Photo: Neil van der Linden

The Alriwaq Exhibition Hall during the Murakami exhibition.

Next to the Museum of Islamic Art is the location of the Alriwaq Exhibition Hall, a large square-shaped, multi-purpose  building.

The meaning of Alriwaq in Arabic is an arcade open on one side, traditionally the transition space between indoor and outdoor spaces, and a shelter against sunlight or rain. So, in a way, the Doha Alriwaq space is such an informal space, where people can walk in and out.

Jean-Paul Engelen is director of the public-arts program of Doha and responsible for the exhibitions in the Alriwaq hall, among other issues. He is a main adviser of Sheikha Mayassa Al Thani (daughter of the Emir and by now the main patron of arts in Qatar).

During Spring 2012, the hall hosted a large-scale exhibition dedicated to the Japanese artist Takashi Murakami. It seems that some people in Qatar considered the exhibition somewhat ‘confronting’, at least in family context, although Murakami’s work must appear familiar to younger generations that are familiar with manga cartoons and the graphics of computer games.

For Autumn 2012, the Alriwaq hosts an exhibition from the Orientalist Museum, ‘Art of Travel: Bartholomäus Schachman (1559-1614)’. Schachman was a Polish major who traveled throughout the Ottoman Empire during the 16th century.  Watercolor miniatures painted during his travels take visitors on a journey through Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East, highlight the people, places and customs he encountered.

Alriwaq Exhibition Hall interior, the main exhibtion space during the Muraami exhibition

Sculpture of Murakami

Giant sculpture of Murakami

Giant sculpture of Murakami

The giant statue of Murakami himself in the front hall of the Al Riwaq Exhibtion Space


The artistic manager of the Alriwaq exhibition hall  is Jean Paul Engelen

Written by: Neil Last modified: 1st Apr 2014