DOHA: The Hamad International Airport (HIA) which launches today is home to a number of public art installations by famous local, regional and international artists.
For over five years, Qatar Museums Authority (QMA) has commissioned and acquired artworks for key locations in and around the site of the new HIA.
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.
Qatari artist Faraj Duham has been commissioned to create large-scale murals while 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.
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.
“We are proud to install works of artists from Qatar, the region and the world. The Hamad International Airport has become one of the busiest airports around the world with Qatar Airways being one of the best carriers. The QMA is honoured to be asked by NDIA Steering Committee to select works of art that would welcome travellers from all over the world. In Qatar, culture is at the heart of its human and national development — and there is no better place to creatively welcome visitors and residents than the airport itself. Through this partnership, the NDIA Steering Committee and QMA bring a cultural experience from landing at Hamad International Airport and facilitating access to Qatar’s cultural landmarks in the city. We look forward to continuing this collaboration, bringing more art to our community,” said a senior QMA official.
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.”
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.