On November 10th and 11th, 2019, Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts in Qatar (VCU-Q) hosted the prestigious 8th Biennial Hamad bin Khalifa Symposium on Islamic Art.
The Symposium occurs every two years, with each edition having its own unique theme. For this year’s edition, the theme was “The Seas and the Mobility of Islamic Art.” The event featured a panel discussion and debate on various subjects and topics, such as “Seas Imagined and Depicted in Middle Eastern Art, Maps and Geography”; “Transoceanic Movement, Muslim-Centered Design, and Architecture in the Twentieth and Twenty-First Centuries”; and “Islamic Art in 11th-14th Century Chinese Port Cities”.
VCUarts Qatar, which is located within Education City in Doha, has spearheaded the country’s development of its nascent design industry and creative economy. VCUarts Qatar actively engages and collaborates with VCUarts Richmond via student exchange programs.
The co-chairs for the Symposium were VCUarts Qatar Art History professors Dr. Radha Dalal, Dr. Jochen Sokoy, and Dr. Sean Roberts. The Art History Program offered at VCUarts Qatar is the only undergraduate degree program in the entire Gulf region that combines and integrates Islamic Art with the overall trends and transformations pertaining to globalization.
Most notably, the event also hosted acclaimed scholars and speakers from various international academic institutions, such as Columbia University, University of Pennsylvania, SOAS University of London, University of Vienna, and the University of Melbourne. Lastly, the event also featured an art exhibition, “The Sea is the Limit”, at the University’s Gallery. The exhibition showcased artworks from international artists that addressed transnational socio-political issues, such as refugees, borders, migration and national identity. The art exhibition opened on November 7th and will run until December 7th, 2019.
(Image Source: Twitter – @MarhabaQatar)