Dutch artist Jan Hoek and Ugandan-Kenyan fashion designer Bobbin Case teamed up for “Boda Boda Madness.” They sat together with seven motor taxi drivers from Nairobi to create new outfits to complete their characters. Bobbin created dazzling outfits which matched their colorful bikes and Jan photographed them as reckless real life action figures in front of Nairobi landscapes.
Featuring: Jan Hoek & Bobbin Case
Presented by Melkweg Expo and United Photo Industries, with additional support by the Consulate General of the Netherlands in New York
Jenny Smets & Fleurie Kloostra/ Melkweg Expo
Meet Mad Max Driver, Machette, Vibze, Ghost Rider, Red Devil, Lion and The Rasta Driver! These motor drivers proudly cruise through Nairobi wearing dazzling outfits on their matching bikes. The outfits are designed by Ugandan-Kenyan fashion designer Bobbin Case in the context of the collaborative project, “Boda Boda Madness” by Bobbin and Dutch artist Jan Hoek.
Both Bobbin and Jan were fascinated by the many motor taxis, known as Boda Boda, driving around Nairobi. There are so many of them that some drivers build the most fantastically-themed motorcycles in order to stand out from the other taxis and attract the attention of customers. Jan and Bobbin thought the bikers forgot one thing when they customized their rides: their own looks. They selected seven Boda Boda drivers with the most awesome bikes and sat down with each of them to create brand new outfits to complete the characters. Jan photographed the Boda Boda drivers with their new looks in the style of real life action figures in front of typical Nairobi landscapes. When you visit Nairobi you might see them riding around in real life!
Jan Hoek (b. 1984) is an artist and writer. He has photographed homeless Ethiopian men as kings and emperors, a heroin addict who dreams of being a model, Maasai living in the city in the way they wanted to be photographed themselves, and people he simply found through advertisements on the internet.
Jan Hoek’s quest for interesting models brought him to portray Boda Boda drivers as reckless real life action figures on motorbikes in front of Nairobi landscapes.
Bobbin Case is a 26-year-old avant-garde fashion designer born in Uganda, but based in Kenya. He dreams of creating costumes for movies and music videos. Some of his collections have appeared in Elle Magazine and on the BBC.
The work is accompanied by a soundscape of Dutch musician, Torus. Torus is the ever-evolving alter-ego of The Hague-born artist and producer, Joeri Woudstra.
Melkweg Expo is an open platform and exhibition space for exhibitions of innovative contemporary photography in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. It is part of Melkweg, a venue that stands for pop culture in the broadest of senses, and organizes hundreds of concerts, club nights, films, theatre performances, expositions and multidisciplinary events each year. Melkweg Expo shows art that concerns identity, society or just new emerging talents. By showing quality work in an accessible way, Melkweg Expo wants to highlight eye-opening topics and reach people who don’t often visit exhibitions.
Jenny Smets is an independent curator of photography exhibitions, an educator and the Director of Photography for Vrij Nederland magazine, based in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. As part of the core training team of World Press Photo, she trains photojournalists in different parts of the world. She is a member of the supervisory board for the World Press Photo Foundation.