Ala­noud Al Buainain

Qatar Today - - THE TREND SETTERS -

“Change is in­evitable; it can’t be stopped. But it’s nice to see this be­ing doc­u­mented through art.”

Look­ing back

Af­ter ac­quir­ing a de­gree in art, de­sign (and some el­e­ments of art his­tory) in Bos­ton three years ago, Ala­noud Al Buainain re­turned to Doha and be­gan work­ing with Qatar Mu­se­ums. Since then she has sub­merged her­self in the lo­cal art scene, get­ting reac­quainted with older artists and find­ing ex­cit­ing new ones. “What are our artists try­ing to tell us? What are they about? Where are they?” are some of the ques­tions she tries to an­swer. “Some of the art I'm find­ing in Qatar re­volve around the theme of change in dif­fer­ent as­pects within the so­ci­ety,” she says. The tone is pri­mar­ily pos­i­tive, with a tinge of nos­tal­gia. “Change is in­evitable; it can't be stopped. But it's nice to see this be­ing doc­u­mented through art.” She points at one of the works in ‘ Here There’: Maryam Al Ho­maid's trib­ute to Doha's van­ish­ing round­abouts. The dig­i­tal art in­stal­la­tion brings to life in all their 3D glory some of Doha's most iconic round­abouts. This is a great ex­am­ple of the cur­rent com­men­tary on change in the art world. “The re­moval of the round­abouts might have made a pos­i­tive im­pact but nev­er­the­less they evoke cer­tain sen­ti­ments in the viewer. The struc­tures on th­ese round­abouts were land­marks them­selves, help­ing us nav­i­gate the city. So there is this sense of try­ing to keep the mem­ory of th­ese el­e­ments alive, even though they are long gone,” she says.

Crys­tal gaz­ing

“The strong sense of pri­vacy within the Qatari so­ci­ety doesn't mean that there is no com­mu­ni­ca­tion,” Al Buainain points out. “There are many artists who put their work out there through so­cial me­dia, many who are in­tro­duced to me through other artists. They have stud­ied to­gether or learnt about one an­other through oth­ers. So there is a dia­logue go­ing on even though it's not so much out there.” Of­ten, her mission is to un­cover the links be­tween the dif­fer­ent per­spec­tives and bring out their co­a­les­cent mean­ing. This in­volves a lot of re­search, dis­cus­sions with the artists, vis­it­ing their stu­dios and writ­ing about it. “I cer­tainly want to work on more ex­hi­bi­tions this year and cre­ate long-term col­lab­o­ra­tions with lo­cal artists.” Mean­while, she con­tin­ues to dab­ble in art on her own, ex­per­i­ment­ing with her artis­tic voice and dif­fer­ent medi­ums and ma­te­ri­als. Al Buainain's own Chro

no­pho­bia, Chro­mo­pho­bia, a pair of all black and all white pieces that is part of Here

There, ex­plores how con­fu­sion in vi­su­al­i­sa­tion can com­pletely al­ter a mean­ing. “I am still learn­ing,” she says modestly, “and will con­tinue cre­at­ing art at a pace that I am con­fi­dent with.”

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