About Faig Ahmed
Faig Ahmed (b. 1982 in Sumqayit, Azerbaijan) is an Azerbaijani contemporary visual artist best known for blending visual distortions into traditional oriental rugs. A graduate of the Sculpture Faculty at the Azerbaijan State Academy of Fine Art in Baku in 2004, today Faig Ahmed lives and works in Baku, Azerbaijan.
Ahmed represented Azerbaijan in the nation’s inaugural pavilion at the Venice Biennale in 2007 and participated in the 2013 “Love Me, Love Me Not” event. In 2013, he received a nomination for the third edition of the Jameel Prize organized by London’s Victoria and Albert Museum.
Works and Technique
As a multimedia artist working with textiles, painting, video, and installation, Faig’s work reimagines ancient crafts and creates new visual languages by dismantling traditional pieces and stereotypes.
Faig’s surreal sculptures incorporate ancient carpet-weaving techniques from his native country of Azerbaijan into forms that anyone would identify as hyper-contemporary. He mounts his elaborate patterned weavings on architectural wooden or plastic-made structures. Sometimes the stark contrast between the white space and the traditional tapestry is frightening enough; other times, Ahmed adjusts the patterns to suggest digital manipulation, pixelation, and distortion.
Being interested in creating something new that fights genres, birders, and even history, Faig Ahmed explores new techniques to collide the contemporary with the traditional. He diffuses fresh opportunities with his weaving collaborators about how the conventional textile practice may converge the innovative and the old, the ordinary and the holy.
His fringed rugs are often gigantic in scale, woven with the masterpiece, ornate patterns on top before they dive into a pool of glitches and skewed motifs. Each piece draws its name from a spiritual leader who profoundly impacted Azerbaijani culture, including Shams Tabrizi, Yahya al-Shirvani al-Bakuvi, and Nizami Ganjavi.
The carpet inspired by Tabrizi, who was Rumi’s mentor, for example, “gradually dissolve(s) into a black woolen space of nothingness, much like the final stages of a mystic’s spiritual journey: the demolition of one’s ego within the divine presence, like the flame of a candle in the face of the sun.”
Visit his site to see behind-the-scenes photos of his process and explore his fiber-based sculptures.
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