Indian Motorcycles Releases the Second of Three Tattoo-Inspired Art Bikes


A side view of the Indian Chief designed by Yokohama tattoo artist, Shige

Three artists, three styles, three projects. 

A trio of world-renowned tattoo artists have been brought on by Indian Motorcycles to create artwork for the new 2022 Indian Chief – and the second of the designs cooked up for the Indian Chief shows a beautiful personal take on traditional Japanese-themed body art, courtesy of Yokohama tattoo artist, Shige.

Shige, owner of Yellow Blaze tattoo parlour, and designer of the new Indian Chief art project from Indian Motorcycles
Shige, owner of Yellow Blaze tattoo parlor

Having professionally taken up the ink in the mid-nineties, Shige spent his pre-Y2K days working as a motorcycle mechanic, with his nights reserved for his hobby.

A view of Yokohama tattoo artist, Shige, in his Yellow Blaze tattoo parlour

24 years later, motorcycles are just as near and dear to his heart, and he is the successful owner of the “Yellow Blaze” tattoo parlor, where his artwork remains refreshingly personal. 

A side view of the Indian Chief designed by Yokohama tattoo artist, Shige

In an interview with Indian Motorcycle Designer Ola Stenegärd (referenced on SpeedWay Digest), Shige explains why he chose a Japanese Oni Demon for the bike;

“The reason for the placement of an Oni-demon tattooed on the belly means you have Oni-demon in the center of the body and heart,” says Shige. 

A side view of the Indian Chief designed by Yokohama tattoo artist, Shige

“This translates to the motorcycle fuel tank. The Oni-demon stands for strong will and protection; Oni is a demon, but its meaning is not evil. It wards off bad luck and protects you from evil. Having an Oni-demon tattooed on the belly shows one’s determination to live in this harsh world with a strong heart.”

A close-up of the tank of the Indian Chief designed by Yokohama tattoo artist, Shige

“A tattoo has to be beautiful as the body moves,” he continues.

“The cherry blossoms have to be perfectly composed as they are there to balance the Oni-demon, together with the deep meaning of the flower.”

A close-up of the right side of the tank of the Indian Chief designed by Yokohama tattoo artist, Shige

“Cherry Blossoms means ‘the pathos of things.’ This image of ‘a sensitivity to ephemera’ can also be related to the motorbike – or even one’s life. That’s the reason why I chose this image.”

A close-up of the One Demon tattoo that Shige used for the Arto project in partnership with Indian Motorcycles

“Showing the Indian Motorcycle Chief and the dramatic depth of life itself…It is not just about looks. I desire to put emotional drama into the design of this motorbike. And the Oni-demon does create this drama.”

Shige’s artwork will be applied to the Chief later this year and revealed in Spring 2022, at a VIP event in London, alongside the other two designs from artists Mayonaize and Carlos Torres.

A close-up of the Oni Demon tattoo model that Shige used for the Arto project in partnership with Indian Motorcycles

That’s not all – forty more tattoo artists will be battling for their own Indian Motorcycle Chief designs to be made a reality, with the winner chosen in the fall of this year.

Stay cool and cruising – and make sure to head over to wBW’s archives for more information on that brand-spankin’ new 2022 Indian Chief.

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