Hanging Fire Contemporary Art from Pakistan Salima Hashmi, Iftikhar Dadi, Carla Petievich, Ayesha Jalal, Quddus Mirza, Naazish Ata-Ullah, Mohsin Hamid, Melissa Chiu, Vishakha N. Desai

Publication date:
06 Oct 2009
The Asia Society Museum
160 pages: 305 x 229mm
17 b-w + 78 color illus.
Sales territories:


Accompanying the first U.S. museum exhibition devoted to contemporary art from Pakistan, this dynamic catalogue provides a groundbreaking look at recent and current trends in Pakistani art. Hanging Fire covers a fascinating range of subjects and media, from installation and video art to sculpture, drawing, and paintings in the “contemporary miniature” tradition. Essays by distinguished contributors from a variety of fields, including Salima Hashmi, Pakistani-American sociologist and historian Ayesha Jalal, and the celebrated novelist Mohsin Hamid, place contemporary Pakistani art in a cultural, historical, and artistic perspective.


The book's title, Hanging Fire, alludes to the contemporary economic, political, and social tensions--both local and global--from which these artists find their creative inspiration. It may also suggest to the viewer to delay judgment, particularly based on assumptions or preconceived notions about contemporary society and artistic expression in Pakistan today.

Salima Hashmi is dean of the School of Visual Arts at Beaconhouse National University in Lehore, Pakistan.

'Substantially useful as a reference, and stimulating and enjoyable as a read in itself.' — Susan Platt, The Art Book

"It's just such a paradoxical pose, at once insular and international, Islamist and secular, that befuddles those outside Pakistan's porous borders, and which is at the crux of Hanging Fire, a survey of contemporary art from a nation known more today for automatic-weapons fire than the arts and humanities."?Tim Kindseth, Time Magazine (Review of the Asia Society exhibition)

". . . elegant book. . . . Highly recommended." ?D. K. Dohanian, Choice