beirut: the pond house

© carwan gallery / photography: rami hajj

founded six years ago by architects nicolas bellavance-lecompte and pascale wakim, beirut's carwan gallery started as a pop-up gallery dedicated exclusively to contemporary design. following a number of incarnations in both the lebanese capital and abroad, the gallery has found new premises in beirut's harbour-side bourj hammoud area. the venue's inaugural show by iranian artist taher asad-bakhtiari, entitled the pond house, refers to an indoor atrium with fountain that's central to traditional iranian architecture, and which serves as a cooling chamber where to relax during the blistering hot summer months.

as such, the showcase is directly inspired by the pond house of asad-bakhtiari's family residence in tehran, and led to the creation of a artisanal collection of modern tribal tapestries. a hybrid fusion of kilims and gabbehs, the tapestries have been woven by semi-nomadic tribal women using entirely naturally-dyed, hand-spun wool, unlike the traditional iranian carpet, iranian tribal weaves display simple patterns, and that's because tribal people weave what they see: the sky, the mountains, the earth, the animals. interestingly, the designer further stripped the tribal weave to its bare elements, creating a modern aesthetic all his own [on through jun 10]. location: d-beirut building, seaside road [bourj hammoud].

© carwan gallery / photography: rami hajj