Organised by Qatar Museums and being showcased at the Doha Exhibition Centre until February 28, a very special collection of artwork comes to town.
Launched by the Father Emir, the second Mal Lawal art exhibition was opened recently, showcasing an incredible collection of cultural artefacts from the region at the Doha Exhibition Centre.
The unique nature of the exhibition compared to others is in the fact that the artwork, sculptures and cultural artefacts are made up of an eclectic mix of private collections, showcased together, celebrating historically and socially significant objects and antiques from the region. After February 28, they will go back to their private owners. There are displays from over 4,000 traditional artefacts, gathered by more than 100 Qatari private collectors and 42 from the wider GCC region.
Mal Lawal translates to “from the old days,” and the works have been carefully placed into nine categories, featuring manuscripts, weapons, Islamic collections, old maps, ethnographic and heritage items, antiques, jewellery, clothing and accessories, as well as many other rare items from the region.
This is actually the second time the Mal Lawal exhibition has been showcased, following on from the success of its first launch in September 2012, with the second event bigger and better than the previous one, occupying more than 8,000 square feet in total.
This time around, there are specially created video links, delivering a virtual experience of eight ‘home museums’ and their private collections of artwork, artefacts and cultural enrichment from these collections. There are also “oral histories,’ with mini-films documenting memories and observations of Qatari elders as the country has transformed over the past few decades.
For the family
The exhibition also has food courts and cafés serving Qatari dishes and other cuisines, and a dedicated area for children which is fun, informative and engaging, with a movable cinema installation.
Proud to sponsor
Stephen Kelly, the president and general manager of Oxy Qatar, the main sponsor, believes the exhibition is an essential insight in Qatar’s and the GCC’s cultural history: ‘We are again honoured to support the second edition of Mal Lawal, allowing us to witness the preservation of Qatar’s national heritage, values and identity.
‘The uniqueness of the artefacts displayed at the Mal Lawal exhibition allow for the public, whether resident or local, to learn about Qatar and the region’s traditions by taking them on a journey through time and history.’
He continued: ‘We applaud Qatar Museums for its vision in embarking on this remarkable endeavour to promote and present Qatari cultural life through exhibitions of historical significance. We hope the unique sense of engagement and community that Mal Lawal creates will further enhance public awareness and appreciation of local art and cultural heritage, particularly among the younger generation in Qatar.’
Free admission, open Sat-Mon, Wed 9am-9pm; Thu 9am-10pm; Fri 3pm-10pm; closed Tuesday, Doha Exhibition Centre, Al Istiqlal Street, West Bay Lagoon (4499 7499).
NB: The new Doha Exhibition Centre in West Bay is not yet ready. It is still currently the one in West Bay Lagoon.