Perhaps the over-the-top flamboyance of the country's ricksha art is a sign of the "return of the repressed." This is a psychological state that, in the case of art, is based on the human longing to see desired objects and figuratively to possess them. The act of looking at figurative pictures is symbolic appropriation, but it is also experienced as sin because it is condemned by ultra-pious religious authorities: a repression based not on the Koran but on hadith literature. Popular conveyance arts are, therefore, a visual means to openly express officially condemned desires by members of a social class that tends to be ignored, thus opening up the public space for their recognition.To learn more than you ever wanted to know about ricksha art read Kirkpatrick's essay in Persimmon or visit her Ricksha.org.
While I'm at it: Chewing gum art?