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Great Wall of Pakistani truck art at Islamabad airport

Truck-art at Islamabad Airport baggage claim area Source: Wajid Ali

The baggage claim area at Islamabad's new international airport has been decorated with a 188-metre wall of Pakistani truck art.

A 188-metre long wall of Pakistani truck art has been installed in the baggage claim area at the newly built Islamabad International airport for commuters to admire. The project, named 'The Great Wall of Pakistani Truck Art', was a major feat to accomplish.

The display forms part of other exhibits and artworks showing Pakistan's rich cultural heritage.

Truck art Islamabad airport

Noorjehan Bilgrami, educationist and curator was approached by local architects of the airport and given with the job of installing art throughout the building. 

She compiled a total of 18 art projects ranging from fine arts to traditional crafts of Pakistan. 

Karachi-based visual artist and social activist Munawar Ali Syed led the truck art part of the project at the airport.

Islamabad Airport Truck Art
Truck art in baggage claim area at Islamabad Airport
Wajid Ali

Mr Syed told SBS Urdu "Ms Bilgrami approached me for the truck art section, as I had done a lot of work in the public art space in Karachi with different truck artists. [She told me] we want you to create truck art installations to go in the baggage claim area of the airport." 

Wajid Ali, a visual artist and project coordinator for Australia's Karachi W11 Tram project in Melbourne was, in turn, approached by Mr Syed to help find truck artists from all over Pakistan for the project. 

truck art islamabad airport
Wajid Ali

"I drove 30,000 kilometres and went to 35 different cities across Pakistan to find the artists," he said.

Organisers faced a huge challenge in organising and preparing for a project of this scale.

"Every artist we approached felt so proud that their work will be displayed at such a grand scale and that the government has taken an interest in their work," said Mr Syed.

Much of the materials and art installations were pre-prepared at Mr Syed's studio in Karachi. Some famous artists who worked on the Karachi W11 tram project also took part in this process.

Islamabad Airport Truck Art
Baggage claim area at Islamabad Airport
Wajid Ali

Truck art portrays a soft and positive image of Pakistan according to Mr Syed. 

"It is a great asset that we as Pakistani's possess and we should feel proud that we can creatively express our history and culture through such a medium, we should promote it at a much bigger scale in the future," said Mr Syed.

Wajid Ali said that in different parts of Pakistan some artists were running courses to the art but it's currently very limited.

"If the technical education board or universities in Pakistan introduce this in their syllabus as an official course, it will provide a great opportunity for these struggling artists and people to learn the intricate skill with confidence," he said.

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