October 20, 2016: In Peshawar, trucks are not just a vehicle to get around. It is a mobile work of art that says so much about the person driving it. Truck art says so much about the culture, tradition, history, love, passion, storytelling and much more.
Truck painting is a popular form of an indigenous art form in the South Asian countries. It features floral patterns and poetic calligraphy. Also known by the name of the jingle trucks, these trucks first appeared in the 1940s but took off in the 1970s.
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The Government of Pakistan has been organising truck art exhibitions in co-operation with some enterprising individuals since the 80s. The art has established itself as a thrilling and lively ‘folk art-form’ from Pakistan. Pictures by Tourists have made it a global phenomenon and has inspired local businessmen as well.
Quotes are one of the most imperative and the eye-catching feature of the truck art as they provide insightful humour. They leave an impression on the reader by virtue of its simplicity. Truck art would be incomplete without theses quotes. Some of these includes ‘Aadmi Aadmi Ko Duss Raha Hai, Aur Samp Khara Huss Raha Hai!’, ‘Duniya Jalti Rahi, Shahzadi Chalti Rahi’, ‘Maalik Ki Gaari, Driver Ka Paseenah, Chalti Hai Road Per Bun Kay Haseenah’, etc.
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Each province of Pakistan has its own unique and striking style of truck painting. Each tribe offers its own exclusive ethnic heritage. Sindh is famous for camel bone work, Rawalpindi and Islamabad’s truck includes plastic work, Balochistan and Peshawar prefer wood trimmings. The art, including arrangement, colour and material, is the “cultural representative of the region.”
According to a local driver, from buying the paint, to getting trucks painted, it costs around $1000. A truck artist said,” I have pictures that I copy one or two times. I memorise it and then I paint it straight onto the truck.” Truck art continues to evolve with psychedelic and floral designs to make driving in South Asia a sight to behold!
– by Diksha Arya of NewsGram. Twitter: @diksha_arya53
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