Halah Khan

Am I the Knife or the Wound?

Halah Khan

Am I the Knife or the Wound?



Edition Size





Artist Book


24.5 × 7 in


Karachi, Pakistan

$ 2,400.00


View Collectors

University of California, Irvine (UCI)

Found object, the printed floral fabric is from Artist’s own clothes, the golden thread on top of it is hand embroidered zarri thread. The Urdu text is embroidered with a pearl cotton thread.

Artist Statement:

The wound recognizes the knife that birthed it. The wound desires the hand that gave it life. Fingernails digging into my ribs I ask the torn skin, am I the knife or the wound? do I hurt more, or do I lust after the hurt myself? Holy wounds on a sinner’s body, I ask, am I the blood or the hand that cleans it? I have carried this bitterness under my skin for centuries. I need to slice it out of me. I need to make an open wound of myself.
The wound grew a tongue. It speaks to me now. It’s naming names, calling gods and saints. the wound talks in riddles and poems and names forgotten. The wound remembers. It cries and screams and laughs and spit curses. I hush it singing soft lullabies. My beloved. My darling. You’re bleeding still. You’re growing and deepening and making space for all my love. I will carry you on my hip. I will hold you to my chest. I will nurture you with my body and blood. and I will become you.

Text within:
آپ ہی زخم
I am the wound

آپ ہی مرہم ہوں
I am the ointment myself.