Truck Art in Pakistan- A cultural expression

If you’ve spent any time in South Asia, specifically Pakistan, Afganistan, and India, you’ve surely seen colorful, ornate trucks rumbling down roads and highways. In these countries, especially Pakistan, truck art is more than just cultural expression, it’s also a deeply rooted tradition that can cause a business boom for drivers.

This indigenous art-form became known to the developed world from the 1970s onwards when European and American tourists took back the photographs they had taken of heavily painted and decorated trucks and buses on the roads and streets of Pakistan.

“Nowhere is Pakistan’s rich heritage showcased as succinctly as on cargo trucks that ply the length and breadth of the country. This singular art form is the emotional fusion between the driver and the artist.

On one hand, the art depicts our beautiful valleys and literature, and promotes patriotism as well. On the other, it depicts the not-so-beautiful, yet honest aspect of our society. In a riot of color and emotion, these images are blended with kaleidoscopic patterns of flora and fauna by artists with no formal art school training. This is one art form that is a true reflection of Pakistani. Due to its popularity, this particular art has expanded from vehicles to almost everything else; the interior of restaurants, clothing, bags, accessories, souvenirs, and crockery, amongst other things.

The beautiful and artsy looks of these trucks continue to arrest the attention of any and all bystanders. If you see a truck, chances are that you can spot a decorated crown and garish portraits of flowers, celebrities, Islamic art, snowy Himalayan peaks, animals and amusing poetry, and much more. After all, these are some of the most popular designs that you see on Pakistani trucks.

South Asian “truck art” has become a global phenomenon, inspiring gallery exhibitions abroad and prompting stores in posh London neighborhoods to sell flamboyant miniature pieces.

Apart from the natural splendors in Pakistan it has rich art and culture and roots of some of the ancient civilizations such as Indus civilization. Join us to explore these treasures in Pakistan.


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