Truck Art has been a part of Pakistan’s art culture for ages. Floral designs in different colors;birds, wild animals and pictures of saints and celebrities, quotes of saints or poets are often seen painted on trucks. People call them jingle trucks too, as they have colorful bells or ornaments hanging from the vehicle and touching the road creating the jingling sound. In urban areas generally these are not a very common sight, but the moment you get onto the highway these beauties can be seen jingling past you in fascinating designs and colors.

Daachi Exhibition was organized by Daachi Foundation an NGO to the Lahore Heritage Museum (old Tollinton Market, Lahore) showcased the handicraft and cottage industry of Pakistan, and there was a stall of truck art also however, no trucks were to be seen there. Rather the beautiful designs of truck art were painted on items of daily use which no one could have imagined possible.

Starting from tissue boxes, wall hangings, plates, table mats, glass coasters, jewelry and last but not the least even on Peshawari chapals. The designs were not only catchy, but also upbeat to the trends of the current generation. The ladies hand and tote bags were unique and in different shapes and sizes, loaded with art work, these could be used with skirts or jeans or if nothing else they could be put as decoration. While the Peshawari Chapalwith intricate designs of peacocks and flowers with a touch of gold and silver could be worn with plain suits too; this will not only break the traditional attire but also set in new fashion trends.

Saima Murtaza, the stall holder said she had been working in this field for the last few years. She is working under the brand name of Enigma-House of Fashion and Design. She has studied designing from a the Baha ud din Zakria University in Multan, and later took courses in jewelry design and making from abroad,before returning home to start her own set up.

She has a team of designers, and crafts men working for her. She pays them well and they are doing an excellent job, as can be seen from the products on display. While speaking to The Nation she said, “Truck Art was a dying profession and people are no longer taking interest in it. But in the past three years this art has been revived with the help of many artists, and I am doing my share in this. All this effort has made people bringit into fashion again. They want to see it on various things now, not only on trucks or rickshaws or vans.” When asked what inspired her, she said while she was abroad she realized that people want to know more about Pakistan apart from what the media tells them. So, she thought this would be a good idea, and today her clients are not only within Pakistan but in States, UK and Australia too.

Being a working woman and a housewife, when asked how she manages everything, she said, “My husband is a great support. He has been my greatest strength in all these events and projects.”

Pakistan is rich not only in resources but in talent too. Daachi Foundation organized this three day exhibition in where artisans and entrepreneurs from all over Pakistan came to display their skills and talent, and came away amazed not only at the promotion of these crafts and their projection but also at the process that were easily within reach of even middle class people and even one item from these stalls could turn a drab corner of the room into a truly bright display of Pakistani artifact and the occupants aesthetic sense.