What stories do the artworks in the exhibition tell?
The artworks broadcast an interactive and optimistic view through the [choice of] colours, the topic of the painting or the installation. All of them were dyed with vibrant colours that give rise to optimism and also dealt with the topic of COVID-19 with eyes of hope and happiness.
Works related to nostalgia and happiness by the artists Shatha Al-Shammari and Eman Al-Sulaiti are some of my favourites because they illustrate exactly how the situation went through during the pandemic. Also, I was very thankful to the art master Qatari artist Ali Hassan for his participation, as he always encourages the young artists. Having him with us was very powerful.
What do you hope people take away from the exhibition?
Despite all the misfortunes, we must be patient and optimistic, discover the abilities that are within us, and let art always be preserved from loss and extinction.
How do you think art helps connect people across cultures?
Art influences society by changing opinions, instilling values and translating experiences across space and time. Also, art in this sense is communication; it allows people from different cultures and different times to communicate with each other via images, sounds and stories. Art is often a vehicle for social change. Throughout history, art and culture of various kinds and forms has been part of the evolution of our societies.
How has the exhibition been received?
Art is one of the universal languages that all human beings understand and use to communicate. Art allowed us to speak to others across the place. All the participating artists felt that art has a social as well as an aesthetic impact to communicate in ways that can be powerful especially during the current time of the global pandemic. The exhibition fits well within our cultural year between Qatar and the USA, allowing the people to look and respond to the artists’ works as well as to the two cultures' collaboration.
Do you plan to do something similar in the future?
This exhibition has opened the path to more global collaborations in the future. At the end I would like to thank QM, Year of Culture, USA embassy, the W hotel and all the participating artists for their belief in the importance of visual sense and how it connects cultures [as well as] their support in this exhibition.