Where do you work?
I often spend long hours in my studio, which is just 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 was designed by my best friend, Saad Saeed, who also happens to be architect. 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 find my own space once I marry. I always wanted to live in Model Town, which is a suburb just a little removed from the crowded city. With some luck, I found the ideal space to live and work in this neighbourhood.
What do you like about the area?
Model Town was one of the first planned areas in Lahore and has drawn in 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.
“I often spend long hours in my studio, which is just 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”
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.
Inside Waqas Khan’s Model Town studio in Lahore, 2018. Courtesy of the artist
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 do 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 enjoy the privacy of my studio during these times and have limited interaction with the outside world”
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 has influenced my creative process, sparking my curiosity about 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 may be 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, which resemble webs and celestial expanses. Born in Akhtarabad in 1982, the artist currently lives and works in Lahore, Pakistan.