Qatar-Japan 2012

We launched our Years of Culture programmes in 2012, by celebrating our friendship with Japan. We held a series of cultural events in both countries, ranging from fashion, film and performing arts, to sport, business and education. The collaborative activities highlighted unique aspects of each nation as well as shared interests.

The exchange established lasting legacies too.The $100 million Qatar Friendship Fund launched in 2012 continues to help Japan rebuild after the devastating tsunami. 

See the full details of Qatar-Japan 2012.

Express your ego

We held the first ever Middle East exhibition by Takashi Murakami, entitled 'Ego' at QM Gallery, Al Riwaq. It was a huge success, drawing visitors from across Qatar and beyond.

With work in commercial fields like fashion and merchandise, Murakami blurs the lines between high and low art. Cartoon-like explosions of colour speak to young and old, connoisseur and amateur alike. 

"Through a series of art, culture and sport events, the Qatar-Japan 2012 initiative aims to enhance mutual appreciation for each other"
H.E. Sheikha Al Mayassa, QM Chairperson

Qatari culture, Manga style

Another programme highlight was a competition that invited people to capture a fragment of Qatari culture in their very own manga cartoon. As with all our competitions, the challenge aimed to inspire new creative talent in Qatar. The lucky winner received a course of Japanese language lessons at the Qatar Eastern Language Centre, and the top three entries were showcased during a special week in Tokyo.

"The relationship between our nations is rich and diverse and encompasses business, culture and education"
Kenjiro Monji, Japan’s Ambassador to Qatar

Sharing our Pearl collection

As part of Qatar-Japan 2012, we took some of the highlights from our magnificent collection of pearls to the Hyogo Prefectural Museum of Art, in Kobe. Natural pearls have been global objects of desire for millennia, due to their beauty and rarity – roughly 2,000 oysters need to be opened to find a single, beautiful pearl.

The exhibition revolved around a storyline covering different aspects, such as formation, the importance of pearl diving in the Gulf, and jewellery design. Masterpieces on view – from 200AD to modern times - included:

- Elizabeth Taylor’s natural pearls earrings by Bvlgari
- Marilyn Monroe’s pearl necklace by Mikimoto
- Royal tiaras from European monarchies including Lady Diana’s
- A Chinese freshwater pearl purple necklace from Yoko London

Qatar Petroleum and QatarGas were Platinum sponsors of Qatar-Japan 2012.

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