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From the highways to the skies: Pakistan's famous truck art goes airborne

Fri 1st January, 2021 7:00am
By Syed Raza Hassan
    KARACHI, Pakistan, Jan 1 (Reuters) - Pakistan's famous truck
art will move from its highways to the skies, as a flying
academy is painting 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.
    “We want to show the world that Pakistan is not all about
Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and terrorism issues; it 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.
    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.
    "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.    

 (Reporting by Syed Raza Hassan; Editing by Gibran Peshimam and
Gerry Doyle)
 ((raza.hassan@thomsonreuters.com;))
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