Pakistani Truck Art

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Pakistani TRUCK ART


When we talk about writing, you automatically think of books, sheets of paper. But writing has different form can its history dated back to the Stone Age. It has been seen that human beings always tried to find a way to communicate with each other and for that they have used different tools. Writing can be an art itself, as demonstrated by the Chinese or be accompanied by visual art. An example of these combinations, we see Pakistani native art on trucks, which has been practiced for centuries. Some artists establish their roots in the decoration of palaces and temples.

Large or small, every truck is painted from top to bottom, including wheels, bumpers and mirrors. Designs can be landscapes, movie stars, the owner of the truck, their children, soldiers, temples, etc. and sometimes it has been seen that there are some written quotation on the truck, this informal writing can be a message of wisdom, some common knowledge, like ¨ beware of lawyers ¨, romantic poems or other religious texts.

Depending on the importance of the topic, will be the location in the context of the truck. Mosques and shrines go up, landscapes and animals, on the sides behind the portraits framed by flowers, vines and geometric designs. Chains can hang with some figure hanging below, all in an effort to be noticed. In this research paper we are going to discuss the Pakistan Truck art and its glorious history and what actually it reflects.


The Pakistani truck art that can be taken as a Pakistani Tradition and a symbolic tradition for this county and this art cannot be found anywhere else.

History of Pakistani tradition of truck painting has been originated from Raj days in early 1920's. Different craftsmen were hired by transpiration companies to decorate the buses, and make the buses as attractive as possible. Transpiration companies beloved that it makes busses more attractive and more passengers can be attracted by the help of theses decorated moving caravans. This technique was quite useful and it worked out in many times and helped transpiration companies to get more passengers and passengers got an opportunity to see a dozen of painted caravans that take to them to their destination. Now there are still many painted caravans in Pakistan but of course not for the same reason.

In the United States of America this could be something very special art, in the summer of 2002 at the Smithsonian Folk-life Festival. A truck was moved from Karachi to Washington and some artists were responsible to paint the truck live. The piece, a Bedford 1976, is part of the permanent collection of the Smithsonian.

It is said that many truck drivers in Pakistan, unable to marry for lack of time or not enough money, invest all the savings, love and inspiration in their vehicles. Indeed, it is impossible to observe in some corner of Pakistan undecorated one truck (along with many buses and auto-rickshaws - tricycles), which form a continuous ...
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