Thursday, March 12, 2009

Kerala truck graphics

This is something I've wanted to do for sooo long. Feature truck graphics. And in my short trip to Kerala last month, I was finally able to shoot some of the really typical truck graphics of the state. I haven't seen these kind of trucks in the rest of the country (do correct me if I am wrong) . I've heard Pakistan has some completely incredibly decorated trucks, but shooting that doesn't look possible anytime now :) So here's a look at Kerala's brand of truck decor.

Yellow is a favourite of sorts. I don't blame them, the colour is just gorgeous.
Do check out the decked out name plate and the peacock feathers on the bonnet.
Malayalam (the language spoken in Kerala) and English header boards. Here the eagle is on the bonnet.
I love the different typography on each truck.
And man... just look at this. All the colours in the rainbow find a place on this truck.
There are simple ones as well
Do click on this image. Along with the little 'scenaries' in circles, messages like "Time is money" & "Manners make a man" are woven into the design.
Look for the 'Kathakali' head on the yellow bonnet.
"Man proposes, god disposes" finds place with (probably) the names of the trucker's children
"make love not war" is the message here
The backs of trucks are another area which provides a canvas for creativity
Elephants are an integral part of the Keralite life. They are often part of big temples in Kerala & ritual has it that the Gods are taken on a procession on elephant backs.
This one has the National animal- the tiger
Religion & god are a popular theme
With the backs of the trucks adorned with detailed paintings of Baby Jesus,

Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth
And most appropriately 'Hanuman' the monkey god who symbolises protection.


Patricia Torres said...

oh how lovely... What colours!!! I love the elephant painted on one of them.. Its so nice.. that there are so many talented people in the world! !

Dithi said...

Truck designs are such treats that add colour on the roads in India. Interesting to see the Kerala flavour as I have been used to a Bengali and the Mumbai flavour! My favourite is the kathakali head on the bonnet:).

~mE said...

wow wow totally wow kitschy pictures

Rekha said...

What a colorful post! Yes, design and color goes beyond decor...Truck drivers sure lead a colorful life in Kerala :)

~ ॐ ~ said...

I have wanted to do this for a long time :)

Was so glad to see it here on your blog !!!

nice work vinnie !

Shalini said...

Fantastic. I love how inventive the painters are....there isn't much repetition at all. The peacock feathers are fantastic.

Kala Pohl Studio said...

I have often wondered at the creativity behind truck graphics - you know, who actually comes up with the designs? There must be some fabulous artists behind the art. Lovely photos, really enjoyed it:):)

Lakshmi -Celebrations of Life said...

Lovely the lorries are.Absoultely loved the post.What myriad colours!i loved the peacock.

Chandan said...

Love the post for all th colour and quirk V.

Krista said...

WONDERFUL! Loving your daily blog posts. Keep up the good work!

Life Unscripted! said...

WOW Such a colorful post!!! I love the kinda kitschy art on the trucks and's one pict from my Kerala trip


pRiyA said...

i utterly LOVE these. i remember flamboyant trucks like these in Bangalore when i was a child. then suddenly they dissapeared. i am so glad they still exist in kerala and that you took the time to photograph them.

i did once stumble across a website long ago about decorated trucks in pakistan. perhaps a google search will retrieve it?

autos had wonderful paintings and writing on them too. but there aren't many of those these days either.

love the stuff you've collected together on your blog. it makes for a very fulfilling browse i tell you...

chithrakaran:ചിത്രകാരന്‍ said...

നിസാരമെന്നു കരുതി ശ്രദ്ധിക്കാതെ പോകുന്ന നാടിന്റെ തനിമയെ കണ്ടെടുത്ത് ആദരിച്ചതില്‍ അതിയായ സന്തോഷമുണ്ട് !!!

Nisha Nair said...

I'm spellbound by how you see beauty in everything....and I thought it was just me. But you beat anyone i know. just wow!!

Tanguera/Anja said...

Hello, I just discovered your blog and also your post on Keralan Trucks. It so happens that I too have written a blogpost about that. It will appear in a couple of days (april 19th 2013) and I named your post in it and have put a back link in my article.
By the way: I looooove your blog. What a great topics, and gorgeous pictures! I sure will follow you, now that I found you.
You will find the blogpost about the trucks on
Kind regards,
Anja aka CurlyTraveller

joseph v.mathew said...

I came to your blog from curlyTraveller.You guys are great who find beauty in ordinary things.In Kerala seldom do we pay a second thought to these mobile art pieces!