Rebel Riders (work in-progress) 

Since its inception in Florence in 1946, for most people Vespa is nothing sort of extraordinary. But for some, Vespa is an impeccable way of life.

 Iponk (middle), a scooterist from South Sumatra along with his son (right) and a travel companion (left). He traveled for hundreds of kilometers to attend a Vespa event in Lampung.

In many cities in Indonesia, a unique form of Vespa community thrives: Extreme Vespa. Like emerging from Mad Max movies, the riders—mostly are youngsters in their early twenties—wander around the country riding scooters which often looked too weird not only for outsiders, but also for people within the greater Indonesian Vespa scenes. Some scooters have more than twenty tires attached to them. Some are adorned with bu alo skeleton, electrical pole, bamboos, fake gattling gun, or anything the riders could scrape along the road. Some of the riders even go further by rebuilding their Vespa out of a tree, or turn it into a DIY four-wheeler. For them, creativity has no limit and the original Vespa is merely just a starting point.

Metalheads, punks, and Rastafarians are among the die-hard fans of this customized scooters. In contrast to the idea these scooterist are escaping from life’s harsh reality, they simply love living on the road and navigate a vast country on the saddle. And it seems they can’t get enough of it. This on-going project captures an insight into the community. 

For them, creativity has no limit and the original Vespa is merely just a starting point.

This project was made possible through the support of the Goethe-Institut, Ostkreuz Agentur der Fotografen and OBSCURA Festival through the Southeast Asian Photographers' Masterclass 2017. An exhibition was held in Penang last August coincided with 'We Will Have Been Young' book launch, designed and published by Dienacht Magazine (book is available for purchase online). See the book preview via the video below.