I’m a man of means by no means
King of the roadRoger Miller
If public art can be defined as creative, decorative works that can be viewed by anyone at no cost, then the lorries of Nepal should rank as one of that country’s significant contributions to the genre!
The front of every cab is colourfully painted and adorned with slogans. The most popular by far is ‘Road King’, while other popular choices include ‘Speed King’, ‘Speed Control’ and ‘Mom Dad’. Images of Hindu gods are common, of course. Some have beautiful landscapes painted on them, others flags. The latter were naturally usually Nepali, but not always: the Stars and Stripes and Union Jack flags seemed popular as did those of Jamaica and Brazil. I also spotted several that celebrated the music of Bob Marley, who must be popular in Nepal (at least among lorry drivers) and a few supporting European football teams.
Often the sides are painted and the back too, although not always quite so brightly. And when I occasionally got a glimpse inside a cab I saw that it too had been decorated with tinsel, small statues of Hindu gods, garlands and coloured door panels. Of course the interiors were almost impossible for me to photograph and I only rarely caught the sides or rears. So most of the images below, which I offer for Natalie’s Photographing Public Art challenge, are of the cheerful cabs that came to dominate my impressions of Nepali roads. And I’ve thrown in a bus and a van just to mix things up a bit!
NB All these photos were taken from a moving car, often through less than clean windows. I’ve edited them to correct this as far as possible, but I apologise for any blur and/or murkiness.
Road King (with macaques)
Apple Road King
F C Barcelona
Thanks for support Mom & Dad
Mom Dad Loves
Mother’s Love with Road King, and Speed Control
True Love Never Dies
From behind; no slogan, just a pretty bird
Speed control (bus)
I visited Nepal in October/November 2022