Islamabad: The popularity of Pakistani truck art continues to grow, especially with foreigners and tourists. In the past, it cast its spell on the British royalty when Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge arrived in an auto-rickshaw with traditional Pakistani truck art to attend a reception during their official visit in October 2019.
Now, Ambassador of Indonesia in Pakistan, Adam Mulawarman Tugio, has taken a fancy to the truck art of Pakistan and got his official vehicle painted like the brightly-coloured, eye-popping, decorated trucks rolling on the highways of Pakistan.
Mobile picture gallery
Parked in a quiet corner of the embassy, the second generation Prado (J90) catches the eye of visitors entering the building. Landmarks of Indonesia like the National Monument of Jakarta (Monumen Nasional or Monas) and Shaivite temple in Bali are painted on the bonnet and the gates.
Likewise, the critically endangered Sumatran tigers and Komodo dragons and the world’s tallest plant Titan Arum (almost 2.5 metres) known as Bunga Bangkai in Bahasa are also painted on the vehicle.
The presence on the vehicle of Pakistan’s national animal, markhor, shows the ambassador has good knowledge about the country. The markhor is an endangered member of the goat family and is found in the northern region of the country.
“I have personally supervised the artwork and taken every care that Indonesia with all its treasures of fauna and flora, art and culture, tradition and history is showcased on this automobile,” the envoy said.
It took the truck artists a little more than two months to paint the beast. The masterly strokes have now turned the vehicle into a running picture gallery of Pakistani and the Indonesian cultures.
“We have strong bonds such of religion, culture, food and traditions that unite the people of the two countries,” said the ambassador.
Both Pakistan and Indonesia take pride in their history that goes back to ancient times. Like Pakistan, Indonesia also has a number of sites and temples that have been centres of attraction for Buddhist monks for centuries, he said.
Ambassador Tugio said in Indonesia, too, truck art is in vogue. There, the drivers mostly inscribe funny lines on the rear part of the trucks and people are amused to read them. However, use of bright colours, decorative material and all that paraphernalia is something unique to Pakistan, he said.
He suggested various companies, private and public organisations and corporate offices should use this medium of truck art for promotion of their products.
This will not only serve the purpose of advertisement but also generate revenue as well as promote this unique art, said the ambassador.