Celebrating culture Collaborative creativity Material research
‘As the third generation of a regional carpet brand that spread from Lebanon and the Levant region to cover the whole Middle East and mainly the Gulf region, we have an innate tradition of connecting with our clients’ communities wherever they are from’Mohamed Maktabi
A passion for innovation and culture is what drives the outstanding output of third-generation carpet brand Iwan Maktabi, represented by siblings Mohamed, Chirine and Mona Maktabi. The company has been committed to developing the repertoire of contemporary hand-knotted rugs for the past two decades. This extensive experience led to Mohamed founding the Iwan Maktabi Lab back in 2020. As a platform that merges the contemporary with the traditional to find innovative solutions, the Lab is a collaborative venture that seeks to develop the visual language of carpets and woven arts in the Middle East.
Emerging out of the innovation-driven Iwan Maktabi Lab, the firm’s Terminal G project launched last year in collaboration with Design Curator and Creative Director Samer Yamani. The project is the first of its kind, a collection of carpets commissioned by Middle Eastern company working with creatives from the five countries of the Gulf region, Bahrain, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates.
The ‘G’ of Terminal G stands for ‘Gulf’, as the dialogue that runs throughout the collection covers topics pertinent to the Gulf region and GCC cultures. Through the rug designs of Afra and Sheikha Bin Dhaher from the UAE, Aseel AlYaqoub from Kuwait, Architects Independent from Qatar, Bahraini-Danish from Bahrain, Ibrahim Al-Jaidah from Qatar, and Sultan Bin Fahad from KSA, local stories are expressed with a new narrative. The global market is now a stage for more regional stories, celebrating individual histories and differences as seen through a contemporary lens. For COVER Curates the focus moves to Saudi prince artist Prince Sultan Bin Fahad’s Delights and Double Delights rugs for Terminal G.
‘My medium is found objects. These pieces were originally given away in special unions such as weddings, engagements etc, back in the day. The recent lockdown triggered me to take those stories and show that the offerings are not only for special unions or occasions. They should be shown and seen all the time.’Sultan Bin Fahad
The Delights hand-knotted rug collection commemorates familiar phrases traditionally used during weddings and other happy occasions. The visuals come from boxes of delights that were given at these times, featuring good luck inscriptions. Love, unity and timelessness are expressed through the depiction of the bride and groom’s fathers shaking hands, framed by a pattern of roses.
Bin Fahad’s work looks to histories, stories and narratives, linking intangible memories to present materiality. Through his abstract paintings, sculptures and installations, he focuses on spirituality and the material culture of Mecca in his native Saudi Arabia. The Delights collection represents what the artist describes as ‘something far, something close and something real to cherish and hold dear.’
‘From Lebanon to Kuwait, Saudi Arabia to Qatar, UAE to Bahrain, we have been weaving a dialogue between these communities for decades. This dialogue enters the lives of Iwan Maktabi’s clients through a purchased carpet’Mohamed Maktabi
Through Terminal G and Sultan Bin Fahad’s Delights rug collection, Iwan Maktabi is leading the way in bringing attention to creative narratives in the Middle East. The company’s global outlook on art and design is highly developed, but there is a greater movement to understand more regionalised stories and their intriguing nuances. It is a project that looks to the future of art.
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