Singaporean helps bikers remember their rides with photo book
35-year-old works on another photo book of riders and their motorcycles
Four years ago, Mr Muhammad Juffry Joihani published a photo book, Project Lion City Rides, detailing custom motorcycles here because there was none then.
Now, the 35-year-old is on another mission.
He has embarked on another photo project as time appears to be running out for some passionate bikers here.
A corporate communications executive, Mr Juffry rides a Honda CB400X.
He spent $8,000 printing 300 copies of his first book, using his savings and funds raised privately.
Biker Boy cornered him to learn about his latest project.
After publishing Project Lion City Rides in 2014, what are you doing now?
I've started Project Lion City Rides version 2. I'm doing an "Open" category. It doesn't matter if you own classic custom vintage motorbikes or new ones, because what we share is a passion for motorbikes.
How different will it be from your first photo book?
A book for my current nine-month project is an option to showcase the motorbikes. But I would like to print the images, have an exhibition, invite all the owners to come down and let each of them tell the stories behind their motorbikes.
What is the essence of your project?
The motorbikes that we have right now, 20 to 30 years down the road we won't be seeing them. These motorbikes are worth a lot more than money. They're worth the memories. Maybe you found your first girlfriend or met your wife when you were on that motorbike.
The only way to immortalise them is through photographs. I don't want to use only social media. I want to go with print because it's something we can live with and touch.
Did you imagine one day some would be forced to scrap their motorbikes?
Yes. I realised somewhere along the line, new policies will come out and there will be fewer motorbikes. Certain policies would have to be implemented to reduce carbon emission. (Mr Juffry is referring to the National Environment Agency's policy to deregister pre-July 2003 motorcycles, which are deemed more pollutive and will no longer be allowed on roads by 2028.)
While it is a good way to move towards a greener environment, some things have got to give. It is the way of life in Singapore. But I feel it is wrong to have your motorcycle forcefully taken away from you.
How do you select your subjects for the photo shoots?
I searched Facebook groups. I introduced myself to the motorbike owners and told them I wanted to photograph their motorbikes for free.
The owners would ask me, "You working for LTA (Land Transport Authority), bro?"
I told them I wanted to photograph their motorbikes so they could remember their rides in the future.
How are your photo shoots normally conducted?
I usually organise my shoots on public holidays and weekends. For all the shoots, I mostly have a vision in my head.
Each location must suit the character of the motorbike and the owner.
Why do you see your work as important?
It should go down in history that Singapore bikers once had a passion for motorcycles.