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Saturday, March 6, 2021

Dystopian art exhibition warns Qatar residents about the future

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All photos by Reem Saad

A new art exhibition at the Pearl-Qatar by renowned Japanese artist has taken a post-apocalyptic look at our world, following years of over-consumption and economic decline.

“Micro Invasion,” showcased at The Pearl’s Anima Gallery, is full of colorful paintings of floating massive orbs that illustrate an imaginary world of large, city-like spheres levitating above what appears to be the remains of a failed, destroyed civilization.

The exhibition is the work of 42-year-old Japanese artist Makatsu Sashie, whose artwork is largely inspired by his appreciation of manmade objects.

“Finding beauty in the design of machines and products, even when discarded as waste, he sees them as an extension of mankind and the natural world rather than simply artificial,” gallery organizers said in a statement.

Sashie’s artworks have previously been exhibited all around Asia and some states in the US, including New York and California. Emerging in 1999, the artist today has been featured in 12 solo shows and eight group shows.

Past and future

The floating orbs appear to hover between the worlds of a nostalgic past and a dystopian future.

They are pieced together from the scraps of old Showa-period buildings – a period of enlightened peace and harmony in Japan from 1926 to 1989 – and bits of consumer culture, including televisions, vending machines, video games, pachinko (a Japanese arcade game often used for gambling) parlors and fast food signs.

Micro Invasion exhibitionIn a nutshell, the artist is warning viewers about the impact today’s digital age and consumer culture will have on the earth, Illiana Kodzhamanova, sales and marketing executive at Anima Gallery, told Doha News.

“He is basically trying to educate people on what could happen to the world in the near future if we continue to live in the same rhythm and the same way, all based on how he sees it.”

The lack of human figures in Sashie’s work is also intentional – he prefers to leave the ideas of time, space and even the message up to the viewer’s interpretation, Kodzhamanova added.

In one corner also lies an art installation showing rubble full of car tires and broken home appliances such as air conditioners, TV’s, computer keyboards and chairs. A silhouette of black smoke appears behind them.

The exhibition will run until Aug. 9 and is open Sunday through Thursday from 10am to 7pm. In Ramadan, the gallery is only open until 3pm.

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