For renowned Qatari street artist Mubarak al-Malik, art is a dynamic force that knows no bounds and extends beyond the confines of traditional galleries.
In the latest video released by Qatar Tourism’s (QT) “Voices of Qatar” initiative, al-Malik sheds light on his creative process, highlighting the importance of breaking free from the ordinary.
“Creativity for me is looking forward to something new, something out of the ordinary. Artistic ideas always appear in many places - sometimes on my bike if I’m riding long distances or when at home sitting in my studio,” he said.
Al-Malik's artistic journey began at the age of 10 when he enrolled in art classes that introduced him to Arabic calligraphy, painting, and sculpture. His early experiences laid the foundation for his future endeavours, which resulted in a unique blend of both traditional and contemporary art expressions.
His artistic vision has transformed public spaces into attractive masterpieces. With a deep understanding of local culture, al-Malik breathes life into the city's thoroughfares, infusing them with energy and vitality.
By making art accessible to all, he creates an inclusive cultural experience that resonates with both locals and visitors.
“When I had my exhibitions, the situation became boring, I saw the same visitors... the same people. So I said to myself, let me present street art. People pass by in their cars and see the work all year round. They can enjoy it all the time.
“The cultural movement in Qatar has changed dramatically. All over the country, whether it is street murals or sculptures, anyone who is going to work, or going for a ride can see the artworks. I think it is excellent,” the street artist said.
Central to al-Malik's work is the battoulah, a face cover worn by older Qatari women. Beyond its surface, he said the battoulah serves as a powerful symbol: “The battoulah is a symbol that I use in all my work, in many styles... For me, the battoulah is not just a symbol of Qatari women. It reflects the customs and traditions of the country. It is a symbol with many meanings”.
Launched recently by QT, “Voices of Qatar” underlines Qatar’s local talents who are at the forefront of shaping the nation’s cultural landscape. From master chefs to artists, innovators to sports champions, the series offers a behind-the-scenes look at their remarkable journeys.
Through interviews and personal narratives, QT noted that viewers gain insight into the challenges faced, triumphs achieved, and transformations started by these cultural change-makers.