An interesting post today from WebUrbanist about Pakistani truck art. I’d never heard of this before, but it turns out that in Pakistan, people decorate their trucks by painting on crazy designs and attaching little sculptures and trinkets. Each truck can cost up to $5,000 to paint, more than twice to per capita income!
The under-appreciated, indigenous Pakistani tradition of truck painting has an extraordinary history, starting in the days of the Raj. As early as the 1920’s, competing transportation companies would hire craftsmen to adorn their buses in the hopes that these moving canvases would attract more passengers. The technique worked so well that pretty soon you couldn’t purchase a ticket without seeing dozens of beautifully painted trucks waiting to take you to your destination. While the art doesn’t serve the same purpose anymore, it is still as prevalent as ever and has become more intricate and developed a deeper cultural significance over time.