Beaconhouse National University (BNU)

Prof. Risham Hosain Syed

Head of Department

Mariam Dawood School of Visual Arts & Design

Risham Syed is a visual artist whose work explores history and politics through mediums like painting and fabric. Her art reflects the colonial history of her native city, creating dialogues within a global context. Widely exhibited internationally, she has won prestigious awards and integrates personal and historical themes.


Risham Syed is a visual artist who currently heads the Visual Arts Department at the Mariam Dawood School of Visual Arts & Design, Beaconhouse National University, Lahore, Pakistan. Risham has a diverse art practice in which painting and other mediums are employed to explore questions of history and politics. Her native city plays a pivotal role in her work, as do related inquiries into what the colonial history of the region means to today’s global south. She explores these questions using her paintings as pieces of a greater, often global context through installation and engages objects, borders, margins, frames with social reference and connotation. Her use of fabric, embroidery, found objects, along with her paintings, speaks about her connection with the personal, as well as the historical, weaving in history with the present moment. Risham has shown extensively in major national and international exhibitions, including the Manchester Art Gallery, ABRAAJ Capital Art Prize, Dubai, Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester, Asia Pacific Triennial Brisbane, Hangzhou Triennial of Fiber Art, China, Mohatta Palace Museum, Karachi, National Gallery of Art, Islamabad, National Gallery of Modern Art, Mumbai, Harris Museum, Preston, Barbican Centre, London, and the Fukuoka Triennial, Japan. Ms. Risham is the recipient of the prestigious ABRAAJ Capital Art Prize (2012). Her works are part of important public and private collections. Her recent projects include a solo show at Manchester Art Gallery in Manchester, where her work conversed with the permanent collection of 18th and 19th-century paintings. Risham is a graduate of the National College of Arts, Lahore, and holds an MA from the Royal College of Art, London.


BA, University of the Punjab, Lahore, BFA (Fine Arts), National College of Arts, Lahore, MA Fine Arts Royal College of Art, London, U.K.

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