusion of multi-cultural graphical elements (marked out on the photo’s flicker page). The most prominent — the large eyed bow and arrow welding character on the right clearly showing a Manga/Tolkienesque influences. The white swirly forms on the right have echoes of decorative floral forms from traditional Kandian art.
I could try to go on and on but the shallowness of my knowledge and restriction on my time forces me to keep it short. There’s plenty I could have missed so please feel free to chip in.
This is possibly the strangest trishaw I have spotted so far. Odd how just one element of its design can change the look. Perhaps its just me. The picture is below for you to decide. Verdict goes in the comment box,
I was alone behind the wheel and there you were irresistibly in front of me. What to do but reach for a borrowed phone with a camera with one paw on the wheel. The riskiest situation to be taking photographs. Made more dangerous by proximity to a check point. I managed to get some decent shots without killing myself or anyone else. Violated all the precautions I was pontificating in an earlier comment. I am alive to show and tell because of my mastery of third world driving. As you can see it was worth it (best to widen the browser window for a better view).
Luscious works of art like this melts will power faster than an ice cube in a furnace. The mobile phone camera colour does injustice to the colours which are particularly rich on this truck. The roundels vignettes have a delightful tropical island and palm tree thing going. Sri Lanka’s restrained answer to the more flamboyant Jingle trucks may be part of a dying breed. But its path to extinction is gloriously slow. One of life’s small mercies in a universe where everything must pass on.
Trishaw (three wheel taxi) in the image below has an interesting use of BMW/Peugeot logos/car emblems. Most like those exalted European car makers will cringe. But I admire the style of this Euro car fan ;) Of course don’t forget to note the fancy fake chrome add-ons.
It is obviously not as complex as the BMW pick-up truck. However, this is the first time I have seen car logos used in this way on the three wheeler. Not sure if he logos are real or custom built. I’m betting that they were salvaged from a scrap heap. He is clearly a Peugeot since the BMW logo get a not so prominent place. But its distinctive colour is the first thing that caught my eye. Click on the image to see the details on its fllickr page.