Pakistani truck art to decorate Durga Puja pandal

Kolkata: Pakistani truck art, known for their bright and ostentatious colours splashed across the body of goods vehicles, is going to make its debut at a Kolkata puja pandal.

Vibrant floral patterns accentuated with the calligraphy of traditional Urdu poetry taken from artfully decorated trucks in Pakistan has stolen the limelight at a workshop here. The workshop, held to deepen the cultural connect between India and Pakistan, saw participation of three truck art artists who are showcasing the unique artform of Pakistan at an exhibition here. There are also paintings of skilled folk artists from Bihar and West Bengal on display.

Truck art, a popular genre of art in regions across Pakistan, is used to deck up trucks and other moving vehicles in a competitive display of ownership and status.

"The owners of the vehicles decide what to put up on their trucks. They choose the designs, the writings etc. It is a way to show off their wealth and might," said renowned truck-art artist Haider Ali, who hails from Karachi.

"Each truck costs around Rs.10 to 12 lakh to decorate. The most expensive truck art is from Karachi and Peshawar," Ali said.

Accompanied by his colleagues Muhammad Iqbal and Mumtaz Ahmed, Ali is on a month-long visit to the city to decorate a Durga puja pandal in the northern part of Kolkata in Nabin Pally.

Also termed "moving art", truck art varies from region to region in Pakistan and has evolved over the decades, with a new generation of artists inclined towards experimenting in colours, designs and ideas.

"More colours are used now. Owners also sometimes demand portraits of popular Bollywood actresses like Madhubala and Madhuri," Ali said.

The three-day workshop that began Saturday has been organised by welfare organisation Art Illuminates Mankind (AIM), Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) and Nabin Pally Puja Committee.


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