Pakistan, a culturally rich country that has a centuries-old history, is an inspiration to many civilizations. This beautiful country has unique art and culture that has carried on its unique legacy for so many years.
Truck Art is one of the most well-known arts of Pakistan. In truck art, trucks are decorated with vibrant paints, bells, beadworks, calligraphy, poetry, funny dialogues, mirrors, motifs of various things, including flowers, famous people, birds, animals, and many more. For the truck artists, it is not the only source of income; it also plays a vital role in representing the deeply ingrained culture of Pakistan.
The history of truck art in Pakistan can be traced back to the 1920s when the British Empire introduced Bedford trucks in Pakistan. They occupied the streets of Pakistan with their trucks adorned with big wooden crowns on top of the truck beds. Decorated Shields and wood panelling along with cabins were also incorporated into the trucks to make them look more beautiful.
Truck art is also popular in other South Asian countries like India and Afghanistan and South America, and Japan. In Pakistan, the truck art market has reached a great level; for instance, in Karachi, 50,000 people are actively working in workshops fully devoted to truck art. The truck drivers are always keen to spend a huge amount of money to guarantee their truck is the most beautiful of all. The entire credit for the popularity of truck art goes to the truck artists of Pakistan, who, through their hard work and dedication, have made this art the most famous art not only in Pakistan but around the world. The truck artists spend most of their time decorating the trucks. There have been many truck artists in Pakistan who are still contributing to promoting this art form, and Haji Habib Ur Rehman is the most famous one. He is the first known truck artist of Pakistan who started painting trucks in the 1950s and is in this profession today.
Truck art depicts so many emotions of our society and the truck drivers and artists for whom this art means more than just a painting. The truck drivers feel very connected to their trucks and develop love and care for them because they spend their whole life traveling, which demands so much time due to which the drives stay away from their families. Therefore, to overcome loneliness, the drivers get attached to their trucks.
This art is more than a business for truck artists; For instance, some artists love to portray the Sufi tradition of painting shrines and other religious connotations through truck art. According to the truck artists, the owners of the trucks are always satisfied with their artwork on the trucks; the more decorative the truck is, the more expensive it gets, and the owners are much happy to pay for it. It is also believed that truck owners spend much of their money on their trucks rather than their houses. It is a matter of dignity for the truck owners to paint their trucks properly.
Moreover, the entire process of the truck art takes six to ten weeks, and throughout this course, the drivers patiently wait in the workshops and experience the whole process.
Truck Art in Pakistan holds a special place. Many fashion designers, transport companies, and industrialists use truck art as a theme to sell their products. The truck art of Pakistan is a very unique, loved, and popular art across the globe. Many countries are now getting inspiration from truck art.