UNIQLO launches JEFF Koons UT T-shirt collection ahead of Doha exhibition

Proceeds of sales to fund development of Dadu - Children's Museum of Qatar 

  

Doha – Ahead of Qatar Museums’ new exhibition Jeff Koons: Lost in America, opening at QM Gallery ALRIWAQ in Doha this November 2021, global apparel retailer UNIQLO has announced its first collection in collaboration with the world-renowned contemporary American artist. The collection, available for purchase in 24 markets which UNIQLO operates from end of September, will feature five of Koons’s iconic sculptures expressed in the refined graphic style of Uniqlo’s UT (UNIQLO T-shirt) brand. All eight items from the UT collection will be available for purchase during the event with a Balloon Dog (Orange) T-shirt offered in a unique colour only available in Doha. Exclusive early access will be extended to Qatar Museums’ Culture Pass Plus and Culture Family members from 27 – 30 September. 

A portion of the proceeds of sales will go towards funding the development of Dadu – Children’s Museum of Qatar. Dadu joins Qatar Museums’ growing network of institutions as the first to provide innovative child development settings and resources in a dedicated place for learning and growth, encouraging children, families and educators to thrive and contribute to a sustainable future. Under the leadership of Her Excellency Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, Chairperson of Qatar Museums, Dadu will focus on the specific needs and phases of each child’s development, with multiple forms of play used to support learning.

Essa Al Mannai, Director of Dadu, said: ‘This exciting collaboration collection, launching ahead of the Lost in America exhibition in Doha, offers a sneak peek of some of the artwork that will be on view at Koons’ first exhibition in the region. With a portion of the proceeds generously donated to fund the development of Dadu, members of the community can directly contribute to the future success of Qatar and its people. We invite our Culture Pass Plus and Family members and the public to visit the pop-up store at Mathaf to explore the Jeff Koons UNIQLO collection.” 

Qatar Museums will present the first exhibition in the Gulf region of the work of the American artist Koons (born 1955). Opening on 21 November 2021 as part of the Qatar-United States 2021 Year of Culture, Jeff Koons: Lost in America will be on view through 31 March 2022 at the QM Gallery ALRIWAQ, the expansive exhibition space located in MIA Park, adjacent to the Museum of Islamic Art on Doha’s Corniche. Organised by renowned curator Massimiliano Gioni, the exhibition provides a unique view into the exceptional career of one of the best-known contemporary artists, whose work bridges pop, minimalism and the readymade.

Culture Pass Plus and Culture Pass Family members can visit Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art on 27 – 30 September from 9 am – 7 pm. or at IN-Q Gift Shop to gain early access to the Jeff Koons UNIQLO collection. The collection will be available for sale to the wider public in-person at Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art pop-up store and online at Qatar Museums’ IN-Q Gift Shop from Friday, 1 October. Visitors can join Culture Pass Plus/Family memberships or upgrade their existing memberships at Mathaf’s main reception. Existing members of Plus and Family memberships can show their membership card (or a valid membership on the QM website) to be able to purchase the items in the store.

Early access to Culture Pass Plus and Culture Pass Family members does not include a discount on any items. For more information on Qatar Museums’ Culture Pass membership, please visit www.qm.org.qa/en/culture-pass-membership/ 

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About Qatar Museums

Qatar Museums (QM), the nation’s preeminent institution for art and culture, provides authentic and inspiring cultural experiences through a growing network of museums, heritage sites, festivals, public art installations, and programmes. QM preserves, restores, and expands the nation’s cultural offerings and historical sites, sharing art and culture from Qatar, the Middle East, North Africa, and South Asia (MENASA) region with the world and enriching the lives of citizens, residents, and visitors. 

Under the patronage of His Highness the Amir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, and led by its Chairperson, Her Excellency Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, QM has made Qatar a vibrant centre for the arts, culture, and education in the Middle East and beyond. QM is integral to the goal of developing an innovative, diverse, and progressive nation, bringing people together to ignite new thinking, spark critical cultural conversations, educate and encourage environmental stewardship and sustainable practices, and amplify the voices of Qatar’s people. Since its founding in 2005, QM has overseen the development of the Museum of Islamic Art and MIA Park, Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art, the National Museum of Qatar, QM Gallery Al Riwaq, QM Gallery Katara, and the Tasweer Qatar Photo Festival. Future projects include the soon to open 3-2-1 Qatar Olympic and Sports Museum, and Dadu –Children’s Museum of Qatar. 

Through its newly created Creative Hub, QM also initiates and supports projects—such as the Fire Station Artist in Residence, the Tasweer Qatar Photo Festival and the creative hub for innovation, fashion and design M7—that nurture artistic talent and create opportunities to build a strong and sustainable cultural infrastructure. 

Animating everything that Qatar Museums does is an authentic connection to Qatar and its heritage, a steadfast commitment to inclusivity and accessibility, and a belief in creating value through invention.

About QM Gallery Al Riwaq 

QM Gallery ALRIWAQ opened in 2010 adjacent to the Museum of Islamic Art in Doha. Covering a total area of 5000 square-metres, the gallery showcases world-class, large-scale exhibitions organised by QM. It often displays historic and rare objects and collections, as well as major exhibitions by international and regional artists. QM Gallery ALRIWAQ’s inaugural exhibitions included Told/Untold/Retold and Interventions, followed by Murakami-Ego in February 2012 and Mal Lawal in September 2012. Other major exhibitions showcased at the gallery include Driven by German Design (2017); What About the Art: Contemporary Art from China (2016); I am the cry, who will give voice to me? Dia al-Azzawi: A Retrospective (from 1963 until Tomorrow) (2016); Here There, Qatar Brazil (2014); Intolerance: Luc Tuymans (2015); Relics: Damien Hirst (2013); and The Art of Travel: Bartholomäus Schachman (1559-1614)” (2012).

About Year of Culture

Under the leadership of its Chairperson Her Excellency Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, Qatar Museums (QM) has developed the Years of Culture initiative—an annual international cultural exchange designed to deepen understanding between nations and their people. Though the formal programming lasts only one year, the initiative often sparks long-lasting collaboration. Culture is one of the most effective tools to bring people closer, encourage dialogue, and deepen understanding between nations. Previous Years of Culture have included: Qatar-Japan 2012, Qatar-UK 2013, Qatar-Brazil 2014, Qatar-Turkey 2015, Qatar-China 2016, Qatar-Germany 2017, Qatar-Russia 2018, Qatar-India 2019 and Qatar-France 2020. 

Qatar-United States 2021 Year of Culture, sponsored by Qatar Airways, is being planned in collaboration with leading institutions in Qatar and the United States, including Qatar Museums, the Embassy of Qatar in the US, the Embassy of the US in Qatar, Qatar's Ministry of Culture and Sport, Qatar Foundation, The National Tourism Council, Doha Film Institute, Qatar National Library, Katara, Supreme Council for Delivery and Legacy and Qatar Football Association.

About Jeff Koons 

Jeff Koons was born in York, Pennsylvania in 1955. He studied at the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He received a BFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art in 1976. Koons lives and works in New York City. 

Since his first solo exhibition in 1980, Koons’s work has been shown in major galleries and institutions throughout the world. His work was the subject of a major exhibition organized by the Whitney Museum of American Art, Jeff Koons: A Retrospective (27 June–19 October 2014), which travelled to the Centre Pompidou Paris (26 November 2014–27 April 2015) and the Guggenheim Bilbao (9 June–27 September 2015). An exhibition of works by Marcel Duchamp and Jeff Koons, Appearance Stripped Bare: Desire and the Object in the Work of Marcel Duchamp and Jeff Koons, Even, was on view at the Museo Jumex in Mexico City (19 May–29 September 2019). Jeff Koons: Absolute Value from the Collection of Marie and Jose Mugrabi was on view at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art through 3 April 2021. Jeff Koons: Mucem. Works from the Pinault Collection is on view in Marseille, France, from 19 May 2021 through 18 October 2021.

Koons is widely known for his iconic sculptures Rabbit (1986) and Balloon Dog (1994–2000), as well as the monumental floral sculpture Puppy (1992), shown at Rockefeller Center and permanently installed at the Guggenheim Bilbao. Another floral sculpture, Split-Rocker (2000), previously installed at the Papal Palace in Avignon, Château de Versailles, Fondation Beyeler in Basel, and Rockefeller Center.

Jeff Koons has received numerous awards and honours in recognition of his cultural achievements. Notably, President Jacques Chirac of France promoted Koons to Officier de la Legion d’Honneur, and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton honoured Koons with the State Department’s Medal of the Arts for his outstanding commitment to the Art in Embassies Program and international cultural exchange. Koons received the Golden Plate Award from the American Academy of Achievement during the International Achievement Summit. In 2017, Koons was made the first Artist-in-Residence at Columbia University’s Mortimer B. Zuckerman Mind Brain Behavior Institute and, was also made an Honorary Member of Oxford University's Edgar Wind Society for Outstanding Contribution for Visual Culture and the Royal Academy, London. Koons has been a board member of The International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children (ICMEC) since 2002 and co-founded the Koons Family International Law and Policy Institute with ICMEC for the purpose of combating global issues of child abduction and exploitation and to protect the world’s children.

About UNIQLO and Fast Retailing

UNIQLO is a brand of Fast Retailing Co., Ltd., a leading Japanese retail holding company with global headquarters in Tokyo, Japan. UNIQLO is the largest of eight brands in the Fast Retailing Group, the others being GU, Theory, Helmut Lang, PLST (Plus T), Comptoir des Cotonniers, Princesse tam.tam and J Brand. With global sales of approximately 2.01 trillion yen for the 2020 fiscal year ending August 31, 2020 (US $19.06 billion, calculated in yen using the end of August 2020 rate of $1 = 105.4 yen), Fast Retailing is one of the world’s largest apparel retail companies, and UNIQLO is Japan’s leading specialty retailer.

UNIQLO continues to open large-scale stores in some of the world's most important cities and locations, as part of its ongoing efforts to solidify its status as a global brand. Today the company has more than 2,200 stores in 25 markets including Japan. In alphabetical order, the other markets are Australia, Belgium, Canada, China, Denmark, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Italy, Malaysia, Netherlands, Philippines, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, Thailand, U.K. U.S. and Vietnam. In addition, UNIQLO established a social business in Bangladesh together with the Grameen Bank in 2010, and today there are several Grameen-UNIQLO stores in Dhaka.

With a corporate statement committed to changing clothes, changing conventional wisdom and change the world, Fast Retailing is dedicated to creating great clothing with new and unique value to enrich the lives of people everywhere.  For more information about UNIQLO and Fast Retailing, please visit www.uniqlo.com and www.fastretailing.com.

About UNIQLO LifeWear

Apparel that comes from the Japanese values of simplicity, quality and longevity. Designed to be of the time and for the time, LifeWear is made with such modern elegance that it becomes the building blocks of an individual’s style. A perfect shirt that is always being made more perfect. The simplest design hiding the most thoughtful and modern details. The best in fit and fabric made to be affordable and accessible to all. LifeWear is clothing that is constantly being innovated, bringing more warmth, more lightness, better design, and better comfort to people’s lives.

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