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Khan's work draws from a diverse range of cultural sources including literature, history, art, music and religion to create densely layered imagery that is both abstract and figurative and addresses narratives of history, cumulative experience and the metaphysical collapse of time into single moments.
Life and career
Khan photographs or scans originate from secondary source material – for instance, every page of the Qur'an, every Beethoven sonata, every William Turner postcard from Tate Britain), or every Bernd and Hilla Becher spherical gasholder. Khan's interest in Islam and layered imagery can be traced back to his upbringing. Khan is a Muslim by origin. His father is from Pakistan. His mother converted to Islam after meeting his father. It was his father's idea that Khan - himself a non-practicing Muslim - photograph every page of the Qur'an. His work and process have been described as "experiments in compressed memories" and "all-encompassing composites." As Khan describes: " It is a challenge to not define my work as a photograph but using the medium of photography to create something that exists on the surface of the paper and not to be transported back to an isolated moment in time."
In March 2012, The New York Times Magazine commissioned Khan to create a new body of work that was published in their London issue. The works focused on iconic sites in London; as Kahn described: “What I quite like about the whole process is that these landmarks are photographed a million times a day, but you can create more than just a document — a feeling of stretched time. I try to capture the essence of the building — something that’s been permanently imprinted in someone’s mind, like a memory.” 
Kahn has shown work internationally in many exhibitions including those at the Taidehalli in Helsinki, Musée de l'Élysée in Switzerland, Victoria Miro Gallery in London, the Saatchi Gallery in London., the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art, Toronto, Canada; K20, Dusseldorf, Germany; and Gothenburg Konsthall, Sweden.
His work is in the permanent collections of many institutions worldwide such as The Saatchi Collection, London, England; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Israel; the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia; the Philadelphia Museum of Art; the de Young Museum, San Francisco; and the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France.
- Biography, Victoria Miro Gallery
- www.iniva.org Idris Khan
- Dan Hicks and Mary C. Beaudry 2006. Introduction: the place of historical archaeology. In Dan Hicks and Mary C. Beaudry (eds) The Cambridge Companion to Historical Archaeology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 8-9 
- "Idris Khan: GOD IS GREAT". artnet. Retrieved 29 March 2013.
- "The Guardian, Between the lines, Geoff Dyer".
- "Aesthetica, A Pilgrimage of Self-Discovery, Idris Khan: The Devil’s Wall, Whitworth Art Gallery,Manchester, Carol Huston".
- "Artist of the week 80: Idris Khan, Skye Sherwin, theguardian.com".
- "AIdris Khan’s multi-layered photos, Photo Slaves, Sep 28, 2009".
- "This Sunday: London in Pictures, The 6th Floor Blog, Kathy Ryan, March 3, 2012]".
- "Pretty as a Thousand Postcards, The New York Times Magazine online, March 1, 2012]".
- Saatchi Gallery Biography: Idris Kahn
- "Sean Kelly, New York".
- "Fraenkel Gallery, San Francisco".
- "Victoria Miro, London".
- Idris Khan at Sean Kelly Gallery
- Idris Khan at Thomas Schulte
- Idris Khan on ArtFacts.net
- Idris Khan – Photography – Saatchi Gallery
- Yvon Lambert - Idris Khan