JEDDAH: Saudi Arabian artists Dania Al-Saleh and Lulwah Al-Homoud are representing the Kingdom at the Artificial Intelligence and Intercultural Dialogue Art Exhibition, which began Thursday at the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia, and ends July 7.
The exhibition explores the role of AI in contemporary art and features work that combines art and technology.
Al-Saleh’s “Sawtam,” which won this year’s Ithra Art Prize — the annual award for Saudi Arabian, or Saudi Arabia-based, talent — is one of the pieces on show.
Al-Saleh explained that her artwork consists of audio and video that revolves around the concept of deconstructing spoken language to its most basic form — the phoneme (or “sawtam” in Arabic).
The purpose of “Sawtam” is to shed light on the simplicity of the Arabic language, which has just 28 phonemes but is still capable of great expression.
Al-Saleh’s artwork consists of recordings of her voice speaking each of the 28 phonemes, integrated with software based on the computer language Java, which creates visual images as it analyzes the sound waves of the language.
Al-Homoud’s “Al-Kayan Wal Wujud” (Entity and Being), meanwhile, is Islamic art expressed in modern technological form and based on a scientific and philosophical platform, she explained.
Al-Homoud is considered one of the most prominent artists working with abstract forms. Her work explores hidden rules of artistic innovation in mathematical forms, and through the use of the Arabic language, in a way that combines arts and science.
The work is being exhibited in “a composite way,” she said, that will give the public an opportunity to view it in “an untraditional manner.”
“People will stand in front of the painting and enjoy a peaceful and tranquil spiritual experience,” she said.
Al-Saleh thanked the Saudi Ministry of Culture for sponsoring her participation in the Hermitage exhibition and for its support of arts and culture.
Al-Homoud said: “When an artist participates in such important international exhibitions, they not only represent themselves, but their whole society, and their culture as a whole.”
She also praised the Ministry of Culture for the role that it is playing in promoting Saudi, Arab and Islamic culture.
Abdul Karim Al-Hameed, Ministry of Culture spokesman, said that Saudi Arabia’s participation in this exhibition is intended to strengthen its cultural communication with the rest of the world, and show the level of cultural development achieved in the Kingdom.
He stressed that Culture Minister Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Farhan Al-Saud has always supported the sponsoring of Saudi artists as part of the directives and objectives of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030.