Faig Ahmed, one of Azerbaijan’s most internationally recognised visual artists, is garnering attention around the world for his modern interpretations of traditional carpet weaving, string art and embroidery.
Inspired to apply his artistic talents to textiles after years of creating artwork in other mediums, Ahmed creates handwoven, artisanal carpets made with intricate patterns and vibrant colours based on centuries-old designs originating in his home country of Azerbaijan. Working together with up to 25 experienced weavers, Ahmed first employs digital methods to apply distortion techniques to his designs. The results are startling, unexpected abstractions, and while thoroughly modern, they retain the qualities of ancient practices.
Traditional carpet colours merged with new age ones
Emily Zilber, author and curator of the current group exhibition, ‘Crafted- Objects in Flux’ at the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, describes his rugs as having a “foot in the world of craft and in the world of contemporary art” , blurring the boundaries between art, craft and design.
Handmade woolen carpet by Faig Ahmed
Faig Ahmed was born in Baku, Azerbaijan in 1982 and completed his BFA in Sculpture from the Azerbaijan State Academy of Fine Arts in 2004. In 2013, the artist was shortlisted for the Jameel Prize 3 at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. Ahmed’s work has been shown around the world, including group and solo exhibitions in Europe, India, Hong Kong, New York, Russia and the UAE. Pieces are held in both private and public collections, such as the Arnhem Museum, the Buta Foundation, the Seattle Art Museum and the Yarat Contemporary Art Centre.
Artist Faig Ahmed at his Studio
Traditional carpet patterns merged with a linear pattern
Tradition in Pixel – Handmade woolen carpet (100 cm x 150 cm)
Conversation – Handmade woolen carpet (100 cm x 150 cm)
Liquid – Handmade woolen carpet (200 cm x 290 cm)
“It’s a delicate balance” he says, “You have to be sensitive to changes while keeping your identity and remembering your roots”.