Halah Khan

Love letter III

Halah Khan

Love letter III



Edition Size



Embroidery, Ink, Textile


9.5 × 6.5 × 1 in



$ 3,800.00

Out of Print

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Bainbridge Island Museum of Art

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 III, is an exquisite book, with golden embroidered Arabic lettering (the language is Urdu) shining through a vertical matrix of coded stitches on a typical ‘Halah Khanish’ painted landscape of blood. The completely integrated eloquence of the book’s structure, embroidered calligraphy, painting, and poetry is so perfect it seems appropriate to see the work as reminiscent of the continuum of the accomplishments of the books of the Timurid dynasty era in the cultural center of Herat, Afghanistan.

Love letter III
Text within the book:
اس سے گہرا رنگ لاؤ۔۔۔
Bring a deeper color than this
اُس کی کاغذی انگشت سے اُگتا ہے وہ سبزہ
A verdure grows from her papery fingertips
جس کی خوشبو ُمعَطر کرتی ہے میرے خوابوں کو
The scent of which enchants my dreams
بہت معصوم سی نازک سی دھوپ میں
Within a soft, innocent sunshine
اُس کی مسکراہٹ کی شبنم چمک رہی ہے
The morning dew of her smile is shining through
چاند جیسا نام ہے اُس کا
Her name is like the moon
چاندنی سی نرمی
Her softness like moonlight
وہ بھی وہیں ہے
She’s there as well
میں صدیوں سے گُم ہوں جہاں
Where I have been lost for centuries
وقت کی رفتار سے آگے
Beyond the speed of light
وجود و عدم کی قید سے آزاد۔۔۔
Free from the constraints of existence and non-existence.