The Qatar Museums (QM) Years of Culture – manga community gathering Wednesday brought together around 30 artists and enthusiasts, showcasing their creativity at a friendly competition held at The Pearl Qatar.
Held in partnership with Anime Cafe and Store 974, the event puts a spotlight on the deep and solid diplomatic relations between Qatar and Japan and marks the Qatar-Menasa (Middle East, North Africa, and South Asia) 2022 Year of Culture.
A participant uses classic sketching for her drawing
“The theme of this competition is ‘friendship’ so we are looking for artworks that highlight culture and most importantly, the friendship between the two countries. Like the stories that come out with friendship, strong bonds are built with people coming together and amazing things are created,” Al Jazi Saeed al-Khayareen, legacy co-ordinator, QM Chairperson Office, told Gulf Times on the sidelines of the gathering.
A young artist takes part in the mini-competition.
She said the mini-competition, which was open to different age groups, forms part of a number of QM-organised activations aims at engaging local talents in the field of arts and storytelling.
“Now people are having the opportunity to gather back again, being excited about gathering with other talents and discussing things… I’m excited they (young generation) could be potentially the people that we can work with in the future so I'm happy to see this, I wish them all the best,” al-Khayareen said.
She noted that these kinds of competitions allow both traditional and digital sketching, giving the participants more freedom to showcase their talent.
“We don't want to limit it to the old style since we know that there's the new digital art…(creating those 3D effects) and all that amazing things so we give more exposure whether it's classic or new because people deserve new opportunities here,” she added.
QM, al-Khayareen noted, plans to organise a bigger manga-style competition in the country, which will also allow different age categories to participate.
Al Jazi Saeed al-Khayareen at the event.
“I feel like Anime (animations) is quite popular (here) and it's also linked to art and fashion, it's linked to storytelling it's people's creativity being showcased,” she said.
It is learnt that the growing popularity of Japanese anime and cartoons boosts Qatar’s art scene to be more vibrant, and helped form a huge community of artists, cosplayers, and enthusiasts.
Al-Khayareen expressed confidence that manga-style events will spur further strengthening of bilateral relations between Qatar and Japan, especially in the area of culture and arts.
She noted that Japan is QM’s first partner country for its Years of Culture Programme, which marks its 10th anniversary this year.
“Japan is one of the countries that we've been having really good solid relations with. Now, we will beat the pandemic and further strengthen these relations and hopefully, because of the pandemic, this will even help us push our limits,” she said, adding that QM is also working on a mural art projects with Japan.