Saudi curators to bring communities together through art

Yinka Shonibare MBE — Butterfly Kid (boy) II.
Updated 17 September 2017

Saudi curators to bring communities together through art

JEDDAH: Contemporary Collective, a group of Saudi curators which aims to bring communities together through art, will present its first exhibition “We Are Not Alone” from Oct. 17 till Nov. 16, 2017, at ATHR gallery, Jeddah.
The curators have selected works from the British Council’s art collection that they feel will help viewers lift their thoughts away from their daily lives and think differently about how they approach the unknown. They especially want to engage audiences of all ages in the Kingdom to share the message that creativity can help them overcome their fears and anxieties.
The formation of Contemporary Collective follows the successful implementation of the British Council’s latest arts management program in Saudi Arabia. The program was launched in alignment with Vision 2030’s art and entertainment mission to leverage the arts to contribute to a prosperous economy and help individuals express themselves.
Following an open call for applications, the British Council selected Reem Al-Jalhami, Dalia Fatani, Raneen Bukhari, Maryam Bilal, Solafa Rawas and Thahab Al-Osaimi as the collective’s founding members. In addition to the above fundamentals, the successful participants attended the British Council’s two-week International Museums Academy course at the Whitechapel Gallery, London, explored the British Council’s British Art Collection, and visited key art spaces across the UK and the UAE to learn skills and build useful international networks.
The exhibition will feature works of contemporary art from the British Council collection by some of the UK’s most prominent artists: Anish Kapoor, Ryan Gander, Yinka Shonibare MBE, Rachel Whiteread, and Damien Hirst, all of which are being exhibited in Saudi Arabia for the first time.
Al-Jalhami, a member of the collective who works at the National Museum in Riyadh, said: “We hope that people leave the exhibition inspired to have meaningful conversations about how they can help each other and use art as a medium to express themselves in the future.”
Commenting on the exhibition, Maya El-Khalil, former director at ATHR, said: “What’s extraordinary about art is its subjectivity. It is expected and accepted that viewers often have divergent understanding and appreciation of particular works of art. ATHR is proud to celebrate in this exhibition where a group of young female curators from Saudi Arabia immersed themselves in the work of some of the best contemporary British artists from the British Council Art Collection, a collection of over 8,500 works.”
Amir Ramzan, country director of the British Council in Saudi Arabia, said: “There is a clear wealth of talent and opportunity in Saudi Arabia for the visual arts industry. Just look at the talent and creativity these six Saudi women have demonstrated in curating this exhibition, and their passion for engaging the next generation in Saudi with the arts. It’s our hope that initiatives like this support Saudi youth on their journey to developing a dynamic, resilient creative economy and we look forward to their next project.”

Huge expectations from Saudi crown prince’s Korea visit

Updated 42 min 23 sec ago

Huge expectations from Saudi crown prince’s Korea visit

  • The export of South Korea’s APR-1400 nuclear reactor technology to Saudi Arabia is high on the agenda

SEOUL: Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is due to meet South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Wednesday to discuss wider economic ties between the two countries, according to the presidential office.
The crown prince’s visit to South Korea is the first by an heir to the throne of the world’s largest oil exporter since then-Crown Prince Abdullah’s tour in 1998. The crown prince will also attend the G20 Summit next week in Osaka, Japan.
The two-day visit is expected to deliver key agreements with South Korea in a variety of industrial fields, including cooperation on nuclear reactor and defense technologies.
“Saudi Arabia, a key ally of South Korea, is the biggest oil supplier to our government and the largest economic partner among the Middle Eastern countries,” presidential spokeswoman Koh Min-jung told reporters.
“Both leaders are expected to discuss detailed measures to expand bilateral cooperation beyond the traditional areas of construction and energy to the sectors of information and technology, nuclear energy, green cars, health, public service and exchange of human resources.”
The crown prince and his economic advisers are scheduled to have luncheon with South Korean business leaders after his summit with President Moon, she said.
Business leaders attending the luncheon will include Lee Jae-yong, vice chairman of Samsung Electronics; Chung Eui-sun, vice chairman of Hyundai Motor Group; Chey Tae-won, chairman of SK Group, and Koo Kwang-mo, chairman of LG Group.
A Samsung spokesman, who declined to be named, told Arab News that his company has a package of business proposals to present to Saudi Arabia.
“We’re not sure at the moment what business elements the Kingdom wants, but we have a variety of business packages that can meet the Saudi Vision 2030 requirements, ranging from engineering, procurement and construction to information and communications technology, and artificial intelligence,” the spokesman said.
Hyundai Motor Group was cautious about revealing potential business projects with Riyadh.
“We’ll see what’s happening. We have high expectations about potential business cooperation with Saudi Arabia,” a Hyundai Motor spokesman said, while asking not to be named.
The export of South Korea’s APR-1400 nuclear reactor technology to Saudi Arabia is high on the agenda.
Team Korea, led by the Korea Electric Power Corp., was shortlisted last year for a nuclear power plant construction project in Saudi Arabia, along with the US, China, France and Russia. The project by the King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy is aimed at building two nuclear power plants by 2030.


• Different South Korean companies are reportedly keen to invest in Saudi Arabia and become part of Vision 2030’s success.

• The Saudi leader is also expected to attend a ceremony celebrating the completion of Saudi-owned S-Oil’s residue upgrading facility.

• Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman will also attend the G20 Summit next week in Osaka, Japan.

With Riyadh reportedly leaning toward the US bidder, Team Korea is considering forming a strategic consortium with the US side, according to government sources.
“The possibility of the Korea-US consortium for the Saudi project is a feasible option,” said Huh Min-ho, a researcher of Shinhan Invest Corp., referring to the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s approval of the technical design of South Korea’s APR-1400 reactors.
“For South Korea, joining hands with the US is a feasible option to win the Saudi nuclear reactor contract, though the total order amount would be reduced,” the analyst said. “Once the Saudi project is won, more orders are expected to come from other countries such as the UK, the Czech Republic and Poland.”
South Korea already has a nuclear power footprint in in the Middle East after its construction of the Barakah nuclear power plant in the UAE. The country recently won a five-year maintenance deal for the nuclear plant with Nawah Energy Co., the operator of the plant.
The Saudi crown prince is also interested in South Korea’s weapons development technology, according to defense sources, and is scheduled to visit the Agency for Defense Development, South Korea’s only weapons developing agency, during his stay.
“We heard the crown prince is interested in the transfer of weapons technology when his country imports foreign weapons systems,” a Defense Ministry official told Arab News.
The Saudi leader is also expected to attend a ceremony celebrating the completion of Saudi-owned S-Oil’s residue upgrading facility. S-Oil, which is wholly owned by state-run Saudi Aramco, is third-largest oil refiner in South Korea.