Superman bus art


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.

Superman Bus vehicle graphic, Colombo Sri Lanka

The title artwork

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.

Abstract motif  motif vehicle graphic Sri Lanka

Design on the side

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.

Landscape painting on the side of a bus

Painting on the driver's door

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.

Trishaw details


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.

Detail of three wheel taxi, Sri Lanka

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.

What other details have you noticed?

Aero-matic rice truck art


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:

Aeromatic Rice Truck

Fantasy bus


Western fantasy theme vehicle graphics are rare in Sri Lanka. The image below shows the only one I have ever seen.

Fantasy theme vehicle graphics

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.