The Manchester Museums & Galleries Partnership has acquired three artworks by Lahore based artist Waqas Khan welcoming visitors in Urdu script to the Whitworth, Manchester Museum and Manchester Art Gallery.
Khushamdeed II, III and IV were created as a series of works to unify a programme of exhibitions across Manchester in September 2017 organised by the New North and South network, made up of eleven organisations across the North of England and South Asia exploring shared heritage across continents.
Created in neon the Khushamdeed series was conceived by the artist to evoke feelings of anonymity and a judgement-free passage. 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 positioning these works at the entrance of Manchester Art Gallery, the Whitworth and Manchester Museum, Khan extends the notion of hospitality and welcomes all visitors into Manchester Museums & Galleries Partnership venues.
Alistair Hudson, Director of the Whitworth and Manchester Art Galleries said: ‘It is a perfect fit for us to acquire Waqas Khan’s work Khushamdeed II and IV at Manchester Art Gallery and the Whitworth. The Khushamdeed series are operational not representational, acting as a sign to welcome people into our cultural institutions, as public places for people of all walks of life to come together. We hope the word Khushamdeed will be adopted by residents of Manchester as a symbol of kindness.’
On the acquisitions Waqas Khan said: ‘It is a great honour for me that the Manchester Museums & Galleries Partnership have chosen to acquire Khushamdeed II, III and IV. The works represent openness something that I have always felt on my visits to Manchester.’