Phool Patti Brings Pakistan's Decorative Artform to the World

Meet Phool Patti's Ali Salman Anchan, harnessing Pakistan's decorative art for social enterprise.

Exhibition space with brightly decorated vehicles on low plinths.
Vehicles decorated by Phool Patti for an exhibition of their work at the Langfang Art Centre in China, 2023.

'On the Brush' in BLAG 04 features a project by Phool Patti in Pakistan. Emily Gosling caught up with the social enterprise's founder, Ali Salman Anchan, to learn more about this traditional decorative artform.

“My philosophy is that if you mix the colours right, you create a masterpiece”, says Ali Salman Anchan, the artist founder of Phool Patti (@phool_patti), a social enterprise and entrepreneurship project that promotes traditional Pakistani truck art around the world.

If you’ve seen his work and that of his organisation, you’ll know he’s certainly a deft and skilful colour-mixer. But he’s talking metaphorically as much as he is literally.

“My vision when I started Phool Patti was to take the trucks into small towns and villages where maybe there are no televisions and no newspapers, where the internet isn’t very active—and to use them to convey positive messages,” Salman Anchan explains.

Man painting a picture within a wider brightly coloured composition on the side of a truck.
Ali Salman Anchan from Phool Patti working on a truck for the Disasters Emergency Commission (DEC). Photo: Zoral Naik / @zoralnaik.