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12 imminent artists including Anish Kapoor come together to initiate wildlife conservation

Tomorrow\’s Tigers 2022 is a significant fundraising initiative with a selling exhibition featuring specially commissioned, limited-edition art rugs by 12 internationally renowned artists, including a limited-edition art rug by Peter Doig and a unique, one-of-a-kind art rug by the top Chinese artist Ai Weiwei, has been launched by WWF. Tomorrow\’s Tigers 2022 is a brand-new phase of a highly praised project created and organised by Artwise Curators in collaboration with specialised rug manufacturers Christopher Farr. Each artist has developed a one-of-a-kind art rug, which Christopher Farr and his team of skilled artisans have translated using a variety of traditional techniques. The artists were inspired by the famous Tibetan tiger rug as well as the beauty of tigers in the wild.


Ai\’s one-of-a-kind square rug depicts the tiger in an ambiguous position. Hung on the wall, it might be mid-pounce but laid on the floor with its belly exposed it could just as easily be playing. In an interview with the FT, Ai said that rather than pouncing, \’it\’s more like hugging\’. “For many years I have been actively researching on and documenting the human-animal relationship, so it is a theme that I am familiar with. I also have had a long-term interest in Tibetan rugs and the motif of tigers on them for a long time. That’s why I accepted WWF’s invitation without hesitation. In my opinion, human civilization can only be measured against human beings’ relationship with other beings in the world, our tolerance and understanding towards other species, and the well-being of all life. As a matter of fact, this kind of tolerance and understanding is very rare and difficult to find. Through the rug design, I hope to be able to do something for tigers; the meaning of their existence surpasses the scope of our comprehension, and yet 95% of tigers in the wild have gone extinct over the last 100 years. Protection of endangered animals is a kind of self-love, without which we would all be living in a savage land.” Said Ai Weiwei.


Tibetan carpets were traditionally created as presents for Buddhist lamas. They believed that the tiger skin motif would protect them during meditation. The tigers themselves are in desperate need of protection. The current worldwide tiger population has decreased by roughly 95% as a result of poaching and habitat degradation, from an estimated 100,000 at the beginning of the 20th century. Even so, conservation initiatives are having some success. For the first time ever, tiger numbers increased in 2016 to 3,900 individuals. According to the Red List of Threatened Species maintained by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, there are now 4,500 wild tigers, with an estimated three-fourths of them residing in protected areas.

“Over this last decade, a century-long trend of wild tiger decline has been reversed – providing a glimmer of hope. Protecting tigers protects more than just this one iconic species – their presence represents healthy ecosystems and habitats, with tiger landscapes playing a vital role in storing carbon. Sadly, the trend of recovery is not consistent across all tiger range countries, with South-East Asia a particular concern. Recovering tiger populations requires a close partnership with local communities and commitment from governments to make this a reality” said Becci May, Senior Programme Advisor, Asia Programmes, WWF-UK.


WWF aims to raise £1 million through Tomorrow\’s Tigers 2022. Ai\’s single edition rug is priced at £150,000, while the rugs of the other 11 artists are being sold in editions of up to ten for prices starting from £10,000. Profits will go directly to support tiger conservation in the 13 tiger range countries of Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Russia, Thailand and Vietnam.

The rugs will be exhibited at Sotheby\’s London from 24 to 29 November, and will be available for purchase on WWF\’s Art for Your World website.

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