Waqas Khan: The Untitled Show

In this new delivery of Corresponsal, Elena Pastor visually takes us through The Untitled Show by Pakistani artist Waqas Khan at Sabrina Amrani Gallery in Madrid. Sharpen your eyes and enjoy the visit.


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In-situ text

The ink and gesture through the stroke are Waqas Khan’s means of expression. A binary language in which the silence and the emptiness are so defining as ink. This dichotomy along with the small-scale transforms its own materiality to create a third dimension inscribed in the two-dimensional paper, that shapes and clarifies a complex whole. The viewer becomes involved in a direct relationship with a work that reflects the abstract, pure thought inherent to the artist. Waqas’ paintings engage and do not give rise to obvious, elevating us to levels of sensations that are beyond what is evident. No dot, no line or mark drawn amongst the crowd of them that flood Khan’s work is superfluous. All contribute to form the perfect image of a social body and give meaning to it.


Waqas works are one-single-tool-made meticulous surfaces intended for the eye of the viewer to be dancing endlessly on them, in the same way we sit silently and watch the world around us, gazing into the open wide sky full of stars or diving into the infinite depth of the ocean. The final purpose of his work is giving the viewer the opportunity to enjoy the beauty of visual infinity, the potential of philosophical awareness, and the visual effects produced inside the retina of the beholder, depending on the viewer’s eye.


In order to draw the miniature traces and dots of ink that conform the works with the precision required, Waqas needs to hold his breath while drawing, and exhale after the ink is on the paper, sustaining that moment to celebrate pure and holy silence. This mind-numbing repetitive process, over and over during long non-stop hours of work, enables him to achieve works that evolve from simple dots into organic structures, patterns, contained space, volume, and wonderfully refined mandala compositions, with a deceptive simplicity. The works do not look the same from different distances, this ambiguity is proposed by the artist as a playground for the mind.


Waqas’ works are not mere drawings but are built up from ideas and concepts obtained from the Muslim, Hindu and Sufi idiosyncrasy. The artist’s fascination, the interest in capturing a sense of narrative, lies more in the potential of where an unfinished storyline might go.


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Images thanks to Sabrina Amrani Gallery.