Salima Hashmi – Pakistan

Dean, School of Visual Arts, Beaconhouse National University, Lahore, Professor Salima Hashmi is a painter, art educationist, writer and curator. She was educated at the National College of Arts (NCA), Lahore, the Bath Academy of Art, U.K., and the Rhode Island School of Design, USA. She taught for 30 years at NCA, Pakistan’s premier art institution, and retired as its Principal. She has exhibited her own work, travelled and lectured extensively all over the world, and has curated about a dozen international art shows in the U.K., Europe, the USA, Australia, Japan and India. She is a recipient of The President’s Award for Pride of Performance, Pakistan. (southasiafoundation).

She says: “The objective of art is to give life a shape and though artists cannot change the world they can, through their work, give flight to imagination, they can give you the direction”.

She says also: “You don’t understand the singing of birds but that does not mean it has no meaning. Similarly, if you watch it closely, your eyes start talking to the works of art”.

Salima Hashmi – Pakistan

Excerpt: … Last year, Salima Hashmi published a book titled Unveiling the Visible: Lives and Works of Women Artists of Pakistan. The book examines the lives and works of about 50 of Pakistan’s women painters since independence. As Murataza Rizvi wrote in his review of Salima’s book in Dawn, 09/2202, “She took to writing (the book) only because our writers had failed to document the history of Pakistan’s women artists.”

Salima Hashmi spent a number of years doing research for the book and interviewing women artists. Salima Hashmi has also been active in the human rights movement since the early 80s when she was one of the founding members Women’s Action Forum, an organization dedicated to promoting women’s rights though it has been criticized for being limited to the elite class of Pakistan. These days Salima Hashmi is focused on mentoring and promoting the works of younger artists. She has curated art exhibitions showcasing works of Pakistani artists both in Pakistan and abroad. She has also been traveling internationally to promote the new art school Beaconhouse National University which has already attracted students from abroad. (Read the whole long article about her life on

Some paintings by artists of Pakistan.

Excerpt: … Salima Hashmi, principal of NCA in the 1990s and currently a professor at Beaconhouse National University in Lahore, has been very influential in the work of these and other younger women. In the 1980s, she continued to make artwork that dealt with political and feminist themes at a time when the military dictatorship curbed artistic expression. (Read the whole article about Postmodernism).

Paksmit held a Book Launch of Salima Hashmi’s “Unveiling the Visible: Lives and Works of Women Artists of Pakistan”. The work, a result of three years of research, surveys the creative outputs of many generations of female artists in Pakistan. Salima Hashmi is Professor of Fine Arts at the National College of Arts, Lahore. Her exhibits have been displayed in Pakistan and the rest of the world. Also the daughter of the famous Pakistani poet, Faiz Ahmed Faiz, Hashmi is one of the pioneers of television, theatre and puppet theatre in Pakistan. Her talk at the book launch was very entertaining and well enjoyed by all! (Read on Paksmit Events).

Salima Hashmi is a Pakistani painter who served for four years as the head of the National College of Arts. She is the daughter of one of Pakistan’s most renowned poets Faiz Ahmed Faiz and represented the first generation of modern artist in the country, who carrid an artistic identity different from indigenous artists. She is currently the Dean of the School of Visual Arts at the Beaconhouse National University. Her daughter and nephew also teach there. Salima is famous for her quick-wit and ability to read and analyse artwork with effortless ease. She is a respected patron of young artists known to have the capacity to make or break a career. Formerly known as “Art-Shart”, Rohtas-3 is the gallery set up by Salima Hashmi at her father’s house in Model Town, where she currently lives with her family. Shoaib Hashmi, her husband retired from a teaching position at Government College University, Lahore, and was also a popular co-star with Salima in comedy TV shows in the early 1970s. (Read more on wikipedia).

Describing her father Faiz a progressive poet who always wrote against repressive governments who were trying to crush liberal thinkers. Narrating an incident when she was a young girl and her father was taken away by the police, her mother was found it difficult to explain why Faiz was taken without being a criminal as she believed only “bad persons were sent to jail.” She carried the impression that only those were targeted by the regimes who become the voice of the people and were symbols of the true modern liberal society. Fondly remembering her father, Salima said that Faiz always stood for steadfast maturity and never buckled under pressure of his adversaries. Prof Hashmi said that her father was emotionally inclined towards progressive writers movement spearheaded by founder of Preet Nagar, Gurbax Singh Preetlari and lent his support during her frequent visits to the utopian village of intellectuals. She vividly recalled the visits to Preetlari and joyous memories of time spent in her second home. (Read the rest on this page of Tribune of India).


Times of Oman;


School of Visual Arts.

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