Posted on October 19, 2018

Doha has become the first stop of “The Shapes of Water,” a travelling exhibition which puts a spotlight on water sustainability while underlining water’s significant role as a unifying factor among cultures.

Launched at Msheireb Enrichment Centre on Wednesday, the exhibition presented by the Italian Embassy and Triennale di Milano in partnership with Msheireb Properties is an impressive international showcase of social design and product design projects on the different uses of water. “We are particularly pleased that Doha represents the first destination of a prestigious travelling exhibition, which will bring a selection of innovative and creative design objects in other countries of the region,” Ambassador of Italy to Qatar, Pasquale Salzano said at the opening ceremony.

The exhibition focuses on water as a fundamental resource for mankind that has turned into a precious commodity and in some cases into a cause of geopolitical tensions due to its scarcity in certain territories. It presents water as a bond – not as source of division – between peoples and returns to the authentic social and civil concept at the core of design. “The items of these designers, even if inspired by different — although very close — cultures, traditions, languages and skills, are able to build a weft of reflections which celebrates the binding, cohesive nature of water for those countries that, from the Mediterranean Sea to the Gulf region, present a great variety of values and cultural identities,” said Salzano.

The objects on show are as diverse as the countries their designers represent including Italy, France, Spain, Croatia, Greece, Qatar, Turkey, Tunisia, Lebanon, Jordan, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.
“Today, from Doha, we are sending out a very powerful message of cultural inclusion and openness to diversity. Qatar does not close the doors to cultural exchange, to dialogue, to cooperation. Qatar is an example of inclusiveness, no matter where an art piece comes from. Culture is meant to express the best side of human beings and is a powerful means to overcome divisions,” stressed Salzano.

The exhibition comprises two sections. On display in the first section are items made by international designers on different uses of water including condensing, collecting, carrying, extinguishing, farming, filtering, keeping, purifying and washing. It highlights projects that offer innovative solutions to the problem of water scarcity. The second section showcases objects that depict the primary function of water “to quench one’s thirst”. It includes a series of works aimed at reinterpreting the archetypical shape of the jars according to the different issues and needs of the designers’ countries of origin, with focus on local manufacturing, traditional techniques and materials.

Representing Qatar is young Qatari interior designer Shaikha Al Sulaiti with her art piece “Msheireb Light” she made as a symbolic representation of Qatar’s support to the concept of truth, clarity and transparency. “I realised this object by reusing a bottle from a Qatari brand, with the idea of up-cycling in mind. It is composed of three materials: the Rosso Levanto marble, which reflects the colours of the flag of my country; water, which symbolises the concept of truth; and the brass, representing the prosperity and success of Qatar. The quote in the brass comes from our national anthem. It reads: ‘Qatar will always be free – By the spirit of the loyal’,” explained Al Sulaiti.

“The Shapes of Water” comes in the framework of the programme “Italy, Cultures, and the Mediterranean” launched by Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MAECI) to encourage dialogue and cultural exchanges, and promote the various cultural forms and identities of the Mediterranean region, the Middle East and the Gulf.

This exhibition is the first event taking place in the framework of the Qatar Sustainability Week an initiative promoted by the Qatar Green Building Council (QGBC). It is open to public until November 3.

source: The Peninsula

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