A Pakistani flying academy has painted its aircraft using colours and motifs of an art movement eponymous with trucks to showcase the country is more than the sum of its stereotypes.

A man paints Pakistani truck art on a two-seater Cessna aircraft at the general aviation area at Jinnah International Airport in Karachi, Pakistan, on December 30, 2020.
A man paints Pakistani truck art on a two-seater Cessna aircraft at the general aviation area at Jinnah International Airport in Karachi, Pakistan, on December 30, 2020. (Reuters)

Pakistan's famous truck art has moved from its highways to the skies, as a flying academy has painted 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.

Imran Aslam Khan, chief operating officer of Sky Wings, a flight training organisation, poses with a two-seater Cessna aircraft painted with Pakistani truck art in Karachi, Pakistan, December 30, 2020.
Imran Aslam Khan, chief operating officer of Sky Wings, a flight training organisation, poses with a two-seater Cessna aircraft painted with Pakistani truck art in Karachi, Pakistan, December 30, 2020. (Reuters)

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

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

Painter Haider Ali, 40, paints Pakistani truck art on a two-seater Cessna aircraft at the general aviation area at Jinnah International Airport in Karachi, Pakistan on December 30, 2020.
Painter Haider Ali, 40, paints Pakistani truck art on a two-seater Cessna aircraft at the general aviation area at Jinnah International Airport in Karachi, Pakistan on December 30, 2020. (Reuters)

Truck art

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.

READ MORE: Keep on trucking: Art on the move in Pakistan

Painter Haider Ali, 40, seen painting Pakistani truck art on a two-seater Cessna aircraft in Karachi, Pakistan, December 30, 2020.
Painter Haider Ali, 40, seen painting Pakistani truck art on a two-seater Cessna aircraft in Karachi, Pakistan, December 30, 2020. (Reuters)

"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, told Reuters 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.

Ali hopes to paint an Airbus or Boeing aircraft in the future, saying an opportunity to work on such gargantuan planes would truly be a learning experience.

Source: Reuters