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Noshad Yousuf

Miniature Jingle Trucks Honor Contemporary Workers and Preserve Artistic Traditions

Like many places in the world, Pakistan relies on the trucking industry to transport vital goods across the country. Noshad Yousuf recognizes the importance and symbolism of these trucks which perform such an important duty, and has made them a large part of his artwork. Learning from his uncle, UNESCO Award-winning artist Ghulam Sarwar, Noshad relied on his art from a young age to help support his family following the death of his father. The vibrant colors and complex designs seen on Noshad’s jingle trucks, so-called for the tiny bells incorporated into their designs, reflect the real-life trucking culture in Pakistan, where drivers often paint their trucks in similar manners as a way of competing with one another. To Noshad and the people of Pakistan, these bright colors represent peace, love, and friendliness, and he views his model trucks as a way of honoring people who travel far from home to perform these vital jobs.

Using plywood and sheet metal, Noshad and his students craft the trucks individually by hand. They use layers of paint and colored tape to create the intricate designs and bold coloration on all of the pieces until the result is a small model representing the life-size trucks that can be seen traveling throughout Pakistan. Noshad has further innovated and progressed his work by designing decorations for the home, such as the wall hangings and decorative lanterns that he’s brought to the market this year. 

For Noshad, his work is a way of continuing the traditions of his forefathers through contemporary subject matter and sharing ancient artistic techniques with future generations, including his own students. Just as he learned from his uncle, who learned from his father and grandfather, Noshad considers it vitally important to perpetuate and preserve the artistic traditions of Pakistan.