Posted on September 25, 2012

Under the patronage of HE Sheikha Al Mayassa Bint Hamad Al Thani, Qatar Museums Authority is organizing an exhibition by French-Chinese artist Yan Pei-Ming from October 12, 2012 to January 12, 2013 at the QMA Gallery, Building 10, in Katara. Curated by Francesco Bonami, “Painting The History” will be Yan Pei-Ming’s first major exhibition in Doha, Qatar.

Yan Pei-Ming, "Spring Winter Summer Fall: Modernity Identity", 2012

In order to engage students in this exhibition and introduce them to Yan Pei-Ming’s artwork, QMA staff will be visiting the QF Student Center on Wednesday, September 26 and QU Student Center on Thursday, September 27 to meet with students and invite them to be part of the “Know Your History” game which is based on the concept of the upcoming “Yan Pei-Ming: Painting the History” exhibition. Each interviewed student will be filmed via low-fi fun “Video Diaries".

Students with correct guesses will be entered into a contest to have a portrait made of them by artist Yan Pei-Ming. The name of the winner in this contest will be drawn and announced on the Student Day which will be held at the QMA Gallery on October 12. The activities planned for this Student Day will also include a tour of the show with Curator Francesco Bonami, as well as a program full of games, music, and activities.

Qatar Museums Authority is collaborating as well with the Youth Company, a youth-led social enterprise based in Qatar, on a number of interactive activities to engage, educate, and empower youth.

“Yan Pei-Ming: Painting the History” exhibition profiles three types of history-makers and highlights the power of painting as a medium for recording historical events and portraying iconic figures. Yan Pei-Ming is a world-renowned artist who became known for his "epic-sized" portraits of Chinese communist leader Mao Zedong, and actor Bruce Lee.

YAN Pei-Ming, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (30 January 1948, Delhi), 2012

The first section of the exhibition is dedicated to the modern history of Arab culture, with more than 100 portraits in watercolors of influential figures of the Arab world from politics to literature and art, including late Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser, Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, and Lebanese singer Fairuz.

The second section steps into art history, exposing the way it chronicles news. The only work that will be on display in this part of the exhibition will be a triptych of the most famous paintings in Western art --“The Death of Marat” by Jacques-Louis David, on view now at the Palais de Beaux Arts of Brussels. The original work represents the French revolutionary leader Marat in his bath tub just after he was stabbed to death. David painted this artwork almost concurrent to the event in 1793, working like a reporter or a photographer.

YAN Pei-Ming, Rafic Hariri (14 February 2005, Beyrouth), 2012

In the last section of the exhibition, Yan Pei-Ming builds on David’s process, painting the history of assassinated political leaders from the beginning of 20th century until recently, including Che Guevera and Mahatma Gandhi. Armed with the ability to document events quickly, photojournalists today have taken the place of artists like David.  However, Yan Pei Ming aims through this exhibition to prove that in an age ruled by digital images painting can regain its role to allow the public to focus more deeply on history.

A special full-color bilingual catalogue offering insight into Yan Pei-Ming’s paintings will be available at the exhibition’s gift shop. A comprehensive educational program will complement this exhibition including special workshops for children and adults.

YAN Pei-Ming, Marat (13 July 1793, Paris) III