Risham Syed

September 30, 2017  -  February 25, 2018

Free Admission

Risham Syed’s postcard sized paintings are mementos of a city in constant flux.

In exquisite postcard sized paintings, Risham Syed shows the ever changing urban landscape in Lahore, Pakistan. Instead of idealised postcard images for tourists, Syed depicts the construction work which transforms her home city. The recently built houses in Lahore’s new residential quarters have perfectly finished facades but unfinished back walls. She reveals these darker, neglected areas which are not for public view.

Other sculptural works, shown amid Manchester Art Gallery’s historic collection, include paintings inspired by newspaper images and diverse objects such as domestic ornaments and Victorian furniture. These works reference historical and political shifts in education, architecture and gender roles, exploring Pakistan’s cultural inheritance, collective memory and colonial history.


Risham Syed is based in Lahore and currently teaches Beaconhouse National University, Lahore. Her work has been shown in the ABRAAJ Capital Art Prize Dubai, Asia Pacific Triennial Brisbane, Hangzhou Triennial of Fibre Art, China, Mohatta Palace Museum, Karachi, National Gallery of Art, Islamabad, Barbican Centre, London and the Fukuoka Triennial, Japan.

Risham Syed History As Re-Present-Ation II 2014 (detail)
Courtesy the artist and Project 88

Risham Syed in conversation with Natasha Howes, Senior Curator