Doha’s art installations honor the country’s rich cultural heritage. High art is referred to as Haute I’art (or ‘High Art’). Sculptures, paintings, and other artistic creations are common examples of this art. Many art installations celebrate the country’s culture in the hab district. This type of art usually involves the use of large-scale, three-dimensional pieces that are placed in public spaces. If you are visiting Doha, be sure to check out these 10 installation art pieces that are absolutely not to be missed!

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Installation art pieces in Doha you absolutely cannot miss

1. César’s Pouce in Souq Waqif

Pouce by César Baldaccini

César’s Pouce is a public artwork by French artist César Baldaccini located in Souq Waqif, Qatar. The artwork was commissioned by Qatar Museums in 2013 and installed in 2015. The sculpture is made of bronze and is 10 meters tall. It is based on the thumb of the artist’s right hand, which he amputated in 1964.

The artwork is a portrait of Qatar and its people. It is a representation of the country’s strength and resilience, as well as its ability to overcome challenges.

César’s Pouce is a reminder of the importance of human connection and the power of art to inspire and bring people together. It is a reminder of the important role that art can play in public spaces. It is a welcoming presence in Souq Waqif, and its simple yet powerful design is a perfect reflection of the character of the area.

2. The Miraculous Journey in front of Sidra Medical Centre

The Miraculous Journey in front of Sidra Medical Centre

The Miraculous Journey at Sidra Medical & Research Centre comprises 14 monumental bronze sculptures by Damien Hirst. The sculptures illustrate the development of the fetus from conception to birth and are installed in a circular forming a spiral. The first sculpture of a fertilized egg is microscopic, whilst the last, of a newborn baby, is over two meters tall.

The Journey begins with a sculpture of a fertilized egg, suspended in a liquid-filled sac, and ends with a full-term baby in the birth canal. In between, there are 12 other sculptures depicting various stages of fetal development, from implantation to the moment just before birth.

The bronze sculptures are incredibly lifelike, and each one is unique. They were cast using a lost-wax process, which allows for very precise details. The level of detail is so high that each hair on the fetus’ head is visible.  They are intended to be both a celebration of life and a reminder of the fragility of human existence.

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3. Gandhi’s Three Monkeys in Katara Cultural Village

Gandhi’s Three Monkeys

Subodh Gupta’s sculpture, Gandhi’s Three Monkeys, is centrally located in Katara Cultural Village. The three head-shaped sculptures each represent a monkey from the fable ‘The Three Wise Monkeys’. The three monkeys are symbolic of the principle ‘see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil’.

The sculpture is made from stainless steel and stands at a height of 3 meters. It was installed in Katara Cultural Village in 2008. The three-part sculpture tackles the difficult themes of war and peace. Consists of three heads: one in a gas mask, one as a soldier, and the other as a terrorist hood. Each piece is made up of kitchen tools, used pails, traditional Indian lunch boxes, and glass bowls.

4. 7 at the Museum of Islamic Art Park

7 at the Museum of Islamic Art Park, by Richard Serra

Designed by the American artist, Richard Serra, 7 at the Museum of Islamic Art Park is a steel sculpture that stands nearly 80 feet tall. The sculpture is located in MIA Park in Qatar. And is a tribute to the Museum of Islamic Art and its rich collection of Islamic art and artifacts. With an homage to the number seven’s spiritual significance in Islamic culture.

The sculpture is made up of seven steel plates that are welded together at the edges. The plates are then curved and bent to create the final shape of the sculpture. The sculpture is painted a bright red, which makes it stand out against the backdrop of MIA Park. 

Visitors to MIA Park can enjoy the sculpture from various angles, as it is located in an open area of the park. The sculpture is also illuminated at night, making it a beautiful sight to behold.

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5. Shadows traveling on the sea of the day in the desert north of Al Zubarah 

Shadows travelling on the sea of the day in the desert north of Al Zubarah 

The ‘Shadows traveling on the sea of the day in the desert north of Al Zubarah, Doha is an art installation created by the artist Icelandic-Danish artist Olafur Eliasson.  The twenty circular shelters, three single rings, and two double rings that comprise this site-specific artwork appear to be strewn about the desert landscape at first glance. However, they are arranged along the axes of a fivefold symmetrical pattern, with the ten shelters in the center forming a pentagram.

Mirror panels cover the underside of the circular roofs, reflecting the curved pipe segment that supports the roof. This gives the appearance of the pipes doubling into full rings, connecting the real landscape with the reflected space.

6. Lamp Bear at the Hamad International Airport

Lamp Bear at the Hamad International Airport

Lamp Bear by Urs Fischer at the Hamad International Airport, Doha is a plush 23-foot yellow teddy bear sculpted from fiberglass, polyester, and stainless steel. Lamp Bear is just one of many works of art by Urs Fischer that can be found in public spaces.  Whether you love or hate his work, there’s no denying that Urs Fischer is one of the most important artists working today. His sculptures are playful and often bizarre.

Lamp Bear greets passengers at Doha International Airport. It celebrates the concept of travel, just as the artist celebrates traveling back in time to childhood symbols – a place we’ve all been to and like to return to now and then. The yellow bear and its lamp are both playful and impressive: the maturation of a simple toy into a mature work of art. 

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7. Maman at National Convention Centre 

Maman in Qatar National Convention Centre

Maman is a bronze, stainless steel, marble sculpture by the artist Louise Bourgeois. The spider sculpture is one of the world’s largest, standing over 30 feet tall and 33 feet wide. It has a sac containing 32 marble eggs and a ribbed bronze abdomen and thorax.

Bourgeois captures a vulnerable moment in which a protective mother transports her eggs. She delves into the meaning of motherhood and alludes to the strength of her mother, whom she lost when she was twenty-one years old.

The metaphors of spinning and weaving are striking because her mother repaired tapestries in her father’s textile workshop. The sculpture draws viewers in, connecting them to personal memories from their childhood.

8. Flag of Glory in the National Museum of Qatar

Flag of Glory in National Museum of Qatar

On National Day, Qataris and non-Qataris alike celebrate the country’s embrace of race, culture, and gender impartially. One of the most iconic representations of this spirit is Ahmed Al Bahrani’s 2019 sculpture Flag of Glory.

At nearly 8 meters tall, the sculpture is hard to miss. It shows two hands supporting each other as they raise the Qatari flag with unstoppable force. The sculpture is made of bronze, with the flag itself being made of steel.

According to Al Bahrani, the sculpture is meant to be a testimony to how the country of Qatar embraces race, culture, and gender impartially. He also said that it is meant to honor the people and leadership of Qatar.

The Burgundy color featured prominently in the sculpture is significant for a few reasons. Firstly, it is one of the colors of the Qatari flag. Secondly, it is a color that runs through all of our veins, signifying the unity of all Qataris.

The Flag of Glory is a powerful reminder of the strength and determination of the people of Qatar. It is a fitting addition to the National Museum of Qatar, and a great way to celebrate National Day.

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9. The Pearl Monument in Doha Chronicle

The Pearl Monument

Qatar is a small country located in the Middle East. Despite its size, Qatar has a rich culture and history. One important aspect of Qatar’s history is its pearling industry.

The pearl’s significance is still honored throughout Qatar today. There is a giant Pearl Monument in Doha, a luxury artificial island called The Pearl. Pearl Qatar was built on one of the nation’s major pearl-diving sites, and the annual Qatar Marine Festival showcases pearling methods as well as its history.

And located on Corniche Street, just before entering Dhow Harbor, stands the Pearl Monument. The fountain sculpture depicts a giant open oyster presenting a massive pearl in its mouth. This fountain, which lights up at night, provides an ideal photo opportunity while paying homage to Qatar’s pearling history.

Qatar’s pearl diving industry may no longer be booming, but the country’s Pearl Monument is a beautiful reminder of its history.

10. Dugong in Doha Corniche

Dugong by Jeff Koons

Image Courtesy: Qatar museums

The Qatar Museums commissioned American artist Jeff Koons to create a massive, temporary public artwork for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022. The result is “Dugong,” a 21-meter tall inflatable sculpture of the marine mammal that has called the Arabian Gulf home for millennia.

Dugongs are gentle, ubiquitous creatures that have long held a place in the human imagination. They are often referred to as “sea cows” due to their slow, plant-eating habits. These docile animals can grow up to three meters long and weigh up to 400 kilograms.

The Qatar Museums commissioned Jeff Koons because of his ability to take everyday objects and transform them into something new and exciting. Koons is one of the world’s best-known contemporary artists, and his work often sells for millions of dollars at auction.

“Dugong” is a larger-than-life imagining of the creature, gliding effortlessly through a marine habitat. The sculpture is a celebration of Qatar’s natural heritage and the world’s second-largest population of dugongs. 

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Doha is home to some of the most amazing installation art in the world. From the giant Qatar flag to the beautiful aquatic sculptures, there is something for everyone to enjoy. To book tickets to the most fun things to do in Doha be sure to check out TicketsToDo.