KARACHI: Pakistan’s famous truck art will move from its highways to the skies, as a flying academy is painting a two-seater Cessna aircraft with the colourful technique.

With elaborate and flamboyant motifs, Pakistani truck art has inspired gallery exhibitions abroad and prompted stores in Western cities to sell miniatures.

“We want to show the world that Pakistan is not all about Financial Action Task Force and terrorism issues; it’s a very diverse country and a land of opportunities,” Imran Aslam Khan, chief operating officer of Sky Wings, a flight training organisation, said.

He also plans to paint other aircraft, with the aim of promoting tourism in Pakistan.

Such art has become one of Pakistan’s best-known cultural exports

Such art has become one of Pakistan’s best-known cultural exports in recent years. Unesco, for example, has been using truck art, blended with indigenous themes, to promote girls’ education in a northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.

“The world is familiar with our truck art representation; now, with this aircraft, our colours will fly in the air. We are really excited,” Haider Ali, the artist painting the aircraft, said at the academy’s hangar.

Trained by his father, Ali, 40, has been decorating trucks since his childhood and is now one of the most prominent such painters in Pakistan.

Published in Dawn, January 2nd, 2021

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