“MAMAN” – Louise Bourgois

Art

When first placed in the Qatar National Convention Center’s main lobby, many people were unhappy about the striking bronze, steel and marble piece of art.

However, after understanding the artist’s (Louise Bourgeois) rationale behind this imposing sculpture, it has become a beloved part of QNCC that after the initial shock, visitors and patrons alike fall in love with.

THE SPIDER IS AN ODE TO MY MOTHER. SHE WAS MY BEST FRIEND. LIKE A SPIDER, MY MOTHER WAS A WEAVER. SPIDERS ARE FRIENDLY PRESENCES THAT ARE HELPFUL AND PROTECTIVE, JUST LIKE MY MOTHER.

Louise Bourgeois

What looks like a scary monster from your childhood nightmares, is actually a fragile moment of a protective mother carrying three marble eggs. Bourgois’ mother used to repair tapestries in her father’s textile shop, so the spider makes sense, spinning and weaving webs just like her mother.

And just like her mother, a spider mom sacrifices herself for her children, giving further parallels between the sculpture and her mother’s untimely death when Bourgeois was just 21.

SMOKE – Tony Smith

Art

SMOKE is arguably the most famous sculpture be Tony Smith. The original was constructed out of plywood in 1967, but the one standing in front of Doha’s Exhibition and Convention Center (DECC) today is constructed out of aluminum and painted black.

Tony Smith’s “Smoke” is the only piece he meant for an indoor space, but in Doha, it stands outdoors and open for the public to interact with freely.

I remember seeing this sculpture in one of the atriums of the Los Angeles Country Museum of Art (LACMA) back in 2012, but seeing it in an open space amongst West Bay’s skyscrapers felt even nicer. It allows one to appreciate the sculpture’s size, it’s solid yet fluid structure. Just like smoke, it fills up its area in unexpected yet beautiful ways, an ode to geometry and Smith’s talent as not just an artist, but an art theorist.

QSTP – Qatar Science and Technology Park

Art

The Qatar Science and Technology Park is a free-trade zone in the middle of Qatar Foundation’s Education City, next to campuses of universities like Carnegie MellonCornellGeorgetownNorthwesternTexas A&M and Virginia Commonwealth.

This 800 million USD project by Qatar Foundation aims to grow Qatar’s knowledge economy, with over 1000 professionals and scientists working as part of companies located at QSTP, as well as the QSTP management and services, such as their in-house incubator and accelerator, XLR8.

The gorgeous space has plenty of green areas between the single and multipurpose buildings, designed by Australian architecture firm Woods Bagot.

QSTP includes  EADSExxonMobilGEMicrosoftRolls-RoyceShellTotal and other companies, labs, production studios and startups.