Halah Khan

Love letter II

Halah Khan

Love letter II



Edition Size



Embroidery, Ink, Textile


7.5 × 8.5 × 1 in



$ 3,800.00

Out of Print

View Collectors

Temple University

Booklyn is proud to introduce Pakistani artist Halah Khan. Khan’s visceral and exceptionally evocative unique books are rooted in her elegant and passionate poetry. Her poetry is intricately and boldly embroidered over her exuberant expressionistic paintings which cover the deceptive simplicity and directness of her book forms. While elegant and functional her book forms are also complex and carefully designed sculptural structures that emulate the emotional and existential terrain she explores so courageously. To page one of Khan’s books is to be unmoored in time and space, one becomes as vulnerable as the characters in her books, open to the strong feelings that any total immersion catalyzes. Her work challenges conventional notions of chronology and subjectivity, one is never sure if one is reading a book from ancient times or some odd codex from the future sent back in time as some sort of harbinger of things to come. Khan’s books are never just about things, they are not narratives that describe some imaginary world, neither are they reportage. When you dance with one of Halah Khan’s books, there is no easy way for the music to end, the aesthetic experience is a totality that is difficult to describe, except by saying, “one must dance with these books”.
Love letter II, perhaps one of the best examples of how Khan uses the most obvious and simple of aesthetic structures and symbols and completely complicates and problematizes their simplicity and innocence. She obliterates any possibility of a naive or innocent reading of her compositions. Letters become bloodstains, bloodstains become letters, blood coalesces into clots, menses, organs, that demand some kind of hepatomantic divination.

Love letter II
Text within the book:

کس قدر بے آواز تھی وہ شب
How silent was that night

کتنی گہری
How deep

اُس کی سحر انگیز آنکھوں کی طرح
Like those magical eyes

ہم بھٹکتے ہیں کسی بےجان دل کی آواز پر
I went astray to the sound of a dead heart

کوئی بُلا رہا ہے اب بھی
Someone is calling still

بچپن کی بھولی ہوئی اُس شام سے
From that forgotten evening of my childhood

پُکارتا ہے مجھے
Calling out for me

جانا چاہتی ہوں
I long to go

بہت دور
Far away.