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Monday, January 24, 2022

Qatar Museums showcases country’s pearling history in New York


Qatar Museums held historical showcase of Qatari artists project ‘Pearl of Wonder’.

Qatar Museums has successfully concluded its ‘Pearls of Wonder: a digital era’, an alluring digital art exhibition that navigated through Qatar’s history of pearling by representing several projects by a selection of Qatari artists.

The exhibition took place in New York at the Lavan541 art space, from December 14 to 19, it was under the supervision of Qatar Museum’s curator of Contemporary Art, Dr. Bahaa Abudaya. This exhibition was part of the cultural exchange of the Qatar-USA 2021 Year of Culture intended to strengthen and broaden the cultural and traditional understanding of both countries.

Mohamed Al-Suwaidi, Bubbles&Pearls virtual reality experience, 2021

Five Qatari artists participated in the exhibition to showcase their informative and imaginative work, displaying a time in history when Qatar was one of the largest pearl producers in the world. This era was significant as it helped shape modern Qatar. The artists were successfully able to take foreign spectators on a journey through the gulf nation’s pearl-producing time and illustrate the link to the economic history and growth of the wider region.

The artists- Maryam Al-Homaid, Alanoud Al-Buainain, Mohamed Al-Suwaidi, May Al-Mannai, and Saida Al-Khulaif put together the exhibition through their different and distinctive art pieces. All five are alumni of Qatar Museums’ Fire Station, a contemporary art space which supports creatives through the Arts in Residence program.

Speaking of the program, Dr. Abudaya said, “as the curator of our artist-in-residency programme at The Fire Station, I have the great pleasure of working with young and emerging Qatari artists as they discover their own voices through art and contribute to our burgeoning cultural landscape,”

Maryam Al-Homaid, Singing Narratives Within the Deep Sea, Code-generated video, Photography, 2021

The works produced reflects different perceptions and views on how the history of pearling affected these young artists in a unique way and how it shaped Qatari society in their views.

The exhibition included ‘Bubbles & Pearls’ by Mohamed Al-Suwaidi a virtual reality project showing the process of pearling and how it evolved in an interactive way for audiences to experience the process and get a better sense of the physical risks pearl divers went through. It also showcased Maryam Al-Homaid’s projection-based installation to revive rediscovered archival photographs of a pearl-diving process while showing moving effects that act as sea waves rocking the pearling boats.



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