Jeepney art 101

Text: Patricia May P. Catan
Model: Jacqueline Jala
Jeepney art: Alekhine “Ken” Bucao
Images: Amper Campaña + Contributed

 

THE wind blows on your face and flows through your hair, giving you that feeling of rush as it brushes against your skin that’s warmed by the sun — such is the romanticized depiction of the daily life of a commuter.

And yet commuting is simply that — everyday, a way of life for most Cebuanos, as quotidian as the public transportation of choice, the fast, cheap and ever reliable jeepney.

Widely known for its crowded seating and flamboyant designs, jeepneys have long been regarded as a symbol of Philippine culture and art. Nowadays, jeepneys running on the streets of Cebu represent an interesting side of Cebuano jeepney artists.

Here are four common jeepney artworks that you often see around the city, rendered by jeepney artist Alekhine “Ken” Bucao.

Religious figures

An accurate portrayal of how God-fearing Cebuanos are, you will often see jeepneys decorated with the faces of saints and other religious figures. The most common image you will find is the Santo Niño de Cebu, the city’s patron saint. Keeping the Cebuano faith alive through these artworks, artists see it as a way of thanking the Almighty for continued blessings in their field of work. The religious images also serve as guidance and protection for jeepney drivers.

Animated cartoons

Child-friendly, fun and a lighter approach to jeepney designs, this type of artwork is a joy to work on for artists. Incorporating animated cartoons on jeepney artwork will gain the passengers’ attention since cartoons are widely popular among kids and kids at heart.

Intricate lines and strokes

A modern take on jeepney designs, artists explore the art of graphics to produce unconventional lines and strokes, making a more unique look for each jeepney. The technique of this type of design is to combine colors that are eye-catching for a more appealing aesthetic. It is all about color combination, intricate lines and strokes for this kind of jeepney artwork.

Movie characters

This motif takes inspiration from famous movie characters and is made as the statement artwork of the jeepney design. The challenge for jeepney artists are the details on the face because the authenticity of the face is what matters most. It also serves as the main attraction of the jeepney and will make it look more inviting for commuters.

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