2022 was the Chinese year of the tiger and COVER certainly saw many variations of the design throughout the year. Here we highlight eight of our favourite tigers that appeared in the pages of the magazine during 2022.
With a history stretching far back in time, tiger rugs were traditionally used as sitting rugs and covers by the Tibetan elite. They mimic the patterned animal pelts favoured by rulers since antiquity. Today they come in versions both traditional and contemporary in style, palette and format.
It was in 2021 that New York brand Rug & Kilim launched the Tiger collection (see COVER 63), which also appeared in our Trends feature in COVER 66. Focussing on tiger design, the article also included Reuber Henning‘s elegant Tiger Spine, Atelier Reservé‘s fearsome printed design for Moooi and Zollanvari‘s hand-knotted Tiger collection, which is just one part of the brand’s 70th anniversary celebratory releases.
In the more recent COVER 69, we feature three more formidable beasts created by artists from across the globe. Australian painter Jordy Kerwick’s Tigre, was created in collaboration with Vigo Gallery in London, a design taken from one of his paintings.
Nepali artist Tsherin Sherpa‘s GIANT Ego-lessness has been on show around the world. The artist spoke to COVER about his recent rug designs: ‘For my collection, I have worked on the theme of tigers. Not only are tigers pervasive subjects in thangka art, they are also universal symbols of strength and assertion. With 2022 being the year of the tiger, I found it serendipitous to represent a character that aligns with my vision of Himalayan art. Moreover, having seen this motif reappear in various Western brands, I wanted to reclaim it as an integral component of the Himalayan cultural expression. Thus, it was exciting to work with a local design studio and local artisans to produce these carpets.’
Ai Weiwei’s recent Tyger rug was made in a series of one in Afghanistan by Christopher Farr for the ongoing Tomorrow’s Tigers fundraising project by the WWF and Artwise (see COVER 69). Ai Weiwei comments: ‘In my opinion, human civilisation can only be measured against human beings’ relationship with other beings in the world, our tolerance and understanding towards other species, and the well-being of all life.’
Following the Tomorrow’s Tiger sale at Sotheby’s in November, the total raised to date reached £1.2 million. Ai Weiwei’s unique art rug priced at £150,000 and 5 of the new edition 8 art rugs, Tiger Fight by Peter Doig, were either sold or reserved, alongside a number of other designs.
The tiger has had a dynamic narrative this year, let’s hope the numbers of tigers in the wild can be positively affected.