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HodaBaroudi and Maria Hibri share a passion for the old textiles, tapestries and handicrafts of the Levant and the legendary Silk Road countries of Central Asia. Together they established Bokja, which repurposes furniture from the 50s, 60s and 70s, discovered in Beirut’s flea-markets and antique dealerships, with found textiles that offer an explosion of colour, pattern and a sense of history.
Each item of furniture is unique, its process of creation instinctive. A chair may feature 20 different fabrics, from as far afield as Samarkhand, Aleppo and Istanbul. Precious antique textiles from Bedouin dresses might be mixed with Russian chintz, a 70s favourite dress owned by a family member, or even cheap, $3-a-metre fabric discovered in the Souk.
Bokja's designs always aim to blur the line between art, design and function. A mixing of traditional and new elements and ideas showcases the bold colors, beauty and artistic spirit inherent in often vintage hand-woven textiles and embroideries, while at the same time reinventing these materials and objects to make bring them in tune with contemporary design objectives, and to enhance their practicality.
Bokja is an expression of this passion for an ancient culture that embodies a humane dimension and outlook, a poetic use of color, an emphasis on craftsmanship and the sustainable use of available materials to express artistic ideas, and an ever present spiritual content.