All photos by Navin Sam
A new exhibition that charts artists’ perspectives on the changing social, environmental and cultural norms in Qatar and Brazil has opened at Al Riwaq, heralding the end of the year of culture between the two nations.
Here There (Huna Hunak), which runs until March 30, divides the exhibition space in the grounds of the Museum of Art Park into two, with one half devoted to showcasing the works of 19 Qatari artists (here) and 23 artists from Brazil (there).
It explores the transformation of environmental, cultural and social experiences in Qatar and Brazil as presented through the eyes of each country’s most promising and talented young artists, the exhibition pieces are produced in traditional media such as paintings, drawings and printmaking as well as digital art, installations and interactive works.
Taking part in the show are first-time exhibitors, as well to more established and well-known figures. While the artists have varying backgrounds and experiences, they have been brought together by their attempts to show appreciation and understanding of other cultures.
Though their backgrounds, experience and circumstances vary, each artist has attempted to show their roots and how their heritage is being shaped by ongoing changes in their cultures.
Organized by the Qatar Museums Public Art department, local Qatari works selected for the exhibition have been curated by Alanoud Al-Buainain and co-curated by Khalifa Al-Obaidly.
The Brazilian art has been curated by Gunnar B. Kvaran of the Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art, Hans Ulrich Obrist, co-director of the Serpentine Gallery, and Thierry Raspail, director of the Musée d’art contemportain, Lyon.
“The variety of works explores thought-provoking and challenging themes that people of both countries will understand and relate to,” Al Buainain said.
Gunnar B. Kvaran, curator of the Brazilian art works, said he hoped that the exhibition would help the audience in Qatar have a better understanding of arts and culture in Brazil.
Year of culture
The 12 months of cultural exchange between Qatar and Brazil opened in January at the Museum of Islamic Art and included dozens of events focusing on art and fashion contests, community events and special film screenings and exhibitions.
It was Qatar’s third year of culture, following Qatar-Japan in 2012 and Qatar UK 2013.
Also this week, QM has announced that it is opening applications for emerging artists to take part in its Artist in Residence program at the under-construction Fire Station.
Locally-based artists can bid for a nine-month residency based at the new arts center and gallery in the old Civil Defense building.
Some 20 residencies are available that are initially only open to residents of Qatar, although it is hoped the program will eventually widen its scope to include regional artists.
Each artist accepted into the program is entitled to one of the building’s 24 studios, and would have 24/7 access. Every June, a “Garage gallery” will feature an exhibition to showcase productions by the artists.
The first phase of the new center was scheduled to open in November this year, however works are still ongoing at the site, with a new opening date of March 2015 planned, a QM spokesman told Doha News.
The conversion of the old fire house on Wadi Al Sail has not been without problems. The complex has twice caught fire, in August then again in September this year, as construction crews were renovating the iconic building.
On both occasions, the fire broke out in the garage, adjacent to the main building but was quickly brought under control.
Do you plan to check out the final Brazil/Qatar exhibition? Thoughts?
Note: This article was updated on December 7 to include the new, expected opening date for the Fire Station.