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Art expo reflects thriving anime world in Qatar

Art expo reflects thriving anime world in Qatar

Ailyn Agonia
QATARI artist Abdulaziz Yousef underlined the big fan base of anime in Qatar, as well as the growing influence of Japanese cartoons on local artists during the opening of The Colour Bar exhibition in Building 19 at Katara Cultural Village recently.
He was one of the six Qatari artists, who captured on canvas their love and influence of anime as well as Western cartoons in their own, distinct styles and showcased the works in the uniquely-themed art event.
"Anime fans are a big community in Qatar. The annual Ajyal Youth Film Festival runs a Geekdom where a lot of people show interest in anime fan art. Also, many people from Qatar are travelling around the world to take part in conventions, specifically on anime. I think the awareness and the community itself is going bigger than we all think," Abdulaziz told the local media.
The artist, whose featured works are inspired by memories of his grandmother, said his love of anime took him to various comic conventions abroad and made him visit the studios in Japan. Abdulaziz produced his first animation in Japan and is currently working on a film in India.
Talking about The Colour Bar exhibition, Abdulaziz said the title referred to television colour bars, adding that the six Qatari artists collaborated to reflect on the different animations popular in Qatari society.
Another artist Kholoud al Ali presents a collection of fun and colourful portrayals of different moods of girls highlighted with a centrepiece which, according to her, portrays a girl engaged in a creative activity.
"Anime started getting popular in Qatar in my generation. When we were young we liked to watch anime dubbed in Arabic and it became really famous. At that time, I thought, I was the only one obsessed with anime, but while growing up I discovered a large community in Doha shared my interest. I found out so many people are watching anime, into cosplay or collectors. Unfortunately, anime is a little underrated in the art scene," Kholoud said.
"I would like to thank Katara for giving us a platform to showcase our works to the wider audience. Generally, we showcase our works through social media. This exhibition has given us an opportunity to meet and interact with people personally and get their feedbacks on our works. This is an entirely different experience for us," she added.
Another artist Hamad al Mataowa has presented a collection of classic cartoons, which he said, he is most fond of. The works, according to him, intend to appeal to the older audience reminding them of their own childhood.
"I have been painting for 10 years. Our different art inspirations reflect the changing trends in our society. Through this we want to show that not only Japanese or American artists can come up with such art. We are also capable of creating our own animation," Mataowa said.


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