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Watch live on Facebook on Thursday, June 17th 2021 at 8:30 pm.

Healing Through Art

Featuring Salima Hashmi acclaimed Pakistani artists and public intellectual moderated by Mira Hashmi 

Introduction by Robert Mintz, Deputy Director Asian Art Museum

Partition, famine, plague...South Asians have suffered through it all! Art, poetry and our culture has helped us endure it. Now, we are going through another phase... the Covid-19 outbreak. Healing through Art seems like the only way out.

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"The urge to spin a story when casting an eye over Pakistani contemporary art is overwhelming.

 One may  meander along its trails and unpredictable tracks.

 Fertile and barren seasons, positions taken and contested.

 There are instances of meteoric stardom, sterile struggles, amazing pluck and habitual good humour"


Talking about art in times of  loss and redemption.

  - Salima Hashmi

Salima Hashmi is an artist, curator and contemporary art historian. Professor Hashmi was the founding Dean of the Mariam Dawood School of Visual Art and Design at Beaconhouse National University, Lahore. She was Professor of Fine Art at National College of Arts [NCA] Lahore and was also Principal of the College.

Salima Hashmi has written extensively on the arts. Her book “Unveiling the Visible- Lives and Works of Women Artists of Pakistan” was published in 2002, and ‘Memories, Myths, Mutations – Contemporary Art of India and Pakistan’ co- authored with Yashodhara Dalmia for Oxford University Press, India in 2006.  She has edited ‘The Eye Still Seeks – Contemporary Art of Pakistan for Penguin Books, India in 2014.

She is the eldest daughter of the renowned poet Faiz Ahmed Faiz and his British-born wife Alys Faiz. She represents the first generation of modern artists in Pakistan who carry an artistic identity different from indigenous artists.

Salima Hashmi curated “Hanging Fire” an exhibition of Pakistani Contemporary Art for Asia Society Museum, New York in 2009, which was accompanied by an extensive catalogue.


She curated the critically acclaimed exhibition titled ‘This Night-Bitten Dawn’ hosted by Gujral Foundation and the Devi Art Foundation in Delhi, which opened on the occasion of the Delhi Art Fair, 2016.


She launched at Lahore Literary Festival, ‘Nazar Ki Umang’ (The Eye Still Seeks, Contemporary Pakistani Art-Urdu translation) Edited by Salima Hashmi, Sang-e-Meel, Lahore, 2020

Government of Pakistan awarded her the President's Medal for Pride of Performance for Art Education in 1999.

The Australian Council of Art and Design Schools (ACUADS) nominated her as Inaugural International Fellow, for distinguished service to art and design education in 2011. She was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by Bath Spa University in 2016. She was awarded with title of Professor Emeritus from BOG Beaconhouse National University on the occasion of 12th convocation in 2017.


She is Council member of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan and a founder member of Women's Action Forum.

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“Salima Hashimi is a true rarity in this world, an accomplished painter, a successful educator, a vocal change agent, a feminist, an activist, and inspiration. Her life and work mark a social change path and transformation from which she has never wavered or strayed. Her art, her words, and her actions all drive her quest for a better world,”
    - Dr. Robert Mintz

Dr. Robert Mintz is the Deputy Director at the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco. He occupies a key leadership position responsible for managing the curatorial, conservation, education, and museum services departments. Reporting to the museum director, Jay Xu, Robert provides strategic direction on exhibitions, education, interpretation, and public programs, and oversees the growth and development and preservation of the museum’s art collections. 

Born and raised in Midland, Michigan, Robert began studying the arts in the1980s while a student at Reed College in Portland, Oregon, and subsequently began to focus on the arts of Japan. He received his B.A. in the history of art from the University of Michigan (1989). His studies continued at the University of Washington, Seattle earning an M.A. (1995) and Ph.D. (2002).  His dissertation focused on the paintings and poetry of the 18th-century, Japanese artist Yosa Buson.


Following his graduate studies, Robert taught the history of East Asian Art for Seattle University where he also served as director of the university’s Kinsey Art Gallery.  In 2006 he was hired as Curator of Asian Art at the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore, Maryland. While at the Walters he curated a range of exhibitions and installations exploring points of intersection between Eastern and Western art, 18th-century Japanese painting, Japanese decorative arts, modern woodblock prints, and contemporary art from India, Thailand, Japan, and China.  In 2012 he was made Chief Curator with responsibility for the Curatorial, Collections, and Exhibitions functions of the museum.


He left the Walters in 2016 to take up his current position with the Asian Art Museum.  In this role, Robert looks forward to programming the new exhibition pavilion scheduled for completion in 2021. In conjunction with this new venue, the museum is also increasing its investment in and programming of Contemporary art from across Asia. These new challenges and the renovation of the museum’s collection galleries form the core of Robert’s work for the years to come. 

His most recent publications include work in Great Waves and Mountains (Pending), Kondo Takahiro Catalog of Recent Work, (2021), Faberge and the Russian Crafts Tradition: An Empire’s Legacy (2017), Japanese Ceramics for the 21st Century (2014), and Japanese Cloisonné Enamels (2010), which accompanied an exhibition at the Walters of the same name. His current research relates to provenance and history within the collection of the Asian Art Museum.”


Mira Hashmi is an assistant professor teaching film studies at the Lahore School of. Economics. A graduate of the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema at Concordia University in Montreal, Mira has also been writing about film for various publications for over 30 years. Her areas of interest include the cinema of Alfred Hitchcock, and Hindi masala movies. She has two children, one of them named after her grandfather, and the other after a character from the TV series Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Her first book, Gulzar’s Ijaazat: Insights into the Film, was published in 2019.

She is Salima Hashmi's daughter and part of Pakistan's illustrious family and the legacy of Faiz.

"Her (Salima Hashmi) father’s time in jail taught the children that one must be prepared to suffer if one challenges injustice, corruption and denial of the basic freedoms. “In a country that cannot provide education, health, shelter and employment to its people, anyone who dares to fight for these rights is undoubtedly going to come into confrontation with the state. But when you have the power to move people and influence them through poetry or writing then you have to be silenced because your power is mightier than the power of the state.”

From art to activism, the versatile Salima Hashmi has done it all

Shoaib Ahmed

Published May 9, 2021

"The world we live in sometimes may seem like it is enveloped in darkness and entangled in a web of chaos and suffering, especially in this past year of communal anguish," asserted Ms. Kiran Malhotra, Board of Director, Art Forum SF. Furthermore, Ms. Malhotra refers to Joe Haldeman, American Film Director, New Writer, who once said, "Anyone who sees clearly, sees chaos. Art is a way of temporarily setting order to confusion."
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