Qatar Museums (QM) and Hamad International Airport (HIA) unveiled a new public art piece COSMOS by Jean-Michel Othoniel, a popular, contemporary French artist. Othoniel is best known for modernising the gardens of the Château de Versailles in France with his striking glass fountain sculptures.
For this piece, he was inspired by an artefact he found in the Museum of Islamic Art collection. COSMOS pays tribute to this extraordinary object, using gold to gild the steel structure of the piece to evoke the warm light of the sun. This monumental sculpture reflects Qatar’s culture – it’s a celestial globe projecting the routes of travellers from around the world and resembles bright calligraphy drawn in space when observed from the side or below. If you look at it from front, it looks like a blooming rose.
Khalid Al Ibrahim, chief strategic planning officer at Qatar Museums, said, “A major focus for us has been to create a diverse and striking public art offering at HIA and around the country, with the aim of taking art outside the walls of a museum to inspire local talent and engage travellers and tourists. Jean-Michel is an inspiring talent who has developed a strong artistic connection with the community in Qatar. COSMOS will be a huge draw and a welcome addition to the wonderful range of work already on display at the airport.”
COSMOS is an exciting addition to HIA’s bank of incredible artwork including the popular Lamp Bear by Urs Fischer, the recently unveiled Small Lie by KAWS, a series of Oryx sculptures by Dutch artist Tom Claassen and installations entitled Playground by American artist Tom Otterness.
Hamad International Airport, Doha.