While most artists use paper or canvas, some creative people in Pakistan use an altogether
different platform for their work. Cargo truck painting has over the past decades become an
important and unique part of Pakistani transport tradition.
HISTORY and storytelling.
Pakistani truck art is about cultural history, tradition
In ancient times, when camels were used for the transportation, they were decorated
with brilliant and contrasted colors. This tradition continued up till 20th century. This was
also used to attract more passengers. Now it is used by the truck owners as a symbol of
Truck art was a source of entertainment for the truck drivers who were on long, boring
In a country where the per capita income is very low, it is surprising to see fleet
owners spend $3,000-$5,000 per truck. The total time spent in decorating one cargo
truck is 6 months. The owners would ask the painter to paint whatever they like e.g.
their favourite actress or a sports star
Not only the exterior but the interior is decorated.
This makes the journey less boring for the drivers.
STYLE SPECIFIC TO THE REGIONS
Every region of the country has a different style in truck art.
People living in the south city Karachi like reflecting tape, those from the west like
wood work and Lahore people mostly like ornaments made from camel bone.
So after looking at the decoration on the truck you can guess which city the owner
TRUCK ART DESIGN AND THEMES
- Lines of poetry
- Religious calligraphy
- Common funny phrases
- Beautiful women
- Mythical creatures
- National heroes
Truck Art Sample
INSCRIPTIONS ON TRUCKS
Mostly trucks have inscriptions written on them. They are written in several
language as Arabic, Urdu, Pashto, Balochi, Brahvi, Sindhi, Punjabi and
others. These show the thinking of owners, painters and drivers.
These inscriptions would be some funny phrases or a prayer to the reader
FUNNY POETRY WRITTEN ON TRUCKS
“My heart is for sale. The price is just a smile!”
“My truck is as beautiful as a Chinese doll”
“Please keep a safe distance…Or we will fall in love”