“Rahim Walizada [is] an artist and designer for whom the attainment of beauty embodies both the reason and the necessity for producing art. Walizada comes from three generations of craftspersons and antique dealers. An appreciation of the nature of materials is inherent to his outlook on the world. His work acquires its form and substance from beyond, or despite, war. His carpets (exhibited at the 2005 Venice Biennale), fabrics, designs for houses, hotels and restaurants, majolicas and interiors are all “completely Afghan”, from their conception to the labour used to make or build them. According to Walizada, the only things he has to import are the electric wires. His work is a reflection based on a search for beauty in the possible confluences of past and present. Walizada’s art makes use of recycled material in a contemporary reconsideration of traditional motifs and styles, combined with what he defines as “petty thefts” from drawings, tales and traditions originating from all parts of the world. The result is a unique and poetic mixture. Not without pride, Walizada recalls the surprised reaction of one of the few artisans left in a remote mountain village whom he had commissioned to make a collection of majolicas. “Are you really sure? I’ve never seen anything like it!” were his words. For Walizada, the quest for beauty is a way of nurturing ideas of love and peace, to enhance the values of friendship and family against the destabilising effects of a seemingly endless story of crisis and war.”
Francesca Recchia and Lorenzo Tugnoli, Creative Kabul, Domus 953, December 2011.