‘Public art reflects nation’s ideals’
March 26 2019 01:25 AM
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French artist Jean-Michel Othoniel’s biggest art installation at NMoQ presented at a panel discussion yesterday.

Public art and various forms of arts aim to inspire local talents and establish organic growth of the local community’s art scene, a senior official of Qatar Museums said.
“If we consider art as an invitation, a medium, then public art maybe one of the best and most effective languages,” Qatar Museums’ (QM) head of public art Abdulrahman al-Ishaq stressed.
He was speaking at a panel discussion yesterday on “Public Art and Cultural Heritage” at the Doha Fire Station, which forms part of 
‘#QatarCreates’.
The event is an extensive programme of workshops and panel talks organised until March 29 to mark the inauguration of the National Museum of Qatar (NMoQ), which is scheduled to be open to the public on March 28.
‘#QatarCreates’ provides residents and visitors in the country access to a roster of leading cultural luminaries from Qatar, the region and around the world. 
Al-Ishaq was joined by British artist Liam Gillick, whose new work ‘Folded Extracted Personified’ has just been installed in the Museum of Islamic Art (MIA) Park; French artist Jean-Michel Othoniel, who built his biggest art installation at NMoQ; and Raqs Media Collective member Shuddhabrata Sengupta at the talk. It was moderated by Tom Eccles, executive director for the Centre for Curatorial Studies at Bard College. 
“Having prominent artists and curators such as our colleagues here is a way to bring home an international language, and I use language here metaphorically, it is not about importing only but also exporting,” he said. 
“And having local artists, curators and art specialists interact and work with international artists and curators allow them and the public to learn that language,” al-Ishaq added. 
“Through cultural exchange programmes such as QM’ Year of Culture, we export our cultural heritage to the world through the international language, which serves as a medium,” 
he pointed out.
Citing the Lamp Bear and other monumental installations at the Hamad International Airport, al-Ishaq said the public consider it as part of its culture, and may signify different things: it maybe an artistic intent, a symbol of lifestyle or travel, 
among others.
“Public art is also considered one of the faces of a nation. It reflects the 
nation’s ideals. 
We can preserve these ideals for the future generation and communicate it with the international audience,” 
he noted.
QM, al-Ishaq added, work towards conserving Qatar’s heritage by “localising the global and globalising the local.” “This serves as a dialogue 
between nations.”
Meanwhile, Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art will host a panel discussion on “Museums of Modern Art – Current Trends, East and West” today (March 26) at 11am, which will focus on aspects of curatorial practice, programming, and socio-political 
engagement. 
On the same day, an interactive talk at the MIA auditorium from 11am to 12.30pm will discuss how celebrities dress for the red carpet and reveal the considerations that inform their choices. It will be moderated by actress Nadine Njeim and will feature world-renowned fashion designer Monique Lhuillier.



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