The second edition of Qatar International Art Festival (QIAF) continues to pull crowds at Katara where a variety of art-related activities are underway involving over 200 artists from different countries of the world.
Since its dazzling and colourful opening ceremony on Friday evening, the art festival has been a major attraction at Katara where Doha-based and guest artists have been fascinating the art lovers and visitors with their live painting shows and exhibition of their creative pieces.
MAPS International, in collaboration with Katara – the Cultural Village, has brought one of the largest art festivals in Qatar where artists from over 60 countries are showcasing their talent and creativity. On its opening day, the event was attended by over 1,000 people. Dr Khalid bin Ibrahim al-Sulaiti, General Manager at Katara, was the chief guest on the opening ceremony that was also attended by the ambassadors of Turkey, Iran, Mexico, Argentina, Australia, Ethiopia, and Ecuador.
The festival kicked off with the exhibition of paintings, art works, sculptures and handicrafts. The guests and visitors appreciated and enjoyed the artistic creativities that have come together from different parts of the world. There are more than 400 artistic pieces at display that includes the works of as many as 90 artists coming from different countries to Qatar. Among the 110 Qatar-based artists 25 are Qatari nationals.
On the second day of the festival, the live painting show kicked off at 10am. From 2pm onwards, master classes conducted by eminent artists for other participants and the visitors explaining different techniques and genres of the paining were organised. Six different artists from six different parts of the world spoke about six different topics on the occasion.
The most significant event of the day was screening of the film about the works and achievements of late M F Hussain, a world-known artist. The film has been produced by his son Mustafa Hussain, who was present on the occasion and also led a master class, which was followed by a panel discussion on different art related topics.
On third day, in the morning, the festival participants took part in the live painting sessions. However, the evening was made beautiful with an art fashion show ‘MAPS Artistic Fashion Show’. The fashion show, first time in Qatar, saw 50 models highlighting different art designs on their wardrobes. The show also included art designs depicted on different wearable items. It actually opened up a new avenue for the artists to show their skills. The show was divided into three different parts, including fashion wearable items, interior and home décor and artistic designs pasted on different utensils and other usable items.
Talking to Community, Mustafa Hussain said: “I used to be an artist with glass medium. However, now I have chosen another form of art that is film making. I am a cinematographer by profession. I have made about 40 films.
“In the festival, I have screened a film that I have produced showing my father while he was painting. The name of the film is Six Days of Making that was originally produced in 1992. He painted on six different canvasses for six days. On the seventh day, he simply cleaned his art works calling it elimination saying only the elimination completes his creative work. The film was very well received.”
Mustafa appreciated the organiser Rashmi Agarwal, founder and president of MAPS, for bringing together 200 artists from 60 countries. “I have been the part of different art festivals. I appreciate the organisers for such a big event. Further, Katara is a very beautiful place to host such kind of festivals. I am also amazed to see the multiplicity of artists at one place. Qatar is known for its love for art and artists. I am impressed by the modern architecture of the Doha city.”
Mohamed Ali Sobhani, Ambassador of Iran, who was present at the festival to see the work of Iranian artists, said, “The most important thing is that Katara is promoting a variety of cultures through art activities. Katara is not only promoting seasoned artists but also encouraging the young, new and inexperienced ones.
“I am very happy to see many Iranian artists taking part in the festival. For me, their art work is just a continuation of the traditions followed by the old masters. Iran has a very rich culture. Each art work on display here tells a story and highlights a philosophy.”
Susana Anaya, an artist born and brought up in Mexico and settled in Switzerland, said: “I am really very happy to be in Qatar and to be a part of the festival. I have brought here two types of art works – dynamic and static. My art works convey a sense of connection. My paintings highlight both male and female energy. I show them not being divided but coming together.”
Susana, an engineer by qualification and an artist by passion, said: “I have a university degree in industrial engineering but I also got art education. I feel very happy to see the volume of variety here. Every head has a completely different world.’
Artim Mirolevich, a professional artist, was born in Belarus and lives in New York, US. He said, “We are four artists who have come here in a team. We all have brought different genre of art here. My work consists of various paintings showing different kinds of human hearts. We all are very happy to be in Qatar.”
Shabir-ul Hassan Siddique, a Pakistani artist based in Qatar, has displayed a big Arabic jug. “I have named the jug as Royal Pitcher. The jumbo-sized jug is made by different used items. The idea is to reuse the waste items and create something artistic. The concept was not to throw the waste and keep the environment clean.”
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