Pink bike helmet with Pinkie logo
Cambodia,  Laos,  Photographing Public Art

Gallery: motorbike ‘art’ in South East Asia

From time to time while travelling I find myself taking photos on a theme, even if I hadn’t intended to when I set out. In Cuenca and Tallinn it was doors; in New Mexico it was Harley Davidson motorbikes. And in Indochina it was not only the motorbikes but the bike helmets.

I first noticed them in Phnom Penh, in the streets around the Central Market. The designs on them seemed incongruously childlike: Disney-esque fairy tale characters, Hello Kitty, superheroes and cute animals. I started to look out for them in other places; Siem Reap was an especially fruitful hunting ground.

I was also diverted by the bikes themselves, with their designs usually similarly applied as decals. The Honda brand of ‘Scoopy’ was much in evidence. And in Luang Prabang I even found a dog dressed to match the owner’s bike! That bike was perhaps a bit ‘cooler’ than the others, with a colourful paint spray job.

I’m sharing these for the Photographing Public Art challenge, although whether these decorations should properly be called art is debatable!

I visited Cambodia and Laos in 2020

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