Pakistan and Its Art at Asia Society, NYC
"Hanging Fire", an important exhibition featuring 15 contemporary artists of Pakistan opens at Asia Society, which was founded more than fifty years ago in New York to promote understanding between Asia and the United States. The article, whose extract is presented below, appeared in The New York Times on September 2. It concedes that "Pakistan's reputation in the contemporary art world has often suffered from a simplistic conception that it is a society inhospitable to free expression." It is certainly so, as is obvious from the large number of art galleries that have been added in the last few years to cities such as Karachi and Lahore, and most of them are thriving as well. The works that are produced by Pakistan's visual and performing artists are testimony to the fact that despite all odds now and then, artistic expression has continued to address the so-called 'taboo' subjects and issues of the Pakistani patriarchal society. Perhaps the participating artists of Hanging Fire, who are already welknown nationally as well as internationally, will be able to dispel some of the Western notions about Pakistan.
"Hanging Fire" will be hanging from September 10, 2009 to January 3, 2010.
“Hanging Fire,” which opens next Thursday, is the first major survey of contemporary art from Pakistan to be presented by an American museum. And for many artists and curators who have long worked in relative obscurity in Pakistan’s contemporary art world — one that has been thriving since the 1980s despite and perhaps in some ways because of the country’s instability — it is a highly anticipated event.