The Museum of Islamic Art of Doha opened its new temporary exhibition THE HUNT. Princely Pursuits in Islamic Lands to the public last week. Its design and museographic execution was awarded to ACCIONA Producciones y Diseño (APD).
The design and execution of the exhibition, which shows the relationship between art and hunting, is based on the fact that hunting culture has traditionally been an essential element in the lifestyle of rules in the Islamic world, and it uses innovative museum resources to demonstrate the link such as large-format immersive screens and interactive display devices.
The official opening ceremony took place last 15th of September and was attended by leading Qatari authorities, among them Sheikh Hassan bin Mohammed bin Ali Al-Thani, Vice Chairperson of Qatar Museums. More than 70,000 visitors are expected before it closes in January 2016.
In total, THE HUNT displays more than eighty works, including illustrated manuscripts, metal inlays, polychrome ceramics, hunting equipment and a large collection of rifles from the Islamic era. They are contained in 40 glass cases in thematic areas, among them a large central octagonal module called “Treasure Box”. The interior of the room emulates a tent in which hunters celebrate a hunting session with a feast. In the center, a 6-meter floating dome is located, onto which an audiovisual is projected with scenes that contextualize the works on display. The dome-screen is suspended above a reflecting floor to give visitors the impression that they are participating in the projection directly.
On the outside, the “Treasure Box” is covered by two layers of weft fabric, one showing details of some of the works on display while the other – with a golden color that evokes the treasure hidden inside it – has iconographic references that represent different moments associated with hunting and the elites and other related themes (the struggle, the sport of polo, celebrations, etc.). The impact of this section gains strength through lighting changes that highlight one layer or another.
APD, consistent with its commitment to social and environmental innovation, has created a project that can be easily accessed by people with physical or sensorial disabilities. It optimizes energy consumption through the use of LED lighting inside the display cases, meaning a 60% saving in electricity consumption and, therefore, lower CO2 emissions, and also guaranteeing an absence of ultraviolet and infra-red light that could affect the items on display.
APD consolidates its presence in Qatar through “The Hunt”, as it has previously staged other temporary exhibitions, two in the Museum of Islamic Art, one dedicated to the diplomat Ludwig von Kuefstein titled Heritage of Art Diplomacy: Memoirs of an Ambassador and another on the Pilgrimage to Mecca, Hajj. The Journey through Art, plus a third in the Al Riwarq Exhibition Hall titled The Art of Travel: Bartholomäus Schachman (1559-1614). Msheireb Downtown Doha Heritage Houses will be opened shortly, consisting of four thematic museums located in four traditional Qatari houses covering a surface area of 3,000 square meters, in which APD has carried out the technical implementation and museographic execution.