Manchester Museums and Galleries Partnership has acquired three artworks by Lahore based artist Waqas Khan. The pieces will be used to welcome visitors in Urdu script to the Whitworth, Manchester Museum and Manchester Art Gallery.
Born in 1982, Waqas Khan is produces abstract, minimalist drawings resembling webs. He is inspired by patters of biological organic growth and the lives and literature of Sufi poets. He creates large-scale monochromatic work using small dashes and miniscule dots.
Khushamdeed II, III and IV were created as a series of works to unify a programme of exhibitions across Manchester run by the New North and South network. The network comprises eleven organisations across the North of England and South Asia exploring shared heritage.
Meaning literally to salute a newcomer with kindness, to receive and entertain hospitably and cheerfully, and to welcome a visitor or a new idea, the neon Khushamdeed series was conceived by Waqaas Khaan with the intention of evoking feelings of anonymity and a judgement-free passage. The works have been positioned at the entrance to Manchester Art Gallery, the Whitworth and Manchester Museum to extend the notion of hospitality, welcoming all visitors.
Alistair Hudson, Director of the Whitworth and Manchester Art Galleries said: ‘It is a perfect fit for us to acquire Waqas Khan’s work Khushamdeed II and IV at Manchester Art Gallery and the Whitworth. The Khushamdeed series are operational not representational, acting as a sign to welcome people into our cultural institutions, as public places for people of all walks of life to come together. We hope the word Khushamdeed will be adopted by residents of Manchester as a symbol of kindness.’