December 7, 2017 – Mancunion
“As we begin to conclude our feature on the New North South programme — honouring the 70th anniversary of the independence of India, Pakistan and later Bangladesh — we see how contemporary artist, Risham Syed, contributes to this process of commemoration surrounding the anniversary.
Syed’s first solo exhibition, Untitled Lahore Series, documents the changing landscape of her hometown Lahore, Pakistan. As a city that has undergone imperial rule of the Turkish, Mughal, and British Empires, she remarks “Living in Lahore is living with the memory of Empires”. Yet within a series of postcard-sized paintings, Syed’s pieces capture a combination of beauty and emptiness. Challenging Lahore’s tourist stereotype as a city of cultural exoticism with the brutal truth of apparent modernisation.
The setting of the exhibition mirrored the theme of Syed’s thoughtful work, simplistic and unchallenging; opening the door for the audience to create their own unique impression. Syed expertly created a mood of stillness and calm that dominated the exhibition room in a beneficial and peaceful manner…”