Graphite on wasli
Sajid Khan’s work is intrinsically linked to his childhood days in the village called Palai, Pakistan. A modest situation, the absence of any other paint media like acrylic or oil paints developed in Khan an acute relationship with the ‘lead pencil’- one whose nostalgic relevance remains to date.
As children, especially those belonging to a remote village, Khan and his siblings saw the clouds as wonderful, fantastical creatures – curtains of fog capable of engulfing and spitting out airplanes. Void of material constraints and ever-evolving, these clouds became reflections of the constant change and non-materiality of the human condition. As Khan matured however, so did change the social situation in Pakistan. With the political turmoil, Khan’s perspective of everything around him changed drastically. Clouds were not benign objects anymore, they were not symbols of peace and prosperity; they represented carnage. Clouds emerged from explosions, annihilating hundreds, spraying debris like an irremovable signature. Whatever meaning and magic clouds had had for Khan in the past had changed irrevocably.
Sajid Khan uses a lot of grey suggesting colourlessness; making monotone clouds that are at once intimidating and threatening in their mystery, whilst simultaneously soft, supple and featherlike. Like as in Untitled, just as the eyes accustom themselves to this charcoal world, it is jolted by noticing tiny hints of mechanical drone planes, slyly permeating the serene sky.
Born in Malakand in 1984, Sajid Khan graduated from the National College of Arts, Lahore with a Distinction in Miniature painting in 2011 post acquiring a BA in Graphic Designing from the University of Peshawar in 2008. He currently spends his time working as a freelance graphic designer and practicing artist, living and working in Lahore, Pakistan.
Photo credits | Usman Javaid