The Qatar Brazil 2014 Year of Culture closes with a grand finale event as QM Gallery Al Riwaq presents Here There, a showcase of works by artists from Qatar and Brazil, which will run from 4th December 2014 – 30 March 2015. Presented by Qatar Museums (QM) under the visionary leadership of its Chairperson, HE Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, Here There will see the QM Gallery Al Riwaq split in half, each dedicated to one of the two countries, Qatar (Here) and Brazil (There).
The Years of Culture initiative is a key part of Qatar Museums’ vision in establishing cultural ties between Qatar and countries around the world. Here There explores the environmental, cultural and social experience of life in Qatar and Brazil as presented through the eyes of each country’s most promising and talented young artists. It builds on a legacy of artistic exchange between the two nations in a celebration of their combined spirit.
The diverse and vibrant body of work from 42 artists (19 Qatari and 23 Brazilian), ranges from pieces produced in traditional media such as paintings, drawings and printmaking, through to digital art, installations and interactive works. The carefully selected group of artists includes first-time exhibitors through to more established and well-known figures. Though their backgrounds, experience and circumstances vary, what unites them is their passion, reciprocal awareness and appreciation of other cultures and commitment to addressing themes of universal significance.
Organised 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. Alanoud Al Buainain, artist and Qatari curator of Here There, said: “The variety of works explores thought-provoking and challenging themes that people of both countries will understand and relate to. This reflects Qatar Museum’s focus on nurturing local talent whilst also reflecting the global importance and role for art in helping exchange ideas, cultures and dialogue.”
Gunnar B. Kvaran, curator of the Brazilian part of Here There said, “It is my hope that the display of Brazilian creativity, diversity and innovation presented in Here There helps to enhance Qatari audiences' perception of Brazil's arts and culture. I am proud to be involved in this Qatar-Brazil Year of Culture 2014 exhibition at Al Riwaq, and on behalf of all of the Brazilian artists in the exhibition, I would like to thank Her Excellency Sheikha Al Mayassa for inviting us to be a part of this wonderful initiative.”
Here There fulfils a key part of Qatar Museum’s strategy of nurturing emerging talent by offering local artists opportunities to develop best practice by providing a platform for the exchange of ideas. This will continue to be a focus with the launch of the artists’ residence programme – Fire Station: Artists in Residence. The Civil Defence Building, known locally as Doha’s Fire Station, has been turned into a hub and platform for creative exchange. Opening in 2015, the nine month programme will support local artists by providing 20 studios and gallery space to collaborate with other creatives, academia and the community, enabling them to hone and develop their techniques. Registration for the residency programme for all artists in Qatar is now open till April 1st 2015 through the Fire Station website which is now live – www.firestation.org.qa.
Hala Al Khalifa, head of the Fire Station Artist in Residence programme, said: “It is encouraging to see so many first time exhibitors featured in Here There. Qatar Museums is clear in its commitment to supporting the success of new artists living in Qatar and providing spaces for them to exchange ideas – exactly the focus we will provide through our Fire Station: Artists in Residence programme. Today we open the pilot residency programme for registration, ahead of launch next year, and we’re already looking forward to discovering a new wave of artistic talent in Qatar.”
This year’s Year of Culture Qatar Brazil 2014 has built on close ties in recent years between Qatar and Brazil based on similarities including an economic boom thanks to oil production, each representing a diverse mix of nationalities and ethnicities, and, as previous and future World Cup hosts, a shared passion for football. Qatar-Brazil 2014 Year of Culture is sponsored by Qatar Petroleum International, Shell, Qatar Airways and Hilton.