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Sara Khan: Suraj Kinare

Immerse yourself in intriguing watercolours mixing fantasy and reality.

A world of burning city suns, shimmering gardens, floral tapestries, mythical creatures, and distant relatives appear in Sara Khan’s art. Made with sumptuous watercolours, the works focus on precise details. The miniature painting traditions of the Indian subcontinent influence Khan’s works, but with a twist of magical realism.

Each painting evokes a hybrid realm between fantasy and reality. Personal memories mix with exotic plants and outlandish characters. In Suraj Kinare (an Urdu phrase meaning “at the edge of the sun”), Khan alludes to her own sense of identity, suspended between the cultures of her childhood home in Pakistan and her current home in Canada.

Windows, doors, and archways open on to blue skies and orange sunsets. Khan bridges the architecture of urban Pakistan with the dream of other lands. Silhouettes of people and objects appear amid foliage, suggesting the absence of memory. Water and plants flow between buildings, mountains, and creatures, conjoining different realms. Khan’s art reflects an identity rooted in heritage while incorporating the shapes and sights of a fluid, globalized world.

Learn more about Sara Khan and her art at her artist talk on July 11.

About the Artist

Sara Khan was born in Birmingham, England and raised in Lahore, Pakistan. She holds a BFA (with honours) from National College of Arts, Lahore (2008). Her works have been featured in several national and international group exhibitions. She was selected as one among thirteen international artists for the Bag Art camp, an international art residency in Bergen, Norway (2012). She was also selected to be a part of the 13 Satellites of Lahore, a public art workshop held at the Annemarie Schimmel Haus, Lahore (2006). She lives and works in Vancouver.

Image credit: Sara Khan, Daughter, 2018, watercolour on paper, 56 cm x 38 cm.