When I first heard of “Truck Art”, I curled up my nose wondering what it meant. How on earth would a grotesque truck and art co-exist. Actually, I am cross with the truck drivers because more often than not they tend to corner the small cars on the highway, literally pushing them to the edge and if it is a female driver then all the more. However, after a visit to an exhibition of truck art, some net search and study and I have changed my opinion for good. I have learnt to see the humor in all those quirky lines written behind the truck specially “Horn Ok Please” !!
In the Indian Subcontinent of India and Pakistan, trucks are a familiar sight making their way through dusty highways, often carrying essential items from one city to another. The life of a trucker is unpredictable, lonely and monotonous and that dash of colour on the truck through colorful floral motifs, sometimes birds and animals or a religious figure seems to keep them rooted to their cultures. If you are someone, who loves pastel shades and subtle sombre depictions, you would perhaps close your eyes at the sight of these bright and bold depictions.
Next time, you are on the Indian Highways specially up north, look out for these decorated trucks and while it makes you smile, maybe you will forgive the sweaty, uncouth driver, going zig zag along the way just to test your patience 🙂 Like many other art forms, this also seems to be fading into oblivion with modern and sleek vehicles. Will the life of the trucker now exist in monotones, will colour and motif give way to banners and advertisements?
The questions are endless but the answers limited. For more details on this art form in the short documentary by Shantanu Suman who travelled through 7 states in 45 days to create this brilliant piece http://www.projecthornplease.com/portfolio-post/horn-please-trailer/