Posted on July 15, 2012

“Pearls: Jewels from the Sea” organized by Qatar Museums Authority (QMA) is set to open at the Hyogo Prefectural Museums of Art, in Kobe, from 28 July to 14 October 2012, as part of the celebration of the 40th anniversary of the establishment of the diplomatic relations between Qatar and Japan.

Sponsored by QatarGas, Qatar Petroleum, as strategic sponsors, and Qatar Airways, as the official airline partner, the exhibition will be a unique scientific, historical and cultural journey into the realm of pearls.

The exhibition will showcase around 200 works of art between historical objects and sumptuous jewellery and will demonstrate how pearls are formed and their relationship with societies throughout history. Along with the collection of Qatar Museums Authority, artifacts on view at the exhibition will be from the exquisite collection of Albion Art in Tokyo, Mikimoto and Co, Yoko London and Hinata Company Kobe.

Commenting on the significance of the “Pearls: Jewels from the Sea” exhibition for QMA mission and Qatar in general, Mansoor Al Khater, QMA Chief Executive Officer, stated: “The idea behind organizing the ‘Pearls: Jewels from the Sea’ exhibition is to pay tribute to our ancestors who made many sacrifices and depended on the pearls trade to sustain their economy. Through organizing this exhibition, QMA aims to enhance awareness among our Japanese friends about the significance of pearls in Qatari history and culture. We look forward to this exciting exhibition which highlights a common historical aspect of both Qatari and Japanese people.”

The exhibition is made around a storyline developed through six sections, covering different aspects such as: pearl formation, importance of pearl diving in the history of the Arabian Gulf region and the influence of pearls on jewellery and design throughout history. The major discovery by Kokichi Mikimoto and the emergence of the cultivated pearls is part of the story, an example of collaboration between human and nature.

The masterpieces on view at the exhibition will include:

-A variety of jewellery made of Gulf natural pearls from 200 AD until 1930 by anonymous and famous designers such as Cartier.

-Elizabeth Taylor’s natural pearls earrings by Bvlgari and Marilyn Monroe’s pearl necklace by Mikimoto.

- Six Royal tiaras from European monarchies including the Tiara of Lady Diana from her step-mother.

- A 600 years history of pearl jewellery throughout 25 masterpieces presented by Albion Art, Tokyo.

- A Chinese pearl installation showing the problem of overproduction.

- A magnificent Chinese freshwater pearl purple necklace from Yoko London.

- Three sorting tables with thousands of pearls presented by Hinata/Andy Muller in Kobe.

A special book offering a brilliant insight into the mysterious world of pearls has been published in Japanese and will be sold at the museum’s gift shop. Alongside this exhibition, Qatar-Japan 2012 team is organizing “Qatar Week: Ferjaan in Tokyo” from September 27th to October 1st 2012 in Roppongi Hills, Tokyo, showcasing modern Qatari culture through several exhibits, informative talks and presentations, as well as selection of Qatari products. A similar temporary exhibition titled “Pearls” took place in January 2010 at the Museum of Islamic Art attracting many local and foreign visitors.