Manchester Art Gallery

Waqas Khan

Produced while he is in a trance-like state, Waqas Khan's drawings are the result of a painstaking, meticulous and precise process.

Manchester Art Gallery
Saturday 30 September 2017–Sunday 25 February 2018


Waqas Khan’s large-scale minimalist ink drawings are inspired by Sufi poetry and resemble webs and celestial expanses. The monochromatic compositions result from his painstaking, meticulous and precise process.

Waqas Khan’s minimalist ink drawings include dots and lines that measure less than a centimetre. Working at night, he enters a trance-like state in which he controls his breath to match his mark-making. The works are the result of his painstaking, meticulous and precise process. Khan creates expansive monochrome compositions that resemble webs and celestial expanses. Recently working on an increasingly large scale, his framed works have a hypnotic power. Inspired by Sufi scriptures, poetry and folk tales, he says

I deal with the script of the Sufi poets, the Sufi spirit of synthesis and diversity opens up new potential for understanding. For me, Sufism is a behaviour /meditation which helps me to connect with rest of the world.

Khan graduated as a printmaker from the National College of Arts, Lahore and continues to be based in Lahore. He recently exhibited at Galeri Krinzinger, Vienna, Austria. His works are in the collections of the British Museum, the V & A, Deutsche Bank Collection, Frankfurt, Germany and the Kiran Nadar Museum of Art and the Devi Foundation, New Delhi, India.

Find out more about the South Asia art and culture programme 2017-18

Waqas Khan. Between the palms V (The Breath of the Compassionate), 2016 (detail)
Courtesy of the artist and Sabrina Amrani