In an exclusive talk with Alt-look, Ali Salman Anchan, Creative Director at Phool Patti, described Truck Art as a moving museum.
Phool Patti is a social enterprise project based in Karachi dedicated to promoting Pakistani Truck Art not only in Pakistan, but all over the world. Ali Salman Anchan, Phool Patti’s Creative Director, described it as “a brainchild of a team of enthusiasts and patriots that work towards revolutionizing art and highlighting the positive face of Pakistan”.
Acknowledged by UNESCO as the creative entrepreneurs of Pakistan, the Phool Patti team proudly claimed responsibility for revolutionizing the truck art scene in Pakistan. “Most of the truck art designs you see all over Pakistan are inspired by our team here at Phool Patti. We’ve gone beyond just designing trucks, to now incorporating truck art on luggage bags, shoes, dresses, and even furniture. Although I won’t take responsibility for coming up with the idea of incorporating truck art into more things, I definitely believe our organization has played a big part in implementing these ideas” Ali Salman Anchan said.
The Phool Patti team boasts of four fixed members: Ali Salman Anchan (Founder/Creative Director), Haider Ali (CEO/Head Truck Artist), Mumtaz Ahmad (Director/Truck Artist), and Akhlaq Ahmad (Senior Truck Artist).
These four fixed members, including other temporary members, have travelled to countries likeUSA, Canada, England, Turkey, India and more in order to promote Pakistani truck art. “Phool Patti aims to spread worldwide so that people will realize the beauty of this art form and seeing it may also make them interested in learning this unique art form” Ali Salman Anchan said.
Although Phool Patti came into formation eight years ago, Ali Haider, CEO of Phool Patti, mentioned that he’s been unofficially working to promote truck art for a much longer time. “I’ve always been interested in truck art; in fact I started working on truck art since I was 7 years old. According to me, it’s the only art that belongs only to Pakistan. Other art forms are both ours, but also not ours because we didn’t invent them. Truck art exclusively belongs to us, and I think that’s why it’s so important to promote this art form” Ali Haider said.
Talking about the challenges he has faced when promoting truck art, Ali Salman Anchan said “Truck Art is a neglected art form. Although, foreigners have always been impressed by the idea of truck art, local Pakistani people have never been so keen on it. It has often been described as cheap art; our artists have never gotten that amount of respect. People here have never owned truck art due to the huge class divide present in Pakistan. Elites often think of this art form as beneath them. But that is slowly changing, and in the future, our aim is to keep on improving that perception. Foreigners have often described truck art as a moving museum; I hope people here will do so as well”.
Having worked on past projects with the embassies and consulates present in Pakistan and abroad, as well as IBA Karachi, Durga Puja in India, and Smithsonian Museums in the United States, the Phool Patti team looks forward to an even brighter future. “We travel to different places around the world with the message of love and peace, and we intend to keep on doing that. We’ve always been aware of promoting peace, cultural diplomacy, interfaith harmony, and women empowerment in our paintings. We hope to do that and more on a much larger scale in the future” Ali Salman Anchan said.