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In Conversation with Rahim Walizada

The creative mind behind Chuk Palu —

Meet Rahmim Walizada, an artist and designer for whom the attainment of beauty embodies both the reason and the necessity for producing art. Rahim’s affinity with the nature of materials is inherent to his outlook on the world and trickles down into his designs where he strives to merge contemporary taste and traditional wisdom.

With his Chuk Palu collection of floor cushions, Rahim set out to create something that is ‘completely Afghan,’ that will take you on a journey through the hidden beauty of Afghanistan.

In celebration of Rahim and his collection of Chuk Palu floor cushions, we reached out to the prolific Architect and Interior designer to discover more about his design inspiration and how his background has influenced his career.

TH: Where did the name Chuk Palu come from? What was the inspiration behind the name’s origins?

RW: "Chuk Palu is a very old afghan slang term, a sweet way to say messy and successful."

TH: What draws you to the creation of handmade products? Why is the handmade process so important to you?

RW: "Handmade matters. Handmade is a unique display of craftsmanship and most of all is our community. I believe the future is handmade, we must preserve tradition and quality; it’s time to redefine craft and skills to revive and elevate the principles of craftsmanship.
I am very determined on keeping the tradition of handmade culture in Afghanistan, that shows the diverse cultures represented within its borders. I want to make sure it’s kept alive for future generations and our community of artisans.
Handmade for me is more than important, its crucial. Handmade products have a story, have a soul and wise hands. The artisan uses all their skills and abilities to create a beautiful piece and keeps craft alive. Handmade products are unique; our handmade collections are made to the highest quality because our artisans understand the value of each piece. We care greatly about the quality of the materials and the natural fibres we use. When buying our handmade products, our customers are supporting our local economy, the local community and real artisan."

TH: What is your main philosophy when you begin designing?

RW: "My philosophy is ‘I create things that make me happy’. My quest for beauty in life is a way of bringing love and peace.

I am Afghan, I am a traveller, I am multi-faceted, I will say I am an artist, a designer, an architect, a carpet dealer; I do millions of things a day, so every element of my creations has a fascinating story to tell. My designs are my creative tools, I take inspiration from my travels, my books as well from a variety of sources that blend in such a way to produce new languages and the result is a unique and poetic mixture."

TH: Your Chuk Palu products have been described as “completely Afghan”. Was this your intention when creating this line?

RW: "My work combines the sense of Afghan tradition with an experimental artistic approach, showcasing the complexity of old and contemporary Afghan culture.

What I mean when I say “completely Afghan”, is from the conception to the labour to make or build them, preserving the “Afghan savoir – faire", the traditional skills and the culture.

The goal of safeguarding is to ensure the knowledge and skills associated with traditional artisans are passed on to future generations so that crafts in Afghanistan can continue to be produced in the “completely Afghan” unique style."

TH: Growing up in a family of craftsmen and antique dealers, did you always know you would follow the same path, or did you first have different aspirations?

RW: "I come from three generations of craft persons and antique dealers, so I grew up surrounded by textiles, antiques and beauty. Since I was a kid, I knew I would follow my father's path as I was fascinated with textiles.

Every day after school I was joining my father, who was my mentor and my guide, so my main aspiration was to travel all over the world with a beautiful collection of rugs, to carry this wisdom in a long tradition of Afghan craftsmanship with an innovative eclectic approach, to reconstruct a narrative between the past and the future."

TH: We import the Bengal cushions and rugs from you, what is so unique about this range? How are they made, by whom and what is so special about this cotton?

RW: "The Bengal collection is made in Badakhshan, located in the southern provinces of Afghanistan; this province is located 470 km away from Kabul city. The collection is made mainly by the nomadic women tribe, who are master weavers who specialise in and able to transform the raw cotton into fabric; they are involved in the whole process of spinning the cotton to create the yarn; from hand spinning the cotton into thread, to the woven process turning the thread into a beautiful fabric and to the finishing process to create a smooth fabric.

What makes it so special is the quality of the cotton and the traditional weaving techniques from this province."

Tina Richards —
Tribe Home Director

"Hand-selecting these pieces was an honour and a joy as these designs are truly different to anything else.
Having pieces of strong meaning and origins throughout your home creates a well travelled interior".

Discover the beauty of this handmade collection yourself.

Explore Chuk Palu Floor Cushions

Explore Chuk Palu's Instagram 

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