From Jeddah to White City, curator Wejdan Reda has big dreams

‘Every Second In Between’ in London’s White City. (Tim Bowditch)
Updated 05 June 2018
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From Jeddah to White City, curator Wejdan Reda has big dreams

  • Wejdan Reda is one of seven curators behind the fantastic displays created by South Korean artist Kyung Hwa Shon
  • The art installationsi nclude vivid abstract designs placed across the façade and open seating areas of a five-story building

LONDON: It’s a long way from Jeddah to White City, but for Saudi national Wejdan Reda this part of London will always be special.
Reda is one of seven curators behind the fantastic displays created by South Korean artist Kyung Hwa Shon, titled “Every Second In Between,” that are currently adding a shot of color and vibrancy to the area.
The art installations, distributed across various new public spaces in White City, include vivid abstract designs placed across the façade and open seating areas of a five-story building. It continues with a large scale digital animation of the design.

The project forms part of Reda’s Royal College of Art Master’s degree in Curating Contemporary Art. She and her fellow curators chose Shon from 50 artists who answered their open call. 

White City, an ethnically and economically diverse area, is named after the white marble clad pavilions of major exhibitions held in the district at the onset of the 20th C. In 1908, the area hosted the summer Olympics and other claims to fame include having been home to the BBC and its iconic Television Center and the stadium hoted the 1908 Olympics and was the temporary home to Queens Park Rangers Football Club.
“It touches upon the sense of fragmentation and the chaotic aspect of White City, but also the beauty that exists within this chaos,” Reda told Arab News of the artist’s work.
Shon is a PhD researcher in painting at the Royal College of Art. In her practice, she explores urban life experience using a wide range of mediums including installation, painting, drawing, sound, video and text.
Reda will return to Jeddah after completing her Royal College of Art Master’s degree in curating contemporary art and is keen to put her studies to good use.
“I will focus on working with artists. I hope to co-curate temporary public art exhibitions… It’s a very exciting time to be working in the arts in Saudi Arabia. There are a lot of opportunities, especially with the support of the government and surge in funding dedicated to the arts and cultural sector,” she said.
She is proud that Saudi female artists are raising their profile within the Kingdom.
“Around the world the exposure of female artists needs more work, but in Saudi Arabia we are doing well with that,” she said.
“Many people in Saudi Arabia have supported me throughout my journey and I am very appreciative of that. My husband and my father have also provided me with an incredible support system. The tutors have been amazing and this whole experience has allowed me to further expand my knowledge in the curatorial field,” she added.

She also singled out Jeddah-based Spaces of Design for Advertising Est. (Block Studio) which sponsored the project’s website and key sponsor, White City Place developer, Mitsui Fudosan | Stanhope, which has extended the display of the art work to three months from the original seven days, a sure sign of its success.


Where We Are Going Today: Shatllah

Updated 22 March 2019
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Where We Are Going Today: Shatllah

  • Shatllah’s prices are reasonable, while the assistants are very friendly, knowledgeable and helpful

Do you need to add a little life and color to your surroundings? Houseplants are often said to be a source of positivity, and Shatllah has taken this concept to the next level.

Forget the idea of a lonely looking plant in a boring beige pot; this shop adds beautifully designed containers and creative touches that turn them into delightful decorations that are almost works of art. One in particular that caught my eye was designed to look like a tiny garden, complete with a miniature table and chair.

Shatllah’s creations make for perfect gifts, which is how I discovered the shop, in Jeddah’s Al-Zahra’a district, while looking for a present for a friend who loves houseplants. I was so impressed with its wares that I ended up buying some for myself as well. After all, who would not rather have a living plant decorating their home rather than artificial flowers or other fake items?

Shatllah’s prices are reasonable, while the assistants are very friendly, knowledgeable and helpful. They are more than happy to offer advice on picking the perfect plant and how to take care of it when you get it home.