By Raynald C Rivera / The Peninsula
Doha: Qatari and Chinese photographers have captured through their lenses striking parallelisms between their distinct cultures revealed through 72 stunning images on display at the “Cultures, From Different Angles” exhibition, which is a part of “Qatar China 2016 Year of Culture” programme. The exhibition opened last night at Katara Building 19 and is open to the public until the end of this month.
The expo is the culmination of a photographic exchange programme during which two Qatari and four Chinese photographers travelled to each other’s countries on a two-week long expedition to understand and visually communicate a way of life different from their own.
Inspired by the rich Chinese culture and heritage, Qatari lensman Ahmed Al Khulaifi’s series depict the 1300-year-old ‘cormorant fishing’ tradition of fishermen in China’s Li River which he likened to traditional falconry in Qatar. He said he related to the fishermen as he grew up on the Arabian Gulf and has always lived and worked close to the sea.
Saeed Al Marri, on the other hand, was struck by the similarities between the ethnic Mongols of northern China and his own culture. He took breathtaking photographs of Mongols astride their pure-bred horses which are one of their prized possessions similar to Arabian horses in Qatar and the region.
Al Marri said he was particularly impressed by the hospitality and generosity of the Mongols towards him as well as their hardwork and unique way of life which has been preserved for thousands of years amid progress and development witnessed in other parts of China.
Prolific Chinese photographer Bao Lixia was most impressed by the traditional clothing worn by the Qatari people,which she tried to convey in her work while Huang Zuxiang focused on the fishing boats, fishermen, busy markets and cityscapes of Doha.
Reflected on Liu Zhining’s photos is the mix of tradition and modernity in Qatar while Xu Xinrong focused on Qatar’s Falcon Hospital at Souq Waqif and on Doha as a coastal city located in the desert.
Presented in collaboration with the Zhejiang Provincial Department of Culture and the Ministry of Culture of China, the exhibition is a unique visual interpretation of ‘Qatar China 2016 Year of Culture’ documenting the respective journeys of discovery of the six photographers in understanding each other’s way of life and presenting them visually.
“This exhibition perfectly encapsulates the core values of the Years of Culture initiative in promoting mutual understanding between both Qatar and China. While interacting with people in their natural environments, the photographers present us with deeper insights into both Chinese and Qatari culture in this stunning collection of photography, representing each photographers individual style and experience,” said Mohammed Al Othman, Public and International Relations Director at Qatar Museums. This is the third photography exhibition held in Qatar as part of the Years of Culture initiative.