Qatar China Year of Culture 2016

Get set for Chinese art, festivals, celebrations, and more in Qatar Discuss this article

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For the past four years, Qatar has partnered up with a different country for a year-long exchange of art exhibitions, festivals and other cultural events.

It all began back in 2012 with Qatar-Japan, which saw exhibitions in Doha by world-renowned artists like Takashi Murakami and, since, Qatar has teamed up with the UK, Brazil and Turkey.

This year, Qatar-China is already shaping up to be the biggest cultural collaboration yet, with the first big exhibition What about the art? Contemporary art from China already announced for March. Curated by Chinese contemporary artist Cai Guo-Qiang and featuring works by 15 artists and artists' collectives from mainland China, it’s one of the most significant events to be held since the Year of Culture initiative started. We look at what you can expect from the exhibition, and from the rest of 2016.

What about the art?

Cai Guo-Qiang has been researching and developing the exhibition for the past three years, focusing on the nature of Chinese contemporary art and asking self-reflective questions of, and challenging, creativity itself. Everything comes together to provide a fascinating insight into how contemporary art in China has developed. It takes the focus away from politically-dominated conversations about China’s social and economic issues, putting it onto the vision and techniques of the art itself. Instead of asking what these artists are saying, Guo-Qiang wants to ask: how are they saying it? Is it creative? How are they contributing to the development of Chinese art?

Works by the 15 featured artists attempt to challenge traditional Chinese aesthetics through not only painting, sculpture, installations, video and other “conventional” forms of art, but also through the use of media such as interactive video game design, creating an interesting dialogue surrounding historical and cultural development.

Timeline, for example, will be a prominent part of the exhibition. Curated by scholar Wang Mingxian, it will comprise a display of archival documents, images and data relating to Chinese art from 1949 right through to the present.
The exhibition will open on March 14 at Qatar Museums Al Riwaq Gallery and run until July 16.

Events to come
Details of several other events and programmes due to take place over the year are still be to announced, but plans are in place for a photography exchange, a Chinese movie week, and an open-air Chinese festival of music, performance, traditional crafts and food from different regions of China.

By Time Out Doha staff
Time Out Doha,

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