Waqas Khan’s beautifully delicate and detailed printmaking techniques have won him international acclaim. Through a painstaking process of etching tiny dots, he creates captivating and thought provoking shapes and patterns. His drawings are inspired by Muslim, Hindu and Sufi traditions.
What are you views on Pakistani art?
Waqas Khan: “ I feel that the question to be asked is whether is if art is helping our society in any way and personally I feel that it is not. We all portray individual messages through our work – and most of them aren’t accessible to the masses, my own work included. Aside from that, there is a lack of education about art. We don’t have sufficient funding to include studies of art, buildings and structures, documentaries into the general curriculum. This must be done to increase awareness among our younger generations. If we create art, we should have knowledge about it. We must undertake research and preserve the history of the origins of the space we are working in, which unfortunately most of us don’t. We bank on talent alone; there is a severe lack of knowledge. Hopefully the new and more educated talent coming in can change that.”
You have participated in several leading art fairs, can you tell us about any that stood out for you?
WK: “These days I am a huge fan of Marina Abramovic. I met her recently as she exhibited at the same gallery as me. She is currently one of the leading artists in the world. I went to an exhibition and for me, meeting her and listening to her was an honour. I had heard of her work while studying at the NCA and meeting her in person was an inspiring experience. I was completely mesmerised by her work.”
How did you find these galleries to represent you or how did they come to you?
WK: “I was connected to these galleries via emails mostly. Firstly, they had bought my work in the Dubai Art Fair in 2011 and they had given me their contact details which unfortunately at the time I had misplaced but then by a good stroke of fate we got reconnected. I have been represented by the Krinzinger gallery in Europe and the Lakeerien Gallery in India as well as the Sabrina Armani gallery in Spain.At exhibitions I like to stand in a corner and observe people because their reactions give me so much energy and I like to incorporate that energy into creating more of my work. I love being at galleries and exhibitions all day, just observing people. I only speak to people when they have several questions, otherwise I like to just stand aside and let people look and ponder. I find it very hard to leave my pieces by themselves, not because of security reasons, but the sentimentality that comes with putting in so many hours of dedication and passion in my work that leaving it alone seems like a parental violation of sorts.”
- 2013 In other Words, Krinzinger Gallery, Vienna
- 2012 Dance in Retina, Lakeeren Gallery, Mumbai
- 2012 Abstraction Contained, Sabrina Amrani Art Gallery, Madrid.
- 2010 Even infinity takes time, Lakeeren Gallery, Mumbai.
- 2009 Shift 2, Canvas Art Gallery, Karachi.
- 2009 Shift, Rohtas Gallery, Lahore.
- 2008 Dot (A perfect circle), National College of Arts, Lahore.
Selected Group shows:
- 2011 Intimate picture, Tokyo Gallery + BTAP, Tokyo.
- 2009, Other Side, Chowkandi Art Gallery, Karachi.
- 2008 Print exhibition, Alhamra Art Council, Lahore.
- 2008 Miniature Artists of Pakistan, National College of Arts, Lahore.
International Art Fairs:
- 2013 Miami art basel
- 2013 FIAC Paris
- 2013 frieze art fair London
- 2013 Hongkong Art Basel With Krinzinger Gallery
- 2013 Art Brussells With Krinzinger Gallery
- 2013 Art Dubai, with Sabrina Amrani Art Gallery (Madrid). And Krinzinger Gallery
- 2013 India Art Fair, with Lakeeren Gallery (Mumbai).
- 2012 justMad mia,Miami With Sabrena Amrani Gallery Madrid
- 2012 Beirut Art Fair, with Sabrina Amrani Art Gallery (Madrid).
- 2012 India Art Fair, with Lakeeren Gallery (Mumbai).
- 2011 Art Dubai, with Lakeeren Gallery (Mumbai).
- 2011 India Art Summit, with Lakeeren Gallery (Mumbai).
- 2012-2013 Krinzinger Projekte (Vienna)
- 2013 Shortlisted for Jameel Prize (Victoria Albert Museum)