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 minimalist drawings resemble webs and celestial expanses. Inspired by patterns of biological organic growth and also by the lives and literature of Sufi poets, his work is a meditation on life, togetherness and the universe. His contemplation is made visible in ink on paper and his work invites our contemplation. Using small dashes and minuscule dots, his large-scale, monochromatic works are composed of either red, blue, white or black ink. In a carefully created installation, the visitor is led around the space from small scale drawings, to a large scale floor based work, to new drawings made especially for Manchester.

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 is based in Lahore and has recently exhibited at Galeri Krinzinger, Vienna, Austria. His works are in the collections of the British Museum, the V & A, the Kiran Nadar Museum of Art and the Devi Foundation, New Delhi, India. Khan is represented by Sabrina Amrani gallery.

Please note, we’ve had a problem with our roof and repairs are due to start at the end of February. Khan’s work, Name Me White has been taken down as a precaution, but we hope to be able to re-hang this work as soon as possible.


Intricately crafted using millions of pen marks, the Lahore artist’s epic, shimmering drawings capture stars, galaxies, mountains and moons. He is worthy of comparisons with Rothko and Mondrian

Jonathan Jones, The Guardian, 27 September 2017

Waqas Khan in conversation with Fareda Khan

Imtiaz Dharker: Zikr

As part of Manchester Literature Festival 2017, poet, artist and documentary filmmaker Imtiaz Dharker responded to solo exhibitions from South Asian artists Neha Choski, Risham Syed, Mehreen Murtaza, Waqas Khan and Hetain Patel. Here’s her poem, Zikr.

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

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

Supported by

Charles Wallace Pakistan Trust

Exhibition paint kindly supplied by Farrow&Ball

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