I love the idea that creativity exists in all of us. In America the image of a transport trucker is stereotypically not that of an artist. In Japan it seems that there exists a whole subculture of ‘truckers’ that take great pride in creating moving art.
Influenced by a series of films that began releasing in 1976 titled Truck Guys, the films featured an excentric trucker who drove his ostentatious truck around Japan. Truck Guys chanelled the fish transport trucks of the 1970’s whose drivers customize their vehicles with sightseeing bus and US military parts.. This combination of necessity to use recycled parts and the natural existance of upmanship has resulted in the popular sighting of Dekotora (decorated) Trucks all over Japan.
These days, Dekotora Trucks are greatly influenced by Gundam, a Japanese anime that features giant robots. These Gundam influenced designs combined with retro design and mordern art make for eye catching and stunning displays of mobil art.
Masaru Tatsuki, has spent ten years photographing Dekotora Trucks (he spells it Decotora). His work is being featured at the Tai Gallery in Santa Fe, New Mexico and is really fantastic. He captures not only the flashy and ornate façade of the trucks but also gives a detailed glimpses into the lives of drivers, their families and the interiors of these works of art. His book Decotora: Japanese Art Truck Scene is available through my Amazon store on the right. The above photograph is by Mr. Tatsuki.
Here is a link to a really cool collection of ‘Japanese Art Trucks’ by Roger Snider:
He has a book called: Ultra Rigs of the World No. 2 Japan - Spring 2008