‘We are at Biennale to show Saudi Arabia as land of cultural treasures,’ Prince Badr tells Arab News

1 / 2
Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Farhan, Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Culture, and his Emirati counterpart, Noura Al-Kaabi, at the 58th Venice Biennale. (SPA)
2 / 2
Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Farhan, Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Culture, and his Emirati counterpart, Noura Al-Kaabi, at the 58th Venice Biennale. (SPA)
Updated 10 May 2019
0

‘We are at Biennale to show Saudi Arabia as land of cultural treasures,’ Prince Badr tells Arab News

  • Presence at Venice Biennale shows the world Saudi Arabia is a land of cultural treasures, minister says after inauguration of Saudi pavilion
  • Prince Badr — the Kingdom’s first culture minister — also visited the UAE pavilion at the Biennale with his Emirati counterpart, Noura Al-Kaabi

VENICE: Art builds bridges between different peoples and enriches all our lives, Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Farhan, Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Culture, told Arab News at the inauguration of the Saudi pavilion at the 58th Venice Biennale.

For the first time, the Kingdom has a permanent exhibit at the Biennale — “the Olympics of the art world” — eight years after it first took part. In 2011 the Makkah-born sisters and contemporary artists Shadia and Raja Alem collaborated to present “The Black Arch,” a dazzling steel installation based on personal narratives and “the duality between Makkah and Venice.” 

This year Saudi Arabia is exhibiting the Jeddah-based land artist and professor Dr. Zahrah Al-Ghamdi’s “After Illusion” installation, curated by the Saudi lecturer and artist Eiman Elgibreen.

“Being at Venice this year is a great honor and helps us show the world that Saudi Arabia is a land of cultural treasures,” Prince Badr said.

“We believe that art enriches lives and we are delighted to be part of this year’s Biennale.”

Prince Badr — appointed in June 2018 and the Kingdom’s first culture minister — also visited the UAE pavilion at the Biennale with his Emirati counterpart, Noura Al-Kaabi. 

“Art and culture help us learn about each other and give us the chance to engage with our international friends in ways that build bridges and enhance understanding,” the prince told Arab News.

Al-Kaabi said it was “an honor to see how Saudis are contributing to the art scene, especially in Venice, to tell the world their stories.”

The Biennale opens to the public on May 11 and runs until Nov. 24. Saudi Arabia’s pavilion is in the Arsenale exhibition venue.


Bong d’Or: Korean director wins Cannes’ top prize

Updated 25 May 2019
0

Bong d’Or: Korean director wins Cannes’ top prize

  • French-Senegalese director Mati Diop’s “Atlantics" wins festival’s second place award, the Grand Prize
  • Belgian brothers Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne shared the best director for “Young Ahmed”

CANNES, France: South Korean director Bong Joon-ho’s social satire “Parasite,” about a poor family of hustlers who find jobs with a wealthy family, won the Cannes Film Festival’s top award, the Palme d’Or, on Saturday.
The win for “Parasite” marks the first Korean film to ever win the Palme. In the festival’s closing ceremony, jury president Alejandro Inarritu said the choice had been “unanimous” for the nine-person jury.
The genre-mixing film had been celebrated as arguably the most critically acclaimed film at Cannes this year and the best yet from the 49-year-old director of “Snowpiercer” and “Okja.”
It was the second straight Palme victory for an Asian director. Last year, the award went to Japanese filmmaker Hirokazu Kore-eda’s “Shoplifters.”
Two years ago, Bong was in Cannes’ competition with “Okja,” a movie distributed in North America by Netflix. After it and Noah Baumbach’s “The Meyerowitz Stories” — another Netflix release — premiered in Cannes, the festival ruled that all films in competition needed French theatrical distribution. Netflix has since withdrawn from the festival on the French Riveira.
The festival’s second place award, the Grand Prize, went to French-Senegalese director Mati Diop’s “Atlantics.” Diop was the first black female director in competition at Cannes.
Belgian brothers Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne shared the best director for “Young Ahmed.”
Best actor went to Antonio Banderas for Pedro Almodovar’s “Pain and Glory,” while best actress was won by British actress Emily Beecham for “Little Joe.”
Although few quibbled with the choice of Bong, some had expected Cannes to make history by giving the Palme to a female filmmaker for just the second time.
Celine Sciamma’s period romance “Portrait of a Lady on Fire” was the Palme pick for many critics this year, but it ended up with best screenplay.
In the festival’s 72-year history, only Jane Champion has won the prize in 1993, and she tied with Chen Kaige’s “Farewell My Concubine.”