Two unique artworks that espouse Qatari nationalism and pride have made their Qatar debut on Thursday at ‘Geekdom’ – the country’s largest pop-culture event, which will run until December 4 at Buildings 18 and 19 inside Katara – The Cultural Village.
The popular ‘Tamim Al Majd’ portrait made entirely of Lego bricks – the first of its kind in Qatar – was created by 30-year Abdulla Maqbool Khalfan.
Speaking to Gulf Times on the sidelines of the event’s fifth edition, Khalfan said it took him around eight days to complete the artwork, which is made of an estimated more than 1,000 Lego bricks purchased online.
The ‘Grendizer Official Qatar Edition’ by Jungle.
Pop culture at its finest.
Khalfan said he started playing with Lego bricks since he was Kindergarten. He noted that he also plans to launch a formal exhibit in the next two years to showcase his collection of original artwork made of Lego bricks.
Khalfan, who is busy pursuing a master’s degree in Business Administration, said he was encouraged by his cousin, Faisal Mohamed al-Eissa, an avid toy collector, to create the Lego version of the ‘Tamim Al Majd’ portrait.
“I know he has passion for creating artworks with Lego,” al-Eissa said, referring to Khalfan.
“I wanted to use his passion to support the whole idea of putting a national theme during the exhibition,” he continued.
He said another artwork that promotes Qatari nationalism and pride is the ‘Grendizer Official Qatar Edition’ by Jungle, which has the Qatari flag painted on its chest.
Grendizer or ‘UFO Robot Grendizer was created by manga artist Go Nagai. The third entry in the Mazinger trilogy, the Grendizer television series and manga was a big hit for many children, especially from the mid-to-late-1970s.
Al-Eissa said the ‘Grendizer Official Qatar Edition’ by Jungle is made of vinyl, and handmade in Japan. He noted that there are plans to offer the limited edition toy online only to the first 50 buyers.
With a modest estimate of 200,000 toys and accessories in his collection, al-Eissa first participated in Geekdom in 2014 where he exhibited some of his vintage toys. His collections include figurines, comics, magazines, games, DVDs, toys, and cards.
“I have some 15,000 DVDs on anime alone but it’s very difficult to put an exact number on my entire collection,” he said.
The current edition of Geekdom is a celebration of all things pop-culture, the website of the Doha Film Institute said.
It added that activities during the event will include “tournaments, comic-a-thon competition, cosplay day, and more.”
The event is also an opportunity for artists to not only showcase their artworks but to collaborate and share their skills with a wider audience, said participating freelance artist Rashed al-Kuwari, who specialises in various manga and anime, as well as popular video game characters.
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