Halah Khan

Triptych: Love Letter I, String of Fate, and The Lost Star

Halah Khan

Triptych: Love Letter I, String of Fate, and The Lost Star



Edition Size



Embroidery, Textile


Artist Book


16 × 10 × 4 in


Karachi, Pakistan

$ 6,800.00


View Collectors

Boston Athenaeum

“As always Halah Khan’s work surpasses all expectations about how both poetry and books can pluck at our heartstrings.
String of Fate and Love Letter I, are for example, exceptionally resonant conceptually. (Enter Clotho, the Spinner, Lachesis, the Allotter, and Atropos, the Inflexible.) The unwinding of the thread and the peering into the ‘anatomy’ of the fabric to find the text explodes myriad metaphors and associations in the reader’s mind.
In Love Letter I, the redaction of one’s own love letters also speaks to this difficult world we all live in, (and the complicated situation for women in Pakistan) in so many ways. The Lost Star uses a tea coaster as a vehicle for  a  personal confession, the text is integrated into a mundane, domestic, and functional piece of kitchenware, something perhaps a man might overlook, but that fellow women might notice. All these books convey visceral, intimate, and stealth, yet public, confessions.” — Marshall Weber

3 unique artists’ books in a brocade clamshell box. The box was designed by Marshall Weber and Sophia Kramer and was fabricated by Sophia Kramer.

All below texts by Halah Khan:

Love Letter I:

To all the words I am afraid to say, that twist and burn under my tongue; to all the wounds I am tired of reopening; to a love for hideous things, a love I keep nurturing with my own sinister hands. All language is lost on me; I am weaving old, abandoned dreams, bleeding out under a fallen moon. It all cracks softly like eggshells under my feet, I carry this hollowness in my womb, it is mine to keep, mine to love; the burden of a thousand centuries sprouting into my spine, splitting me from within.

There is a home for me… In another universe, another lifetime, it rains slowly, each drop seeping into our skin softly, healing the bruises that never got a chance to heal…but I was walking backward; I was writing love letters to death, I was born with this repulsive love, I was born a sinner, with moonlight, etched into my skin, darkness staining my palms like mehndi, I was casting spells before I knew her name… I was writing love letters across eternities, singing in forgotten languages. I was writing love letters before I could even speak; I was talking to ghosts; I was summoning demons and lovers.

The spreads are a thin canvas cloth dyed with tea wash; hand-embroidered with a pearl cotton thread. Parts of the poetry are concealed by stitching over it repeatedly. The cover of the book is woolen, knitted by hand. 12 pages.

Text within the book:
Let this arrow pierce your heart
Make this forest your home
Keep conversing with the stillness
Turn his voice
Into a wound

String of Fate:

I endeavor to write letters to them, then I leave it unfinished, or forget.

Tea wash dyed canvas. Pearl Cotton thread, hand embroidered. Red Jute string.
(The text within this book is not transcribed.)

The Lost Star:

I am impatient to be patient, exasperated to calm down; running through the nights longing for the softness of her embrace, weaving my agitation into rubble, grasping at the stale air in my room, where did I put my last hyper fixation? Already forgot… frantically searching for any movement, any sound to drown the ringing in my head; casting spells with trembling hands, the sages told me to never sleep, I break things softly, creating with an ancient rage.

All a farce, all to waste.
I want to turn to softer ways of existing, I want to turn my back to the world, to never know anything, forget all the names, faces and the times we carry, exist like the blooming of a daisy atop a mountain unknown, along a lost trail, smiling under the sun, dying with the sweet scent of earth, my purpose unimportant, my existence unseen, yet soft, yet persistence, breathing unhurriedly under pouring rain, knitting old stories that demand to be told, sleeping in the arms of mother earth; a life unlived, a life wasted bravely.

Woolen Crocheted Coaster with Embroidery text. Pearl Cotton thread.

Text within the book:
That broken star
That childhood that was lost from us

That friend who got upset from us
every wall is covered in red now