If you ever plan to visit Doha and you appreciate modern art, you HAVE to go to Mathaf. This is my favorite place in Qatar so far. Mathaf ('museum' in Arabic) is a new institution dedicated to Arab culture and creativity opened in Doha December 2010. The museum is home to a permanent collection offering a unique and comprehensive overview of modern Arab art, and is poised to become a vital centre for dialogue and scholarship in the region.
Even though I have only been to Mathaf's temporary exhibition in Al Riwaq, I'm pretty much sure that the main location is just as good if not even better. I got the chance to visit Mathaf's exhibitions titled "Interventions" and "Told Untold Retold" which are open until the 28th of May. "Interventions" celebrates the work and artistic development of 5 major modern Arab artists. "Told Untold Retold" features newly commissioned work by 23 contemporary artists. I fell in love with both exhibitions. So many amazing talents all from our region. The exhibitions were a mix of paintings, sculptures, and installations.
I had one small issue though and I must send my sincerest apologies to Mathaf's team and the security guys specifically whom I gave a very hard time because photography was prohibited, and I just had to sneakily take some photos. There were at least 20 security guard around and I had to act and pretend that I didn't know photography was prohibited and give them that innocent look after snapping my pic of course. So by the time I got to the last section of the Mathaf, two security guards were following me around just like a shadow. Hence the low resolution photos. However, you can view some photos of the main location here.
One piece (1st and 2nd photo) that caught my attention is by an artist called Ghada Amer. She has used 100 Arabic synonymous for the word love in a circular shape with lights shining through the sphere. Beautifully designed.