Have you ever experienced a moving art gallery?
Here in Pakistan, you’ll see a lot of them running on the roads.
The artwork is so loud and vibrant that it snatches your attention. These inexpensive, open-to-everyone art galleries are nothing but the beautifully adorned trucks of Pakistan.
The painting of peacocks are in abundance on the trucks. And the flamboyant tracery of the tiny and giant floral patterns and wondrous hues and shapes make them master pieces of art.
There is an enormous use of reds, oranges,yellows and silver, thus adding sparkle to the truck. These brightly colored trucks breathe life in the dull roads and highways.
Art for every mood
Each art form is different from the other, depending on the unique taste of the owner.
Some owners dedicate the trucks to their favorite celebrities. Portraits of cricketers, army generals, and folk singers are the common favorites.
But the truck art is just not limited to landscapes and the elaborate floral designs. Poetry, often cheesy and sarcastic is also quite popular.
The poetry entirely depends on the taste and memory of truck owners, drivers, and painters as majority among them are uneducated.
Poetry painted on the rear-end of trucks are small packets of entertainment.While some have humorous tones, others serve words of wisdom on the go.
They can induce a fit of laughter while as you wait at a traffic signal.
Add a pinch of music
Image: A drives places metal balls (ghungroos) on vertical steel plates in Rawalpindi/Dawn
Along with stunning art and risible poetry there is also music to pacify your mood.
Truck owners string ghunghroos (tassel bells) to the rear-end of the truck, which look like anklets for giant truck tyres. When a truck passes by, the bells jingle giving out a sweet melody.
A reflection of their dreams
A research conducted by the Visual Art Department of Karachi stated that the images were the hyper realities of local life.
“We paint the hopes we imagine,” confirmed the artists. These paintings reflect the complex layers of dreams and thoughts that the grow loud in the minds of the painters.
The truck art of Pakistan has also inspired many other industries, like fashion and interior design. You’ll see glimpses of truck art in clothes, home decor and crockery.
These beautifully adorned decoration pieces make an eye-catching addition to bedrooms and living areas.
One of the most indigenous form of Pakistani folk art, the truck art has also found a place in Europe.
They have become a usual appearance in exhibitions like Expo 2000 in Hannover, on the streets of Turkey and some museums in Europe.