China in Qatar

I have always been an Impressionism fan, but every time I visit a gallery with artwork from a different movement, I have this tinge feeling of disloyalty to Monet and Renoir (like that time I was in Florence and was ogling that Botticelli, heheh). Somehow, every form of artwork always presents a different kind of effect towards its viewer.

This year has been all about Chinese art and Oriental history in the Qatar Museums in Doha.

Al Riwaq

Summertime saw “What About the Art? Contemporary Art from China”, curated by New York-based artist Cai Guo-Qiang. The Al Riwaq gallery was transformed into a space of diverse art forms, featuring works from various Chinese artists. From massive installations made of recycled materials, to paintings, and textile art, I was constantly in admiration of every piece in that exhibit. I have always leaned towards the classics, and usually breeze through the contemporary section in museums, but this was one of the few times that I truly appreciated modern art.

What I like about Al Riwaq is its bare white walls. Pieces stand out because of the blank canvas behind them. It gives a cold, sort of isolated feeling. So me. 😀

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Oil on canvas, by Zhou Chunya.
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Five hundred clay sculptures by Hu Zhijun, representing Chinese culture.
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Various Artists
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Huang Yong Ping’s “Sea Monster”
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Agie admiring this artwork made from yarn/fabric.
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Jenova Chen’s video installation.
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Background Story, Xu Bing.
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This is the background of the art in previous photo. Garbage, enclosed in fluorescent light. Nice, right?
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“Freedom” by the duo, Sun Yuan & Peng Yu. The suspended tube goes wild with high-pressured water flow every hour. It was cold and dark in this room, I felt like a creature was about to spring up from the water, hahah! And the sound the water made! Gave me the creeps.
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Liu Wei’s installation, made from dog chews.

 

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One of my favorites from Xu Zhen. Oil, plus aluminum plastic composite makes this 3D painting come to life. Not sure if it is still considered impasto (technique using very thick oil).
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Textile art, also from Xu Zhen. Love him.

 

Museum of Islamic Art

From September 2016 to January 2017, the Terracotta Warriors are in Doha! Well, not all of them. Just… five? 😀 But good enough! You can see them up close on different angles, and marvel at the style of sculpture. As opposed to the lines and muscle form evident in European sculptures, the Chinese clay warriors highlight the temperament of the subject, rather than the physical aspects.

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I imagine seeing these a hundred fold, then that would make the real impact. After all, its impressiveness, I think, lies not just on the form in itself, but on the idea of the enormous number of unique statues made (more than 8,000 soldiers, 130 chariots with 520 horses and 150 cavalry horses!). Ergo, I haven’t really seen THE Terracotta Army. Ergo, China trip foreseen in the near future. 😀

The exhibit also featured artifacts dating back to 200 B.C., until the mid-13th to 14th centuries.

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At first glance, these relics looked more Aztec to me. See the patterns?

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The Silk Road, a route that bridged Asia to Europe, via India and the Arabia; has created the combination and influence of multi-cultural art.

Here is a camel sculpture, and incense burner with two Arab men on either side.

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Also, French influence can be seen on the painting on this ceramic pot.

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“Treasures of China” will entice you to learn more about Chinese history and culture. You can visit the exhibit until January 2017, at the lobby of the MIA. 🙂

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