Part 1: Art on wheels – shooting Dubai’s colourful ‘Jingle’ trucks

Last week I wrote a short post on the design process behind our signature annual calendar which is designed & used in-house and shared with clients/partners. Here’s a link to the post. A few days ago I sat down with colleague Nadia Abdeen who was responsible for collating all the artworks for the calendar. Nadia was kind enough to share some excerpts from the journal she kept to chronicle the entire research process. So here is Part 1 of a two-part series on photo-shooting Dubai’s ‘Jingle Trucks’.

July 19th: On my quest to find these trucks that are adorned with beautiful artworks transforming them into mobile art galleries, I started pretty much looking in the wrong place. [Well meaning] tips from friends & colleagues suggested the Dubai Creek area as a starting point, so off I went with my Canon SLR D500 camera in tow. What I found though was pretty intriguing and definitely worth sharing; art on boats! I also found a truck for shipping at the port parking, not one of those I was looking for but quite interesting as well.

July 21st: Today, I noticed one of the sewage trucks that I was looking for on my way to work. I decided to follow it until it eventually stopped. Thankfully I didn’t have to drive too far as it stopped at a Fruit & Vegetable market. It had a golden eagle painted on the back of it, which apparently resembles the truck driver as I was told later. Many other trucks on the side of the road, for different purposes and with different shapes and forms. However, there must be a place with many of those sewage trucks, now the challenge is to find this place…

July 24th: I thought to myself, why not take a drive where I found that first sewage truck; next to the fruit and vegetable market? So passing by, I found a new one! But that was it for today. The truck had a painting of a bridge with a boy and a girl on it, and towards the bottom were two eyes of a female painted in a very large scale, with flowers and candles around them. A very romantic art piece that reflects the longing of that truck driver for his loved one back home. I later learned this story towards the end of my truck-seeking journey, along with a couple of others. I also managed to find some crops into other illustrations created on other trucks, in smaller scale.

October 3rd: We had a busy time at the office, so it has been a while since I last went truck searching. However someone in the office today said there’s a sewage plant located close to our office! I went there, and many of sewage trucks were there! Unfortunately, mostly those plain ones without paintings.

October 4th: How about I pass by that sewage plant today? I might have a better luck finding one of those painted trucks… mmm not really. Again I came across two of the ones that I already found before. I headed home. At one of the busy roundabouts of Al Khail Rd, I came across a new and remarkably painted truck! I ran out of my car with the camera and managed to get a good short before it drove off.

Look out for Part 2 of Nadia’s journal entries in the next post!