Posted on May 16, 2016

Under the visionary guidance of Qatar Museums’ Chairperson, Her Excellency Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, Qatar Museums (QM) is proud to present a range of seven dynamic and exciting exhibitions opening throughout the year in Qatar and China, providing new experiences of art, culture and heritage for everyone to enjoy.

Over the coming months QM will open a number of exhibitions in Qatar, including a world-class retrospective exhibition by Iraqi artist Dia Al-Azzawi, which will be truly unique in that it will be open to the public in two venues at the same time – Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art, and the QM Gallery Al Riwaq. There is also the unveiling of Aslı Çavuşoğlu’s Red/Red, an installation which will be on display at the Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art Project Space; additional upcoming exhibitions include the annual end of residency exhibition at the Fire Station, and Fragments: an exhibition by Iraqi-Canadian artist Mahmoud Obaidi.

As part of the ongoing Qatar-China Year of Culture 2016, QM will also launch the exhibition Treasures of China at the Museum of Islamic Art in Doha, as well as host a joint exhibition with the Zhejiang Province Department of Culture – in both the QM Gallery in Katara and in the province of Zhejiang in the People’s Republic of China – to document the recently held exchange programme between a number of photographers from each country. Also, as one of the major highlights of the year-long cultural exchange initiative, QM will launch Pearls: Jewels from the Sea at the National Museum of China in Beijing.

Taking place at both Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art and the QM Gallery Al Riwaq in October this year, QM will present a monograph of one of the most renowned modern artists of the Arab world: Dia Al-Azzawi. The exhibition, showcasing over 350 works across fifty years and a range of media, aims at mapping an itinerary of modernism and profiles the practice of the Iraqi artist. The retrospective is organised into two parts, with each one tracing a trajectory of the artist’s practice: one charting the relation between image and text in Azzawi’s work, and the other following the artist’s engagement with the key moments in the political history of modern Iraq and the Arab world. Curated by Catherine David, the exhibition is scheduled to open 16 October 2016 at Mathaf and 17 October at Al Riwaq.

Qatar Museums presents exciting 2 [].jpgFrom 22 May until 11 September 2016, Turkish artist Aslı Çavuşoğlu will display her installation Red / Red at the Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art Project Space.  The installation comprises 17 pieces, including handmade notebooks of drawings and paintings made with red pigments from Armenia and Turkey. Çavuşoğlu will deliver a related public talk on 22 May, during which she will discuss the disappearance of Armenian red as a material, and also how she views her work as a proposal for a model of co-existence for the inhabitants of the region to protect and develop the natural ecosystem that produces the pigment.

After nine successful months, the current Artist in Residency programme at the Fire Station will draw to a close on 2 June and the occasion will be celebrated with the annual end of residency exhibition at the Garage Gallery. Celebrating the accomplishments of the current artists in residence, it will showcase selected works from the artists from their nine months in residency, incorporating a variety of processes, research, prototypes, and finished outcomes. The exhibition will celebrate the accomplishments of the artists who have experimented with pushing the boundaries of creativity to raise the bar in contemporary art in the region.

Opening on 18 October at the QM Gallery in Katara Cultural Village, QM will proudly present Fragments, an exhibition by contemporary Iraqi-Canadian artist Mahmoud Obaidi. In this exhibition, the artist retraces the 'organised chaos' that led to the destruction of Iraq, and presents a response to witnessing the city of Baghdad fall piece by piece. In his work Obaidi recreates what has been stolen or destroyed to try to piece the city back together again. The exhibition shows how Obaidi is grappling with the destruction of an 8,000-year-old civilisation, which has been laid waste in less than a fraction of that time. In addition to these exciting exhibitions, the Qatar China 2016 Year of Culture continues to celebrate the relations between the State of Qatar and the Republic of China through cultural partnerships between Qatari and Chinese organisations, institutions and individuals.

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This September, the Qatar China 2016 Year of Culture presents the exhibition Treasures of China.  Terracotta soldiers from the First Emperor’s Terracotta Army will be on show at the Museum of Islamic Art where visitors will get the chance to meet the warriors who guarded a hidden empire. The exhibition will display 101 pieces dating from the Neolithic period to the Qing Dynasty, spanning over 5,000 years of China’s history. Potteries, bronzes, jades, porcelains, gold, silver, enamel and many other Chinese treasures will be on show, selected from 11 museums and heritage institutions from across China. Aimed at reflecting the integration between cultures of East and West, the exhibition will offer visitors an opportunity to appreciate the profundity and richness of Chinese culture and traditions from a number of perspectives.

Additionally, following its huge success in Japan, the UK, Brazil and Turkey, QM will again launch Pearls: Jewels from the Sea, which this time will travel to China, to be on show at the National Museum of China from 27 September 2016. The exhibition presents the history and legend, mythology and meaning of pearls and pearl jewellery from Qatar and around the world, and contains more than 100 pieces from around the world including the Gulf, Europe and Asia. The exhibition reflects QM’s focus on art, creativity and heritage, and is in alignment with the organisation’s vision of taking pieces out of its museums and taking them to other cultural destinations around the world.

Finally, a unique joint exhibition documenting a recently held exchange programme between photographers from Doha and the Zhejiang Province Department of Culture in China will present different aspects of the cultures and societies of both countries. The photography exhibition, which is designed to showcase the best works from Qatari and Chinese photographers, aims to capture real people in their natural environments. Photographers from two different nations documented their journeys as moments captured in time; engaging in an inspiring exchange of artistic discovery and cultural dialogue. The exhibition will open in the QM Gallery in Katara Cultural Village in October 2016, and then in the province of Zhejiang, China in November 2016.

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