Qatar Museums unveils latest public art installation by Dia al-Azzawi at Hamad International Airport

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Under the patronage of its Chairperson, Her Excellency Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, Qatar Museums (QM) and Hamad International Airport (HIA) today unveiled two iconic sculptures designed by renowned Iraqi artist Dia al-Azzawi for passengers to enjoy while flying in and out of HIA airport.

Titled Flying Man, Dia al-Azzawi’s unique sculptures will now join the growing and outstanding collection of paintings and installations by local and international artists at the airport.

The sculptures are based on the story of Abu Firnas, a historical figure from the Islamic world who was an early pioneer in experimenting with flight. Through these sculptures, al-Azzawi aims to create a monument to celebrate travelling in the modern age. The two tall cylinder sculptures are inspired by the pillars that appeared in Mesopotamia, an ancient region, in the third century B.C.

The airport installation comes at the same time as a major retrospective exhibition of the work of Dia al-Azzawi, which has opened simultaneously in Qatar at Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art and QM Gallery Al Riwaq in Doha, until 16th April 2017.

Khalid Yousef Al Ibrahim, Chief Strategic Planning Officer at Qatar Museums, said:

“At QM, we continue to deliver our promise of creating cultural experiences outside of our museums for everyone to interact with and enjoy. We are proud of our commitment of adding world-class art by local, regional and international artists to our exquisite collection already on display at HIA to inspire the millions of visitors and residents who fly through the airport each year.

“Dia al-Azzawi is a significant, leading artistic figure and also a long standing friend of Qatar Museums, and we are proud to showcase his work at HIA.”

Engr. Badr Mohammed Al Meer, Chief Operating Officer of Hamad International Airport said: “The Flying Man sculpture by artist Dia al- Azzawi has found the perfect home at our airport as both the sculpture and our state-of-the-art terminal represent the celebration of travel. The impressive proportions of the installation allows both arriving and departing passengers at HIA to enjoy the sculpture.”

QM has worked with local, regional and international artists for over six years to commission and acquire artworks for key locations in and around Hamad International Airport. The art comprises a mix of site-specific creations as well as pieces which have been carefully selected for the airport. Currently on show at the airport are works by four Qatari artists including Amal Al Raban, Ali Hassan, Mubarak Al Malik and Salman Al Malik, in the Oryx and Al Maha lounges.

Public Art is a central programme in QM’s mission to push the boundaries of the traditional museum model and to offer cultural experiences in public spaces. The art installed at Hamad International Airport supports this goal as well as the pillars of Qatar’s National Vision 2030 of education and engagement with Qatari society.

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