Colorful trucks and buses are a striking aspect of the landscape and society across Pakistan. Highly personalized designs celebrate regional treasures, legendary heroes, local flora and fauna, movie stars, myths, and treasured words of wisdom — truck art is a truly dynamic art. “All across Pakistan, this rolling folk art has turned village lanes, city streets and long-distance highways into a national gallery without walls, a free-form, kaleidoscopic exhibition in perpetual motion. The vast majority of Pakistan’s trucks, buses and motorized rickshaws are riots of color, bedizened top to bottom with eye-popping landscapes, portraits, calligraphic poetry, religious verses and wisecracking expressions of star-spangled banter.” (Richard Covington, “Masterpieces on the Go”, Saudi Aramco World)
Acclaimed artist Haider Ali has been instrumental in introducing this art form to a wider, international audience. Many people first saw his work at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival celebrating the Silk Road, where he and bodywork expert Jamil ud-Din transformed a 1976 Bedford into a masterpiece that is now part of the Smithsonian’s permanent collection.
This fall, Mr. Ali will bring his talents to Southern California in a visit organized by the Pakistan Arts Council of Pacific Asia Museum. During this one-of-a-kind visit, he will be working as an Artist-in-Residence at USC Pacific Asia Museum, completely transforming a vehicle over the course of a few weeks. Given the uniquely mobile nature of his canvas, this demonstration will also be taken on the road to share more widely with the region.
Image Credit: Photo of a portrait of the truck owner's son on a truck painted by artist Haider Ali; Courtesy of the Artist.
this event is free
for more information visit pacificasiamuseum.usc.edu
Live Painting by Haider Ali at USC Pacific Asia Museum will take place during USC Pacific Asia Museum's public hours beginning on Thursday, October 2 and continuing through Wednesday, October 22. The artist will take a short break for lunch. Please note that USC Pacific Asia Museum's public hours are Wednesday-Sunday, 10am-6pm. No live painting on Saturday, October 4 due to appearance at the Artesia Diversity Festival.
A talk on cross-cultural cars, reception, and the opportunity for truck viewing will happen at USC Pacific Asia Museum on Saturday, October 18 from 4pm-8pm.
USC Pacific Asia Museum
46 N Los Robles Avenue
Pasadena, CA 90016