The Arab seasons by Bokja
At the Arab World Institute, Paris
"Bokja is a millenial Turkish word used in several countries to describe the intricately worked fabric created to wrap a bride's dowry. Beirut-based designers Hoda Baroudi and Maria Hibri bring a similar passion for detail and history to the furniture that they create under the same name. Baroudi and Hibri source vintage shapes and develop new designs before covering them with textiles and embroideries from around the world, retracting the Silk Route from the Far East via South Asia to the Middle East and beyond. Merging old cultures with repurposed modernist design, Bokja produce unique one-of-a-kind pieces that are sold and admired around the world, using textile to tell stories through explosive colours, juxtaposed patterns and rich textures.
Parallel to their furniture creations, Bokja often blur the fine line between art, craft and design. In response to the socio-political changes evoked - and provoked- by the events of the Arab spring, the designers have created a new body of work that positions Bokja within this new international context: questioning the future, albeit sometimes with a sense of irony, not only for Baroudi and Hibri but also for the craft artisans who collaborate with them. Weaving these experiences into their very fabric of their oeuvre, each of them has an individual story to tell, and in turn, asks us to tell ours"