Nabad - pulse of the art scene
FOLK TRUCK ART FROM PAKISTAN
FOLK TRUCK ART FROM PAKISTAN
19 March - 25 April 2012
FOLK TRUCK ART FROM PAKISTAN
19 March - 25 April 2012
FOLK TRUCK ART FROM PAKISTAN
19 March - 25 April 2012
FOLK TRUCK ART FROM PAKISTAN
19 March - 25 April 2012
FOLK TRUCK ART FROM PAKISTAN
19 March - 25 April 2012
FOLK TRUCK ART FROM PAKISTAN
19 March - 25 April 2012
FOLK TRUCK ART FROM PAKISTAN
19 March - 25 April 2012
FOLK TRUCK ART FROM PAKISTAN
19 March - 25 April 2012
FOLK TRUCK ART FROM PAKISTAN
19 March - 25 April 2012
FOLK TRUCK ART FROM PAKISTAN
19 March - 25 April 2012
FOLK TRUCK ART FROM PAKISTAN
19 March - 25 April 2012
FOLK TRUCK ART FROM PAKISTAN
19 March - 25 April 2012

The Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, in cooperation with Nabad Art Gallery, Etihad Airways and the Royal Automobile Museum, under the patronage of HRH Princess Sarvath El Hassan, presents a unique exhibition of functional and decorative objects painted by the artisans of Tribal Truck Art, a philanthropic organization established by a Pakistani woman entrepreneur, Anjum Rana. The exhibition also includes old Pakistani embroidery.

 

Truck art is an indigenous form of art found in Pakistan. The foremost goal of its promoter is to keep it from dying, and to generate respect for this profession, as well as rewards for the masters of this colourful art, who are currently living on meagre incomes. Truck art came into being in the mid-1950s. The Pakistani Port of Karachi used trucks to send goods to the Northern Areas and Afghanistan. As these trips at that time took six months at a stretch, the drivers stayed away from home for long periods of time. For them, the truck therefore became home, on which they poured their energies and artistic skills. To make their ‘homes' beautiful, the truck drivers--now artists--started to decorate the trucks with tassels, paint, steel decorations and other materials. The tradition then became a fashion.

  The idealized landscapes of the Northern Areas and Swat Valley, with their mountainous roads and alpine trees, began to represent the homes many drivers had left behind. As they braved the treacherous mountains from the port to Afghanistan and Peshawar, those images of landscapes, women coyly veiled, animals and political heroes were then painted on trucks. Humorous, ‘streetwise' poetry was written on the sides and backs of the trucks. The painted scenes were either symbols of love, like peacocks and birds, or faces of film stars, sportsmen and politicians.

  In the beginning, only a handful of tourists and expatriates admired this art. It was considered too flamboyant and was largely rejected on the part of the advantaged classes. Slowly, however, people started taking interest and Truck Art is now considered a genuine art expression in Pakistan.

 

TRIBAL TRUCK ART 
Tribal Truck Art, a philanthropic organization that has helped bring truck art from Pakistan into the mainstream, was established by Anjum Rana, a Pakistani entrepreneur and interior designer. This organization provides a venue for truck artists to paint and sell their work, serving as an advocate for the preservation and promotion of this indigenous and unique art genre, which forms part of Pakistan's traditional culture.

  Truck Art utilizes a range of media, such as wood , metal , steel, reflective tape and luminous plastic sheets. The result is a beautiful array of functional and decorative everyday items, ranging from lamps, lanterns, mugs, kettles and trays, to boxes, watering cans and buckets. A miniature truck crafted by one of the Tribal Truck Art artisans and submitted to a crafts competition won the UNESCO Seal of Excellence Award for Handicrafts 2008 for the creative application of Truck Art. The jury applauded the attempt to translate the local aesthetic into products with global appeal.

  Anjum Rana encourages the production of items of decoration, garden furniture and artifacts, so that everyone can have a piece in their living rooms one day. Truck artists learn to paint through apprenticeships in informal community settings, with very little or no education. This project provides them with an alternative source of income.

  The exhibition, "Folk Truck Art from Pakistan," opens in the presence of the organization's founder, Anjum Rana, and two of the artists, Syed Phool Badshah and Wali Mohammad. The artists will be present at Nabad as of the afternoon of Thursday 15 March, to paint objects brought in by visitors, or take orders for larger pieces. Cars, walls, garden furniture, tables, chairs, or smaller objects in any material can be painted with the colourful traditional motifs of Truck Art.

 

Following are the comments of Ms. Attiya Mahmood, the Ambassador of Pakistan, on the exhibition:

"The colours, vibrancy and simplicity of Truck Art is Pakistan. It has always attracted me as a powerful symbol of our folk culture, depicting the feelings, emotions and even political leanings of the truck driver and his companions, plying the long roads on lonely journeys.

  I am delighted that under the patronage of HRH Princess Sarvath El Hassan and in collaboration with Nabad Gallery, Etihad Airways, Bank al Etihad, the Royal Automobile Museum and the Children's Museum, the Embassy has arranged to bring Anjum Rana and her team of two truck art painters to display their talents at Nabad Art Gallery from March 19 and at the children's workshop to be held at the Children's Museum and the Royal Automobile Museum from 25-29 March.

  I hope that this venture, the seeds of which were planted a year ago, will be a great success and wish to thank all the sponsors and others who have helped behind the scenes, without whose support these events would not have been possible."

 

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