Year of Culture | Qatar Museum wraps up Qatar-India 2019

Year of Culture | Qatar Museum wraps up Qatar-India 2019

2020 edition to celebrate ties with France

DOHA: Under the patronage of its Chairperson, HE Sheikha Al-Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, Qatar Museums (QM) has wrapped up another successful edition of its annual Year of Culture programme.

The Qatar-India 2019 saw an exciting array of exhibitions, festivals, competitions and events that took place in both countries over the past 12 months. The carefully curated programme was specially designed to promote mutual understanding, recognition and appreciation between both India and Qatar.

The programme began with the award-winning Ticket to Bollywood performance in Qatar which paid tribute to Bollywood – one of the world’s biggest film industries. The performance was produced and directed by award-winning director Shubhra Bhardwaj and choreographed by the talented Pravarsen Yesambare. Back in India, QM kickstarted the year with a showing of the hugely successful Monsoon Wedding Musical, known as the anthem of modern India.

Additionally, a variety of exhibitions of various themes took place over the past year. These have included:

Still More World by Delhi-based Raqs Media Collective, which presented 13 installations, two of which were created especially for the show in Doha. The exhibition was curated by Senior Curator Laura Barlow and drew on the energy of Doha’s urban landscape of light. The installations, ranging from videos to textiles and sculptures made between 2011 and 2019, were presented in three galleries at Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art. The two newly created pieces were titled, Dohas for Doha and To People, and were displayed on Burj Doha.

Set in Stone: Gems and Jewels from Royal Indian Courts was curated by Dr Tara Desjardins, with the support of Nicoletta Fazio, Reem Aboughazala, and Tamadur Tariq al-Shamlan. The exhibition is currently on show at the Museum of Islamic Art (MIA) and features more than 100 pieces of magnificent gems and jewellery from India. These objects also form part of QM’s various collections, including several masterpieces that have never been displayed before. The exhibition is open until the 18th of January 2020.

See the Unseen opened at the Fire Station and was an exhibition by Qatari artist Faraj Daham, after the artist returned from his month-long residency at “What about Art?” Foundation in Mumbai, India. This exhibition addressed the concept of historical concealment and exclusion through a qualitative approach between what is visible (meant to be revealed) and what is real (meant to be concealed).

Where Cultures Meet: A Photographic Encounter Between Qatar and India is on show at Katara – the Cultural Village until December 31 in Gallery 18. As part of Qatar-India 2019 Year of Culture, two Qatari photographers – Hamad al-Shamari and Aisha al-Sadah – travelled to the Himalayan region of Ladakh, India, for two weeks. The aim was to create an inspiring portfolio that will help foster mutual understanding and cultural relations between the two countries. Alongside it, two Qatar-based Indian photographers – Ajeesh Puthiyadath and Salim Abdulla – were selected as part of an open call to participate in the exhibition.

The final event of the year was the award-winning musical Mughal e-Azam, one of India’s most iconic performances.

Qatar India 2019, sponsored by Qatar Airways, was planned in collaboration with leading institutions in Qatar and India, including the Embassy of Qatar in New Delhi, the Embassy of India in Doha, Qatar’s Ministry of Culture and Sport, Qatar Foundation, Katara, The National Tourism Council, Qatar National Library, Doha film institute and many more.

Heading towards its 9th year, the 2020 edition will celebrate Qatar’s ties with France. The year is expected to have a host of exciting events, exhibitions and activities that will introduce audiences in France to Qatar’s rich heritage while bringing some of France’s most inspiring cultural acts to the country.

Image Credit: Qatar Museums

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Qatar Museums uses Public Art to mark upcoming Blockade anniversary

Qatar Museums uses Public Art to mark upcoming Blockade anniversary

Doha: Qatar Museums (QM) has launched an open call for artists based in Qatar to propose a permanent public artwork to mark the third anniversary of the blockade of Qatar.

The air, land and sea blockade that was imposed on Qatar on the 5th of June 2017, marked a historic time of unprecedented national solidarity. Since then, it has become a catalyst for a new expression of public art across Qatar.

In a true showcase of the role of art in bringing communities together, the first anniversary of the blockade saw the unveiling of two key public art pieces: The first was Martin Creed’s “1361” (Everything is Going to be Alright) installation, which was created in the context of the anniversary of Qatar’s blockade and is still on display on the façade of Al Riwaq Gallery. The second piece, “A Blessing in Disguise”, was a creative commentary by political ARToonist Ghada Al Khater who generated praise for her take on the blockade. The second anniversary saw the unveiling of an original part of the Berlin Wall at Qatar National Convention Centre (QNCC) through an ongoing cultural collaboration with Qatar Foundation (QF).

QM has now called on artists to submit design proposals that describe their interpretations and reflections on the Blockade, as the country heads towards the third anniversary. Participating artists could be at any stage of their careers, but must possess strong skills to execute the proposed project by the 5th of May 2020. For its part, QM would support the chosen artist by providing financial assistance to realise the project. Artists are encouraged to submit their application on http://www.qm.org.qa/en/56-open-call  by the 1st of December, 2019. For any inquires, artists can contact:  [email protected]

Commenting on the announcement, Abdulrahman Ahmad Al Ishaq Head of Public Art at Qatar Museums stated: “Throughout history, art has been used for commentary on social and political realities. The same has been true for Qatar, where artists have used their creativity and wit to rise above the injustice. At Qatar Museums, we are proud to provide platforms of self-expression that aim to break boundaries and shatter misconceptions. This is an incredible opportunity for artists in Qatar to be part of our country’s history and participate in engraving a moment that has marked a generation.”

Public Art is a key pillar in QM’s mission to inspire local talent and establish an organic connection between art and the local community. The winning piece will join a diverse collection of paintings and artworks by local and international artists – all hand-picked for their immersive and thought-provoking nature.

Source Credit: Qatar Museums

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Qatari artist Faraj Daham, after having completed his month-long residency at the “What about Art?” Foundation in Mumbai, India has returned home to showcase his paintings at the Fire Station Artist in Residence, in an exhibition entitled “See the Unseen”.

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From India to Qatar – Artist Faraj Daham brings qualitative inspirations back home

From India to Qatar – Artist Faraj Daham brings qualitative inspirations back home

George Julius Williams | Consulting Editor

Doha: Qatari artist Faraj Daham, after having completed his month-long residency at the “What about Art?” Foundation in Mumbai, India has returned home to showcase his paintings at the Fire Station Artist in Residence, in an exhibition entitled “See the Unseen”.

According to a press release by Qatar Museums, Daham’s exhibition is part of Qatar-India 2019 Year of Culture which aims to promote mutual understanding, recognition, and appreciation between the two countries through various programmes and initiatives

His exhibition addresses the concept of historical concealment and exclusion through a qualitative approach between what is visible and what is real.

During his residency, Daham relied on local tangible and intangible materials to create artworks using materials like Chinese fishing nets from Kochi, India, which he used alongside handmade manuscripts to hide the intangibility of history.

During his stay in Mumbai, Daham was provided with an individual studio space and an opportunity to network with professionals in an intellectually stimulating environment that enhanced dialogue on visual arts practices for artists and curators.

Qatar Museums’ Head of Years of Culture, Aisha al-Attiya stated, “The collaborative nature of residencies allows artists to be introduced to new perspectives, styles, and ideas. This helps them expand their horizons. We are really pleased to have collaborated with “What about Art?” to create an opportunity for exchange for one of our most talented artists.”

Daham’s first major exhibition titled Divergence, as part of Focus – Works from Mathaf Collection exhibition at Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art was held in November 2015.

The artist’s work evokes his solitary exploration of civic responsibility towards his present time and space, in a multitude of aesthetical language that resists easy categorisation and calls for self-reflection and consciousness of the world surrounding him.

Daham’s contemporary work is inspired by the transformation of the world around him and responds to the rapid changes experienced in Qatari society.

He has various international participation that includes exhibiting in Spain, Korea, China and India, and his work has been displayed at Katara, Mathaf, QM Gallery Al Riwaq, and Al Markhiya Gallery, among others.

Daham’s “See the Unseen” exhibition is open until Friday, 29th November 2019. Gallery hours are from

  • Saturday to Thursday: 9 am – 7 pm;
  • Fridays: 1:30pm – 7pm.

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Fire Station Welcomes New Class of Artist in Residence | Qatar Museums (QM) has announced the artists selected for 2019-2020

Fire Station Welcomes New Class of Artist in Residence | 18 Artists Chosen in The Program’s Fifth Year

Qatar Museums (QM) has announced the artists selected for the 2019-2020 season of the Fire Station: Artist in Residence programme. Now in its fifth year, the nine-month-long residency, under the visionary guidance of QM Chairperson, Her Excellency Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, supports local artists, through providing them with a platform to develop their creative practice.

Every year, the Artist in Residence programme attracts a large number of portfolio submissions from Qatar based artists. This year, eighteen artists were selected by an esteemed panel of jurors, with disciplines ranging from painting, sculpture, photography, and video to other related media. As part of the programme, this year’s intake of residents will benefit from their own dedicated studio space, the opportunity to collaborate, exchange knowledge, and to enhance their creative progression through mentorship, open studio events, workshops, and access to the building’s facilities. Artists are also given the opportunity to showcase their artworks in a large public exhibition in the Garage Gallery at the Fire Station by the end of their residency.

The new residents were welcomed to the programme by the Fire Station team, where they were given an in-depth introduction to the programme, staff, and a tour of the available facilities.

Sitting at the heart of Qatar’s thriving creative community, the Fire Station: Artist in Residence programme is a highlight of Qatar Museums’ initiatives, which aims to create a platform committed to supporting artists through its residencies, as well as engaging the local communities in Qatar by providing opportunities and events, which include exhibitions and public programs.

The full list of the chosen 18 artists participating in the 2019-2020 Artist in Residence programme is:
  1. Aisha Al-Muhannadi (Qatar)
  2. Amena Al-Yousef (Qatar)
  3. Ameera Al-Aji (Qatar)
  4. Ebtesam Al-Hothi (Qatar)
  5. Hadeer Omar (Egypt)
  6. Haytham Sharrouf (Venezuela)
  7. Hind Al Saad (Qatar)
  8. Jaser Alagha (Australia)
  9. Latifa Al-Kuwari (Qatar)
  10. Majdulin Nasrallah (Jordan)
  11. Maryam Al-Maadhadi (Qatar)
  12. Mariam Rafehi (Germany)
  13. Mashael Al-Hijazi (Qatar)
  14. Maysaa Almumin (Kuwait)
  15. Muna Al-Bader (Qatar)
  16. Naila Al-Thani (Qatar)
  17. Noor Yousef (Qatar)
  18. Suzana Joumaa (Syria)

Source Credit: Qatar Museums

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Qatar Museums Calls For Indian Photographers in Qatar | Qatar India 2019 Year of Culture photography exchange

Qatar Museums Calls For Indian Photographers in Qatar | Qatar India 2019 Year of Culture photography exchange (Doha, 11 Sep. 2019)

Qatar Museums (QM) has announced an open call for all professional Indian photographers living in Qatar aged 18 years and above to apply in the Qatar India 2019 Year of Culture photography exchange.

Photographers, who want to be considered for an upcoming exhibition showcasing the best of Qatar contemporary photography under the theme Life in Qatar, are welcome to apply.

Photographers can choose to submit images that showcase any aspect of Qatar’s portraits, architecture, and landscape; all styles and formats of photography are eligible. A final selection of photographs will be exhibited in forthcoming exhibitions held by QM, locally and internationally. The two chosen photographers will also win an economy ticket to India.

All applications for the Year of Culture photography exchange initiative must be submitted before midnight on Sunday, 22 September 2019 through the online application form that can be found on https://www.qm.org.qa/en/qatar-india-2019-photography-exchange. More details about the application process can also be found on the QM website.

The Years of Culture Program is a year-long programme developed to deepen understanding between nations through mutual exchanges of arts, culture, heritage, and sport.

Organized by Qatar Museums, sponsored by Qatar Airways The Official Airline, Qatar India 2019 Year of Culture, was planned in collaboration with leading institutions in Qatar and India, including the Embassy of Qatar in New Delhi, the Embassy of India in Doha, Qatar’s Ministry of Culture and Sport, Qatar foundation, The National Tourism Council, Doha film institute and many more.

Source Credit: Press Release from Qatar Museums

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Change in working hours of Consular Services announces Indian Embassy Qatar – With effect from 8th September 2019 (Sunday), The Embassy of India announced a change in timings of Consular services (Submission of Applications: 9:15 am to 12:30 pm | Document Collection after completing consular services: 4:00 pm to 05:15 pm)

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National Museum of Qatar named among 100 World’s Greatest Places

National Museum of Qatar named among 100 World’s Greatest Places

George Julius Williams | Consulting Editor

The National Museum of Qatar (NMoQ) has been named as “One of the 100 World’s Greatest Places for 2019” by the internationally renowned TIME magazine.

In a tweet, Qatar Museums Chairperson Her Excellency Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani posted, “Great news! The National Museum of #Qatar has been named by the @TIME Magazine as one of the 100 World’s Greatest Places for 2019!”

The magnificent NMoQ has thus managed to add yet another international feather to its already prestigious cap.

National Museum of Qatar named among 100 World’s Greatest Places - QatarIndians.com

National Museum of Qatar named among 100 World’s Greatest Places

The TIME Magazine list of “100 destinations to experience right now” also includes museums, parks, restaurants and hotels as one of the World’s Greatest Places for 2019. The list is divided into three greatest places categories namely “To Visit” which include 37 museums and parks, “To Stay” which comprise 44 hotels, and “To Eat and Drink” which consist of 19 restaurants.

NMoQ was selected in the greatest places “To Visit” for 2019 from nominations recommended by editors and correspondents from around the world, as well as industry experts. The nominations were evaluated based on key factors such as quality, originality, sustainability, innovations, and influence, resulting to “100 new and newly noteworthy destinations to experience right now,” Time magazine stated.

TIME correspondent Karl Vick referred to NMoQ as a “groundbreaking structure” designed by acclaimed French architect Jean Nouvel taking inspiration from the desert rose. “In the Gulf, a desert rose forms when sand adheres to the crystals created by the slow evaporation of salt basins. The resulting clusters look like interlocking discs and inspired Jean Nouvel’s design of the National Museum of Qatar, which sprawls along the waterfront of the capital, Doha,” he added.

“The destination museum opened in March and uses immersive video screens and dioramas to take visitors on a mile-long journey through the peninsula’s history, from geology to pearl diving to Bedouin life and finally back to geology—namely, to the discovery of the oil and gas that enriched the kingdom and paved the way for groundbreaking structures like this one,” Vick said.

With an area of 52,000sqm, NMoQ is an architectural masterpiece whose winding, 1.5km gallery path provides a journey through a series of unique, encompassing environments, each of which tells its part of the story of Qatar through a special combination of architectural space, music, poetry, oral histories, evocative aromas, archaeological and heritage objects, commissioned artworks, monumentally-scaled art films, and more. Local and international artists such as Ali Hassan, Aisha Nasser Al Sowaidi, Roch Vandromme, and Jean-Michel Othoniel have their commissioned artworks located inside the gallery and outdoors within the sprawling premises of the masterpiece museum.

One the most memorable assignments of my journalist career was covering the opening of NMoQ which was officially inaugurated by His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani earlier in March this year. The glittering opening ceremony was attended by members of the royal family, including Qatar Museums Chairperson Her Excellency Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani.

A number of prominent local and international figures in the field of politics, culture, art, media, and heads of companies and international institutions, directors of museums, academics, film directors, celebrities and those interested in heritage sites from around the world attend the ceremony. An array of media persons from Qatar and overseas representing print, digital, radio and TV organisations covered the event.

Image Credit: time.com / dw.com

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