As the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 draws nearer, Qatar Museums revealed a widespread public art initiative that will be carried out throughout the entire country, not just the nation’s capital Doha. Forty new works of art will be added to the already existing seventy, helping to convert the country’s communal areas such as parks, rail stations, hotel courts, malls, cultural institutions, Hamad International Airport, and the eight World Cup 2022 stadiums into an extensive outdoor art gallery.
Sheikha Al-Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, chairperson of Qatar Museums (also known as The National Museum of Qatar), announced: “Public art is one of our most prominent demonstrations of cultural exchange, where we present works from artists of all nationalities and backgrounds. From the arrivals at the best airport in the world — Hamad International Airport — to every neighborhood in our nation, public art is there to make your experience unique."
The addition of forty new pieces of art is a significant milestone for Qatar. This autumn, the public art extravaganza features installations by great artists including Jeff Koons, Ugo Rondinone, Yayoi Kusama, Katharina Fritsch, Shilpa Gupta, and Shouq Al Mana among other international artists. For example, Jeff Koons’ Dungong is a huge steel version of the marine mammal native to the Persian Gulf. Shilpa Gupta is fitting a light installation at Stadium 974, while Yayoi Kusama’s copious polka dots and pumpkins are most likely to be on display across the streets as well. Works by regional and Qatari artists will also be presented in the public art program; these will be projects by Adel Abidin, Ahmed Al-Bahrani, Shouq Al-Mana, Shua’a Al-Muftah, Salman Al-Malek, Monira Al-Qadiri, Simone Fattal and Faraj Daham.
Qatar Creates is a national cultural society that curates, promotes, and applauds the diversity of cultural activities in the nation all year round. Qatar Museums shared a press release stating that Qatar was among the first in the region to establish a public art program which currently features pieces by Richard Serra, Tom Claaseen, Bruce Nauman, Louise Bourgeois, and Urs Fischer. Her Excellency Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani said: “Our longstanding commitment to public art is visible across Qatar, and we hope these works will be welcomed by locals and enhance the experiences had by the millions of visitors we expect to welcome to Doha this year.” The FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 kicks off on Nov. 21.