Macaulay Seminar One at Brooklyn College
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The Art of Transportation

I currently live near 74th street of Jackson Heights, which is predominantly a South Asian neighborhood. Therefore, it is not surprising that there are many things around the neighborhood that remind me of my hometown of Dhaka, Bangladesh. However, for this assignment, we have to find art and no piece of artwork reminds me more of Dhaka than the lone rickshaw standing near a restaurant on 73rd street.

You may be wondering how a vehicle such as a rickshaw can be considered art. At first glance, there is nothing artistic about it. However, after closer inspection, you can see that there are various designs and drawings on the seat, back, and hood of the rickshaw.


The designs vary from rickshaw to rickshaw, but they are mainly bright and colorful. The artwork serves two purposes: to make the rickshaw look good and to attract potential riders. The reason that rickshaw artwork is such a strong representation of Dhaka is because it is everywhere in the city. No matter where you go in Dhaka, you are bound to see rickshaws and the colorful artwork associated with them. Personally, when I see the rickshaw parked in Jackson Heights, I am reminded of the various times that I rode a rickshaw with my parents in Dhaka.

While rickshaws are the most common, they are not the only artistic vehicles that you will find on the streets of Dhaka. Some buses, for example have colorful designs.


Trucks in Bangladesh are sure to catch your eyes because of their usual bright yellow color as well as a beautifully designed “crown.”


Also, there are vehicles called auto rickshaws, or better known as “baby taxis” to Bangladeshis. Similar to rickshaws, auto rickshaws have different designs.



These various designs on vehicles make Bangladesh’s vehicles a unique form of art.


1 sahsanud { 09.27.12 at 1:21 am }

Wow, this is so cool!!! I really like how you discussed artwork on such a random thing like a rickshaw! There are lots of rickshaws in Hyderabad too, and I’ve seen artwork like this before. Thanks for sharing!

2 Sauly Betesh { 10.04.12 at 4:32 am }

All the designs make getting stuck in traffic seem more interesting. You get to look at everything in detail…

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