Pakistan-based entrepreneur and painter, Anjum Rana, is trying to revive the dying tribal truck art. The artist says that the art form — usually a pictorial representation of animals, birds and even family members — is a precious one, and must be preserved.
“It is slowly decaying and
people are forgetting what a beautiful art form it is. People consider it downtrodden and the painters working on it are not given their due respect. The idea is to promote this in other countries so that the artists associated with this art form are recognised,” says Rana, who came up with the initiative of reviving the truck art 12 years ago. Her exhibition showcasing truck art is on in the city at India International Centre.
A truck painter paints the license plate of a truck at master painter Hussain Noor's workshop in Rawalpindi.
It was truck drivers and cleaners, who in order to feel connected with their families, began painting their trucks with images close to their heart, hence giving birth to truck art, says Rana. “The drivers who used to drive trucks from Rawalpindi to the borders of Afghanistan, were the ones to start it. They painted whatever helped them not feel alone.”
The paintings on the trucks also used to depict the social scenario in the country. “During the Afghan war, the form changed from faces of people to AK 47s, F-16 fighter jets and all war-related scenery during the time,” says Rana, who feels that digital art is the reason for this art form’s decay.
“The modern-day buses and autos don’t have anything on them, except digitally-created film posters. Also since digital art requires less time and money, people have almost forgotten truck art,” says the artist.
Catch it live
What: Tribal Truck Art, an art show
On till: Today
Timing: 11am to 7pm
Where: India International Centre (IIC), 40, Max Mueller Marg
NEAREST METRO STATION: Khan Market on Violet Line