Sapar Contemporary, New York
Faig Ahmed, a student of modern and ancient languages, including Sanskrit and Arabic, was interested in the origin of languages and human writing long before he became interested in carpets. It was his study of pre-historic petroglyphs that led to his fascination with the language of carpet patterns. Ahmed re-imagines carpets as a source code for visual communication, writing, design, art, and even science.
During the past decade, Ahmed has become internationally known for his re-interpreting the coded messages in ancient carpet designs. His artwork speaks about the unconscious power of the visual language of patterns that communicate messages through generations and cultures, and links early human history with the digital age. By disrupting and re-imagining the visual code and structure of the rugs that were developed over the centuries in Caucasus, Turkey, Persia, and India, Ahmed suggests new ideas about the nature of reality and the limits of human perception.
Flow, change, constant transformation, disappearance, and disintegration are recurring themes in Ahmed’s works. The visual impact of many of his works is in the tension between the stability of traditional carpet designs and the rigidity of our perception of carpets, as well as the artist’s intention of capturing a fleeting, unstable phenomena. His Ephiphany, a carpet that is torn violently so that we see gaping holes, is a reference to a moment of insight, a sudden gap in perception. The dramatic impact of the work is that this lofty modern concept was executed on a traditional loom in a remote village outside of Baku using an age-old weaving technique.
A strong theme in the artist’s new creations evolved from his fascination with genetic research, quantum physics, and the science of small particles. The work such as DNA is inspired by scientific attempts to describe metaphysical phenomena.