ATHR GALLERY is delighted to announce its inaugural participation in Nomad Design and Art Fair (Venice) For this edition, the Gallery will present artists, designers and architects specialised in collectible design from the Middle East with new commissions of bronze works produced by the Battaglia Foundry in Milan. Titled WEHE, the showcase explores the meaning of primordiality and its connection to the desert environment. Oasis dwellings in particular, with their unique geographic context and the preservation of old traditions from local inhabitants, combine concepts of modern living with technology and primordial lifestyle. A balance is set between a contemporary understanding of the world and an environment surrounded by essential and meaningful objects, together generate a ritual. The word WEHE comes from Ancient Egyptian language and means a “dwelling place”, WEHE is also the origin of the word waaha in Arabic and “oasis” in Greek.
Taher Asad-Bakhtiari (Iran)
Taher Asad-Bakhtiari (b. 1982, Tehran) is a self-taught artist whose approach focuses on experimentations on objects and textiles to create and reinvent techniques and uses. He has developed several bodies of work including The Tribal Weave Project that breaks hundreds of years of weaving traditions. He re-created pieces that take on new functions as wall partitions, wall coverings, furniture spreads, challenging in their sweep the orthodox notion that “kilims and gabbehs are for the floor.” His work has been shown in several international exhibitions, including the Met (New York), Carwan Gallery (Beirut), Wallpaper* Middle East Revealed, Qattan Foundation (London), and Katara Art Centre (Doha).
Woven by semi-nomadic tribal women using entirely naturally-dyed, hand-spun wool, each piece can require up to four months to create, depending on size. Unlike the traditional Iranian carpet, Iranian tribal weaves display quite simple patterns, because tribal people weave what they see: the sky, the mountains, the earth, the animals. Inspired by the power of this puritan philosophy, Asad-Bakhtiari imagines a process to further strip the tribal weave to its bare elements, starting with the weaving process itself.