MEDEIA EKNER
Curator
Textile Museum of Sweden
"EQUATION" project
Faig Ahmed is known mostly for his unique way of transforming traditional Azerbaijani rugs into contemporary sculptural shapes. His method of deconstructing conventional patterns and symbols and reshaping them into original compositions often results in new, dramatic expressions.

Oriental rugs are covered in symbols, the patterns of which form stories that are well-anchored in a collective consciousness. These patterns include Buddhist and Muslim symbols and have greatly influenced European and Nordic mythology. Inspired by his visit to Sweden in Autumn 2016, he has explored and brought together Nordic and Oriental pattern traditions. The artist explores symbolic traditions and collective rituals and rules through experiments and in-depth studies. He exposes himself performively and forces his body and psyche to new levels of consciousness where new identities arise. In his works, symbols are thus transformed. They are broken up, moved, conquered, destroyed and creates new stories.

Materials used for the carpets in Equation are wool dyed with natural colors. The manager of the weaving studio in Baku, Aliyev Ilgar "travels anywhere to pick up stones and leaves from special trees", Faig Ahmed has told. These weaving and tying techniques are several thousand years old. In the weaving studio where Faig Ahmed's carpets are tied, both Yiordesknot (also known as the Turkish knot) and Sennaknot (also known as the Persian knot) are used. The site-specific work, which is placed in the middle of the exhibition hall has been tied with Sennaknot. In old carpets, the warp is made by wool, the woof is often made of cotton and usually knitted with 100,000-150,000 knots per square meter.

Stilized figures from the area are, for example, human figures, dogs and ropes, which can be seen in the work 10-35. An ancient motive that has influenced European and Nordic mythology is the Tree of Life, or the Holy Tree, which symbolizes divine power and long, or eternal life. This motif is seen in the work Speech of the Birds.

With inspiration from his stay in Sweden in autumn 2016, Faig Ahmed has explored and linked Nordic and Oriental pattern traditions together. The cross, an ancient symbol, comes back in number of pieces in the exhibition hall and the colors of the work Infinit Surface have got more Nordic characters.

Faig Ahmed studied sculpture at the Azerbaijan State Academy of Fine Art in Baku. Since 2003, he has worked with various media, including painting, video, performance and installations. Ahmed is considered to be one of the ten most interesting textile artists of the moment, and has received a great deal of international attention in recent years.