islamabad -  National Institute of Folk and Traditional Heritage (Lok Virsa) is making efforts to promote truck art by organizing special workshops and an annual summer art camp for children.

“Pakistani children have a great potential to learn about the craft heritage of the country, “said master artisans Habib ur Rehman, adding that they were keen to know each and everything involved in the process.

“They have even given me ideas and suggestions about how I can make new innovations in my profession, I have tried to transfer my knowledge to them in an interactive manner,” he added.

“Truck art” is slowly becoming a global phenomenon as it continues to inspire gallery exhibitions in several western countries. Truck art can be found in two forms, murals or painted scenes and “decoration pieces.”

The 74-year old man has devoted a major part of his life for the continuance of this centuries’ old craft tradition. He is not only keeping this art alive but is also transferring it to future generations. He has trained a group of young boys residing in his locality who are eager to learn traditional and modern techniques of making this unique art. 

Decorations are not done only on trucks and buses but on all kinds of vehicles like tankers, mini-buses, trucks, rickshaws, tongas and even donkey carts throughout the country. Surprisingly, the artists and artisans involved in this special art haven’t graduated from art schools or colleges. Yet they perform their incredible work skilfully, albeit in a native style; using their imagination and inspiration to create fantasies and dreams, the colours and embellishments of which are deeply rooted in Pakistan’s rich folklore.

Most vehicles are decorated from the top to bottom with no space left blank down to the hubcaps and fuel containers. The main themes of the paintings are dictated by the choice of the owners reflecting their cultural heritage and tastes.