The genuine cosmopolitan nature of Doha truly came to life on Friday evening when art experts and enthusiasts of diverse backgrounds converged at the opening of an exhibition that displays stunning creations of the arts from different countries.
The KatArt Preview exhibition, with over 100 art pieces, was inaugurated at Katara Cultural Village. It primarily serves as preview of the first-ever Katara Global Art Fair (KatArt) all set to take place in October. The exhibition, organised by Pallas Art, an art brokerage company, will run for six days in the Building 19 and 22.
The prudently selected artworks range from paintings, metal sculptures, and ceramics to digital art, video installations and mixed media art. The artists from countries, including Argentina, China, Qatar, Venezuela, Philippines, UK, USA, Turkey, Australia and Lebanon have exhibited their works.
The exhibition’s main attraction is a section showcasing works by Chinese artists Guo Jianyuan, Bokui, and Li Zhongjun. Two sculptures which are an intricate assemblage of a large number of spoons and forks made by Doha-based Filipino artist Danny Ponce were also unique and eye-catching.
Local artists also have strong presence at the exhibition such as Qatari artist Mohammed Faraj al-Suwaidi, who is presenting a video installation and paintings inspired by his recently completed successful residency in New York; Wadha al-Sulaiti, showcasing calligraphic works in mixed media; and Hanadi al-Darwish with a number of her abstract paintings.
Talking to Community, Mariame Farqane, CEO of Pallas Arts, said, “We are actually the first art brokerage in the region. The exhibition is the preview of what is going to happen in October this year – the first global art fair in Qatar. We can actually compare the art fair with Art Basel (Switzerland and Miami), and other major art fairs in the world.
“This exhibition is a sample with different artists from different countries. We are bringing international art scene in Qatar. We want people of Qatar to make it their habit to experience the international art fair every now and then. We are co-ordinating with a local Qatari art company. We are also collaborating with the embassy of Argentina in Qatar. We also work for orphans and kids in need around the world. This year we are working with an organisation from Argentina.”
Talking about the criteria against which the the artworks are selected, Mariame said, “Usually at Pallas Arts, we put the emerging and established artists in the same scene. Of course, we are very selective in terms of technique, originality and inspiration but the most important element for us is the technique and the message behind an art piece. The target of the company is to put talented artists in the international market.
“We actually tend to highlight all forms of arts. There is figurative, modern, and contemporary art. We have calligraphy, calligraffiti, abstract, and water colour as well.”
Appreciating the art scene of Doha, Mariame said, “There are lots of things happening in Doha as far as art is concerned. We want to contribute to the country’s 2030 vision. There are numerous galleries here besides the amazing museums.”
Franck Gellet, Ambassador of France, said, “I think it is good initiative to have an important art fair in Doha. There is great interest in art here. I see quite a few art collectors here as well. I think Doha will be in the spotlight for contemporary art in future. The presence of Qatar based artists shows that something is happening in Doha.
“I enjoy looking at the works of some amazingly talented artists at the exhibitions. I am glad to discover many interesting art pieces. I see there is a special Qatari eye for the art. The country is becoming a hub of art and cultural activities. We see arts coming from different countries for residency at Fire Station. Similarly, Qatari artists are going for residency in other countries.”
Alessandro Prunas, newly appointed ambassador of Italy, said, “I am really impressed with the art scene here. I was expecting something interesting but I was not expecting to have such a vibrant cultural activity. I like the diversity and reflections of different personal experiences put on display in this exhibition. There are different emotions depicted in different art pieces. Art is a very emotional way of expressing ourselves. It is like painting your dreams on a canvass,” the ambassador added.
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