Visually arresting and symbolically rich, the phenomenon of truck decoration is one of the most distinguishing features of Pakistani culture. Considered much more than simply a means of transport, almost all trucks in Pakistan are extensively decorated with paintings, patterns, objects, calligraphy, and carvings to reflect the personalities and concerns of truck owners, drivers, and artists. A prominent part of everyday life, these moving artworks are an important form of expression and have been embraced as a powerful symbol of national identity.
Lavishly illustrated throughout with the author's own stunning photographs, On Wings of Diesel takes us on a mesmerising journey into the world of Pakistani truck decoration. Jamal J. Elias draws on years of extensive field research to offer a deeply insightful introduction to this intriguing decorative tradition and those involved in it. Examining the wider significance of the practice as well as the trucks themselves, Elias demonstrates how these artworks on wheels provide a unique window into Pakistan's complex society through which its art, culture, and religion can be explored in an exciting and highly original way.