Throughout the Doha International Book Fair, one can see visual artists working on creative projects while visitors watch them. Next to the main stage, where discussion forums are held, one can see visual art side by side with literary and intellectual discussions in a symphony of creativity at this major cultural event.
Fahd Al-Maadid, visual artist and coordinator of visual arts demonstrations at the book fair, explained that the demonstrations are based on the directives of His Excellency Sheikh Abdul Rahman bin Hamad Al Thani, Minister of Culture. His Excellency chose the book fair as a venue for these demonstrations to make a statement that visual arts are an essential part of culture and that creative writing and visual arts are complementary. Al-Maadid expressed his gratitude to His Excellency, the Minister of Culture, for this initiative which positions visual arts at the heart of culture and cultural events.
Al-Maadid noted that the paintings reflect the nature of the book fair and that visitors are becoming more familiar with visual arts. He added that visitors are becoming more and more curious about painting materials, tools, and colors. Some visitors even requested to commission art works, but Al-Maadid explained that the art works are for demonstration only, and not for sale.
Al-Maadid emphasized that there is a wide range of visuals arts demonstrations at the fair. Visual arts booths offer demonstrations on ceramics, pyrography, photo editing, and painting. He described the painting he was working on at the book fair as an art piece that aims to catch the eye by utilizing yellow, which he described as one of the most powerful colors in nature. As for the theme of his painting, he described it as an abstraction.
Hassan Al-Haddad, an artist participating in the demonstrations, commented that “Art has its audience the same way books do, and art is part of culture just like books. Brining together art and books is only natural.” As for his art work, he explained that books are the theme of his painting, which symbolizes the presence of books in daily life, their special place in our homes, and their abstract immortality.
Masoud Al-Bulouchi, a participating artist, said, “The theme of the book fair represents the idea of books as a source of enlightenment and culture. We would like to see cultural synergies diffused at the fair. It is like a symposium that mixes knowledge and art.” He added that brining artists and authors together is an excellent opportunity, as it can promote books on arts and inspire artists.
Alyaa Al-Nuaymi, another participating artist, said, “I am participating with four paintings related to the theme of the book fair. Two of them are about medicine and two about astronomy.” She explained that it is her first experience painting at the book fair, and she highly commended its organization. She is pleased to see exhibits and booths that focus on visual arts, and it has been a wonderful opportunity for her to meet artists from different schools of art.