Posted on December 15, 2017

Qatar Museums (QM) has managed a number of significant cultural and artistic projects and achievements in 2017, most notably HH the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani’s visit on June 20 to the National Museum of Qatar at Doha Corniche to check on the progress of the project.

Also stressed was the announcement by QM Board of Trustees Chairperson HE Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad al-Thani during the visit that the official opening of the museum will be in December 2018. At the level of cultural exchange, QM launched the annual cultural exchange programme Qatar-Germany, which significantly contributed to linking cultures and enhancing mutual understanding among them. The year culminated in the opening of the Arab cultural house in Berlin as well as hosting Germany as a guest of honour at the 28th Doha International Book Fair, while Berlin’s famous Kraftwerk space was chosen as the location for the largest ever showcase of contemporary arts from Qatar.

Among the global achievements, QM hosted the third edition of The New York Times ‘Art for Tomorrow’ conference with the participation of over 300 world-renowned art and cultural influencers from 35 countries. QM announced that Chile-based practice Elemental has won the Art Mill International Design Competition to design Art Mill, one of the most spectacular and historic sites in the centre of Doha that is expected to be one of the world’s leading cultural centres in the future. In 2017, National Museum of Qatar won the international award for Facade Design and Engineering of the Year at the ABB Leading European Architects Forum (LEAF) Awards in London.

In the area of heritage exploration and conservation, QM signed a number of agreements with Qatar University, the British University of York and the Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism, to explore sunken monuments in Qatari waters and study the nature of its marine environment. QM also launched the cultural season at Zubarah site as well as an executive council for teachers with the aim of making them part of planning for its educational programmes that it organises for schools.

The National Museum of Qatar launched a large student competition that includes all state schools and provides a rare opportunity for school students to offer creative work that will be displayed during the official opening of the new museum. QM chose 70 residents in Qatar from 60 countries to join its new Honorary Cultural Ambassadors programme. QM gallery hosted a major show by celebrated French artist JR in co-operation with Galerie Perrotin, featuring a group of his world-renowned photos and a selection of video works. In addition, the work of acclaimed UK photographer Jessica Fulford-Dobson was on show under the theme ‘Skate Girls of Kabul’ at QM Gallery in Katara.

QM also launched the ‘Imperial Threads: Motifs and Artisans from Turkey, Iran and India’ exhibition at the Museum of Islamic Art (MIA) and hosted ‘Tamim Al Majd’ art gallery at MIA Park in celebration of national unity. MIA hosted the second edition of a workshop on the creation of stone tools and weapons in prehistoric times in Gulf countries. It also hosted leading Chinese contemporary artist Ai Weiwei who praised the State of Qatar’s attention to art and artists. Among QM achievements too is the decoration of MIA Park with a sculpture by Iraqi artist Dia al-Azzawi titled ‘Hanging Gardens of Babel’. 

Cultures from different continents converged at the MIA Park and the history of the expat communities of Qatar was showcased as they presented their tangible and intangible heritage at the MIA Community Day event. QM organised the ‘Powder and Damask: Islamic Arms and Armour from the collection of Fadel Al Mansoori’ exhibition, which showed both edged weapons and firearms that were produced primarily in greater Turkey, Iran and India from mid-17th century to mid-19th century.

MIA concluded its MIA Ambassador programme by honouring the winning school teams for their distinguished research efforts. Meanwhile, Pablo Picasso (1881-1973) and Alberto Giacometti (1901-1966) exhibition, which opened at Fire Station Artist in Residence, is one of the biggest art events to take place in the region. It is the first of its kind in the Middle East and featured the works of two of the most important artists of the 20th century at the same place. The Fire Station Artist in Residence concluded its first edition of the residency programme in Paris, which takes place at Studio of Qatar at Cite Internationale des Arts in Paris and lasts three months.

Qatari contemporary artist Ebtisam al-Saffar was chosen to participate in the first edition, while artist Nasser al-Attiya was chosen for the second edition.

source: Gulf Times