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“Hanging Fire”

Asia Society | New York

Heralded as the first major American museum exhibition of contemporary art from Pakistan, “Hanging Fire: Contemporary Art from Pakistan” sets out to challenge preconceived notions about the nation and its culture. As has been correctly and repeatedly pointed out in many newspaper articles (including no fewer than three full-length pieces in the New York Times), such an exhibition is long overdue. In its intention to instigate a corrective shift it follows a familiar pattern, but that doesn’t make the process any less important. To have mounted this exhibition is itself a major accomplishment, for which credit is due to curator Salima Hashmi—formerly a teacher at the country’s National College of Arts (NCA) and currently dean of the School of the Visual Arts at Beaconhouse National University in Lahore.

“Hanging Fire” presents work by fifteen artists, ranging from Rashid Rana, Pakistan’s

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