Waqas Khan’s new neon artwork Khushamdeed II 2017 means welcome in Urdu.
The neon has been created from Urdu script, to be read from outside the building. Khan chose this word because it is an established and ceremoniously signi cant word from Indo-Persian vocabulary. It represents the liberating feel of anonymity and a judgement-free passage, where there is no discrimination or distinction. Its literal meaning is to salute a newcomer with kindness, to receive and entertain hospitably and cheerfully and to welcome a visitor or a new idea.
By siting it on the outside of Manchester Art Gallery, Khan wanted to extend the notion of hospitality and welcome to all Manchester’s residents and visitors.
Khan has created a series of neons, placing them near the entrances to Manchester Art Gallery, Manchester Museum and The Whitworth, linking the three venues with a warm greeting to people across the city.
Khan’s solo exhibition can be seen at Manchester Art Gallery 30 September 2017–25 February 2018