Where I Work: Waqas Khan

WaqasKhan. Studio Profile. Courtesy the artist.

August 3, 2018

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See inside the artist’s beautiful Lahore studio – a glass house surrounded by nature in a district that has become a vibrant home for talented artists, writers and creators 

Where do you work?

I often spend long hours in the studio which is a floor above my apartment in Lahore. It is almost like a glass house – full of natural light and calm – beautifully surrounded by trees and birds. It has been designed by my best friend, Saad Saeed, who also happens to be architect and I feel really comfortable here. I also recently finished building a studio in my village in Akhtarabad in Okara district. I will be splitting my time between these two places in the coming years.

How did you find your studio?

My father insisted that I have my own space once I marry. I always wanted to live in Model Town which is a suburb away from the crowded city and with some luck, I found the ideal space to live and work in this neighborhood.

Inside Waqas Khan’s studio in Model Town in Lahore, 2018

What do you like about the area?

Model Town was one of the first planned areas in Lahore and has drawn a large number of artists, writers and journalists since it was established in 1920. Besides the obvious symmetry of design, what else has always attracted me to Model Town’s planning is its generous allotment for green areas and parks.

How long have you been in your studio? 

I moved here nearly four years ago and not much has changed except for a few underpasses that were recently constructed. The administration in this neighbourhood is very strict – they don’t allow any high-risers to be built in the vicinity for example.

What’s your working routine?

I prefer a quiet environment and tend to stay up all night when I am working on something. I wake up at 2pm or even later in the afternoon, have a quick bite and go out for a walk in the community park. I enjoy the privacy of my studio during these times and have limited interaction with the outside world. Sometimes, I don’t see my partner for 4-5 days even though we share the same living space!

What are you working on now? 

I have a great deal to do this year. I am currently working for a solo show opening at Krinzinger Gallery in Vienna this September. All I can say is that I am trying something new this time so keep an eye out for it! I am also happy to share that some of my works will be showcased at the Asia Pacific Triennale in Brisbane as well as at some of the leading global art fairs in including Frieze London, Fiac Paris and Art Basel Miami. I make multiple trips to the exhibition site and get to know it better. This helps me visualise, create and select works that are best suited to the space.

A view from the artist’s studio, 2018.

Have you had any breakthrough moments in your studio?

The studio is designed is such a way that it lets in abundant natural light. This in turn has influenced my creative process and has sparked my curiousity towards light and how it plays around form. I don’t believe that this could have happened when I was working out of a congested studio with no windows.

Do you think you’ll stay here or move?

Even though I am settled in Lahore, I am constantly on the move. This maybe the place of my origin, but there is a huge world out there. We are not trees, we can move. So why not!

Waqas Khan is best known for his large scale minimalist drawings resemble webs and celestial expanses. Born in Akhtarabad in 1982, the artist currently lives and works in Lahore, Pakistan.

 

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