For over five years, QMA has worked with local, regional and international artists to commission and acquire artworks for key locations in and around the site of the new Hamad International Airport (HIA) set to open this week.
Public Art is a central programme in QMA’s mission to push the boundaries of the traditional museum model and to offer cultural experiences in public spaces. The art works comprise of a mix of site-specific creations as well as others which have been acquired for the airport. Qatari artist Faraj Duham has been commissioned to create large-scale murals whilst artist Ali Hassan is producing an iconic desert horse sculpture, to be installed in the near future. Other local artists include Mohammed Aljaida, Mubarak Al Malik, Amal Alatham, and Yousif Ahmed
The first of the international installations, entitled Lamp Bear by the Swiss artist Urs Fischer, is installed in a prominent location at the centre of the airport. Dutch artist Tom Claassen has produced a series of sculptures of the Oryx, an antelope native to the Arabian Peninsula, which appear as a herd in the Arrivals hall of the airport. Works will be revealed progressively over the next year and feature pieces by international artists including: Adel Abdessemed, Dia Azzawi, Ahmed Al Bahrani, Maurizio Cattelan, Don Gummer, Keith Haring, Damien Hirst, Jenny Holzer, Tom Otterness, Marc Quinn, Anselm Reyle, Rudolf Stingel and Bill Viola.
A senior official of the NDIA Steering Committee added:
It has been an extraordinary experience to work with Qatar Museums Authority on this project. We have been very successful in the integration of multiple elements of the airport to create not only a functional terminal, not only an iconic piece of architecture, but also a space where art and architecture merge to create a unique passenger experience.’
In addition to the public art works, the photographs of local artists Mohammad Al Misnad, Hussein Mohammad Al Shafei, Sarah Abd Al Majed and Arioseto Kusuma Adi will be on permanent display in the departure hall of HIA, having won the opportunity to exhibit their work at the airport during a 2012 photography competition.
As well as the artworks, there will be a QMA store and café within the airport. Travellers will be able to purchase merchandise or gift items relating to the museums, exhibitions and cultural programmes from QMA, and enjoy food and drink from the café inspired by both international and regional cuisine.
The installations at HIA are some of the latest additions to the Public Artworks unveiled by QMA. The works join a strong portfolio of public art pieces including Richard Serra’s East-West/West-East (Brouq Nature Reserve), Damien Hirst’s The Miraculous Journey (Sidra Medical and Research Center) , Louise Bourgeois’ Maman (Qatar National Convention Center, Qatar Foundation), Richard Serra’s 7 (Museum of Islamic Art Park), Subodh Gupta Gandhi’s Three Monkeys (Katara Cultural Village), Sarah Lucas’ Perceval (Aspire Park), El Seed’s Calligraffiti Project (Salwa Road Tunnels), and Anne Geddes’ Healthy Living From The Start (Hamad Medical Corporation’s Women’s Hospital).