July 2022 – We received an E-mail on 20 June from Indonesia: “Dear WIDE Magazine Editorial Team, let me introduce myself. My name is Danar Tri Atmojo, an independent Indonesian photographer based in Jakarta & Bali Indonesia, my portfolio can be found here at: www.danartriatmojo.com
I’m contacting you regarding the Vespa World Days 2022 that was recently held in Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia from June 9th to 12th 2022. As the first ever held outside Europe and the first time in Asia, Vespa World Days 2022 attracted tens of thousands of Vespa riders & fans from across Indonesia and the world. With huge history ties with Vespa, Indonesia is now one of the biggest Vespa communities in the world. Since the ’50s Vespa has been one of the scooters used by Indonesia [...].
Photo of Danar Tri Atmojo: self-portrait with his vintage Vespa, a 1967 Sprint.
My father has been riding Vespa since he was 25, and he passed down his Vespa to me in 2003. My first road trip to Bali was in 2004 using a 1964 Vespa VBB, and I'm glad now to call Bali my home. I made a photo story of how the community came together for the events and some portraits of riders and their Vespa.”
To this E-mail from Danar - 34 years old, the youngest of three sons born to a Javenese couple - we replied requesting an interview in order to get to know him better.
How did your passion for photography start?
“It started when I was in high school. I love to travel nearby hometown, to the nearest mountain or waterfall from Jakarta (I was born and raised in Jakarta). When I was a kid, I was always the latest to finish playing around after a full day at the beach. I often borrow my friend's or my sister's camera and start taking pictures. And my first professional gig was in 2013 when I was hired to photograph tourist destinations in the city of Berau, East Kalimantan (Borneo Island) for the state tourism ministry. And now it become my profession. I am an independent photographer based in Jakarta & Bali Indonesia, focusing primarily on working on a documentary, editorial, advertorial, portrait, and commercial projects. I also work on 360° content photo and video.”
Vespa is therefore a family passion, from your father to you .... why do you like Vespa?
“Vespa is my father's first ever two-wheel scooter vehicle. He always loves the shape and the feel of riding it. I love how he was telling me how he loves it and uses it on day-to-day basis. His first Vespa was Vespa PX 150, but he sold it and then changed it to a 1977 Vespa Super 150 (VBC) PT. Dan Motor Indonesia version. But he always dreamt of having Vespa Sprint 150 (VLB) because, in his hometown back in Solo, Vespa Sprint is the most popular one. I wasn’t allowed to drive a motorcycle by my father until 2003, my father taught me how to drive a motorcycle, and Vespa was the motorcycle I learned to drive on. And that was his 1977 Vespa Super 150. I fell in love with Vespa ever since. I rode it everywhere, even I used it to drive to my father's hometown in Solo (editor’s note: Surakarta, the ancient capital of Java) from Jakarta (550 Km). I met another Vespa rider, I join my first Vespa club until now, and I came to Bali in 2004 from Jakarta (at 16 years of age) riding the Vespa Super 150 VBC for the first time ever. Pretty much I grew up with Vespa.”
Which model of Vespa do you prefer?
“I must say I love them all, all Vespa models, from the 50s to 90s. I currently own a 1967 Vespa Sprint (VLB) and a 1977 Vespa Super 150. But I have to choose I love Vespa GSVS 150, Vespa SS180, and Vespa Special 90 (smallframe). Hopefully, one day I can have all of them in my garage. Long short story, I bought my 1967 Vespa Sprint that was abandoned for years in the garage of my friend's apartment. When I bought it the first time I did was clean it up, I did an engine and tire check-up and drove it from Yogyakarta city where my friend's apartment was and drove it to Bali (around 500 km). After that I used it on daily basis, I even ride it to photograph the Mount Agung eruption in Bali back in 2018!”
In your opinion, why was the Vespa World Days event in Bali so successful?
“It's the most anticipated Vespa event ever since the pandemic. Indonesia had big Vespa or scooter events before like Kenduri Motor Nasional (Kemon), Kumpul Bareng Scooter Sumatera (KBSS), Java Scooter Rendezvous (JSR), Indonesian Scooter Festival (ISF), and many others. But because of the pandemic, all the events are cancelled even Vespa World Days (editor’s note: initially planned for 2020 and also cancelled in 2021). On the day of the event, I witness Bali was full of bees (Vespa). They are coming from all parts of Indonesia, Sumatra, Kalimantan, Sulawesi, Java, Mollucas, East Nusa Tenggara, Papua, and other countries, even Europe. The Vespa Village (the official name for Vespa World Days event ground) in Nusa Dua was full of Vespa Riders, and I get to meet with my friends from all over the city across Indonesia. It was just massive, I am super happy to ride Vespa with my friends in my current hometown Bali, it just made my day.”
If you could photograph a famous person on a Vespa, who would it be?
“I've seen a picture on the internet before, Metallica vocalist James Hetfield riding his Vespa PX150 (editor’s note: it was actually another scooter, similar to the PX but a different brand) with his children, maybe would be nice if I got the chance to photograph him since I also love his music. In Indonesia, I would love to sit and have a conversation with other Vespa riders or collectors and photograph them with their Vespa, starting with Mike Lesmana of Terror Garage Bandung with his Vespa collection.”
Why do you think young people today (just like in the past) love Vespa?
“The Brand image and his great history, the vintage feeling, and the shape & colours. It's a privilege to have known or have knowledge about vintage Vespa, it could come from family history. But for today's young, the brand itself became the new trend and lifestyle. The iconic image attached to Vespa's Brand attracted them, the new automatic Vespa also reach a wider audience, and also a lot of celebrities, films, and influencer uses Vespa on their platform. They are now also attracted to the vintage ones to have the feel of riding them. Even my friends who previously drive classic British motorcycles & Harley Davidson, now have several Vespa in their garage.”
What is the dream trip you would like to do on a Vespa?
“I would love to have a Euro trip with a Vespa, especially in Italy. Visit Piaggio Museum, eat pizza in Napoli, visit parmesan cheese making in Emilia-Romagna, watch AC Milan match in San Siro, drive around Rome, have a coffee in Positano, or maybe come across with barn-find Vespa and buy them, photograph them all and make a book out of it.”
Thank you, Danar for telling us about yourself and your passion for Vespa and thank you for your photographs of Vespa World Days 2022. We hope that your Euro trip dream will come true soon. We’ll be waiting to welcome you to Italia!
SOURCE OF IMAGES FOR THIS ARTICLE: COURTESY OF THE AUTHOR, DANAR TRI ATMOJO, PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHER, JAKARTA AND BALI, INDONESIA:
VESPA WORLD DAYS 2022, BALI, INDONESIA, OFFICIAL WEBSITE:
Image source: www.facebook.com/vespaworlddays2022