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Tiger Print's Tender Artistry

For the first time in its history, the esteemed French porcelain manufactory Bernardaud has released a collaboration with Azerbaijani artist Farhad Farzali, who created drawings for the limited edition Tiger Collection, produced exclusively for Azerbaijan. This limited edition assortment comprises 25 tea sets, 50 scented candle holders, 50 decorative trays, 50 mugs, and 50 dessert plates. The symbol of the collaboration is a vibrant, eye-catching, memorable, and slightly surreal depiction of a tiger. We had a conversation with Michel Bernardaud and Farhad Farzali about the creation process behind the collection.

Michel Bernardaud,
Fifth-generation CEO of Bernardaud:

What inspired the concept of crafting a collaboration specific to Azerbaijan?
Bernardaud has a long tradition of collaborating with artists from all countries around the world, and we are proud and honoured to collaborate for the first time with an Azeri artist. There is an historical appetite and strong culture of porcelain in Azerbaijan related to the Silk Road development, fostering a profound appreciation and sensitivity to the allure of this exquisite material.

Tell us more about the Tiger collection.
The motives for Farhad Farzali collaboration with Bernardaud surfaced through a series of paintings titled “Tiger Force Member.” Initiated during the pandemic, this collection became a significant avenue for the artist. For Farhad, this period was a valuable opportunity for self-reflection, revaluation, and a chance to rediscover his artistic roots. Farhad explores his fascination with the tiger archetype through the lens of his hobby of collecting tiger patches on military uniforms and replica designer clothing. His interpretations of the tiger theme vary, skillfully intertwining Azerbaijani cultural heritage with the author’s fresh view on this ancient symbol. In Farhad's works, the inherent duality of the tiger – strength and agility fused with softness and grace – personifies the modern Azerbaijani mentality, harmoniously melding masculine and feminine principles.

“Since I painted these tigers during a pandemic, they may be viewed as a certain symbol of cheerfulness – the desire to live and create,” says Farhad Farzali. – Bright and colourful, they seem to loudly proclaim the joy of life. I hope these works will serve their owners as a pleasant daily reminder of hope, resilience, and the richness of life, even amidst challenges.”

Your brand is known for its cooperation with renowned artists. What attracted you to Farhad Farzali's work?
For years, Bernardaud has cherished creative interactions with painters, from Calder to Chagall, honouring the quality of porcelain to echo their artistry respectfully. It was this exigency, sensitivity, and desire to share with generations to come that led Bernardaud to collaborate with such a creative artist as Farhad Farzali. First, this contributes to expressing our sensibility to the world of art, while embracing the culture of Azerbaijan in a premium limited collection. Moreover, partnering with this young artist, also means opening a door to connect with and educate the younger generations to the art of porcelain. Finally, we believe that the contrast between the electric colours of the tiger and the pure whiteness of Bernardaud Porcelaine will elegantly highlight all the details and meanings included in Farhad Farzali’s artwork.


Farhad Farzali,

Could you tell the story of your collaboration with Bernardaud? What motivated you to collaborate with the brand?
When I was offered to collaborate with Bernardaud, I immediately agreed. The idea of working with Porcelain had lingered since 2022 when a friend from France suggested I create a grand Napoleon cake adorned with small porcelain tigers. This suggestion stemmed from the tradition of the "cake of the Magi" or "galette of kings," a dessert served in various countries during the Feast of the Epiphany. Though the recipes differ, they all entail a surprise baked into the pastry – be it a gold coin, a bean, or a small porcelain figurine. Since then, the idea of working with porcelain has never left me.

What inspired you to include an image of a tiger in your collection? What does this image symbolise for you personally?
The tiger motif has been a part of my artistic journey since 2015, tracing back to my very first solo exhibition. Amid the pandemic, I returned to painting and made a series of tiger portraits, which were included in Bernardaud's collection. To me, the tiger embodies symbols of prosperity, delight, and enduring life.

How does cultural dialogue contribute to the preservation of national heritage?
Cultural dialogue holds a pivotal role in the preservation of national heritage by fostering the exchange of knowledge and honouring diverse traditions. This dynamic process nurtures mutual understanding and a deep appreciation for the historical and cultural legacies of various communities. Such understanding is crucial for safeguarding and passing on these rich heritages to forthcoming generations.