Young Saudi artists find a voice in major New York exhibit

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Works by almost 30 artists from different Saudi provinces will be shown at the exhibition.
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Updated 26 March 2018

Young Saudi artists find a voice in major New York exhibit

NEW YORK: A virtual reality documentary looking at changes in the Kingdom through the eyes of a new generation of artists will be screened as part of a major New York exhibition of contemporary Saudi art.
The documentary, “Reframe Saudi,” will be shown by the Misk Art Institute on Monday as part of its second exhibition, “Contemporary Saudi Art,” at the prestigious Phillips auction house in New York.
The four-day exhibition comes during the visit of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to the US.
Traditional Saudi art will also be shown to highlight the Kingdom’s artistic heritage.
Ahmed Mater, director of Misk Art Institute, said that the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 and the Misk Foundation wanted to empower Saudi youth and feature their creations at international art exhibitions.
“This will encourage cultural exchange and promote external communication inside and outside Saudi Arabia,” he said.
Mater said Saudi artists needed to take part in international events to consolidate their presence for a global audience.
“The VR film ‘Reframe Saudi’ tells the story of a society that is rich with diversity and recreates it from the perspectives of a new generation of contemporary artists, who share the way they see the Kingdom’s new social and economic phase,” Mater said.
The documentary was produced at studios across the Kingdom to highlight the country’s diverse social fabric.
Works by almost 30 artists from different Saudi provinces will be shown at the exhibition.
A special section will be devoted to Asir’s frescoes and Al-Qatt Al-Asiri — motifs and abstract designs painted by women from the south of the Kingdom. This artform that was recently added to the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
Saudi writer Ali Maghawi said the exhibition would revive many Saudi artforms, including the traditional Al-Qatt Al-Asiri.
“The dream of getting this art added to the UNESCO’s list has finally come true, and artworks from Asir are now featured at international exhibitions,” he said.
“Today, we have an international platform to share our love for this art. We are now with Misk in New York, showcasing our heritage to the world.
“This is proof that our leadership believes in the role of this heritage and that the Misk Foundation is flexible in embracing this cultural treasure and sharing it with the world in the best way.”
Saudi artist Fatima Faya said that cooperation between several artists and the institute meant “the art of Al-Qatt Al-Asiri shines again.”
Misk’s first exhibition was held on March 21 at the John F. Kennedy Center in Washington DC during the Saudi crown prince’s visit.
The Misk Art Institute is a cultural organization operating under the Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Foundation (Misk) as part of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030.
The institute encourages grassroots artistic production in Saudi Arabia and enables cultural diplomacy and international exchange.


Saudi Arabia committed to “25 by 25” to reduce the gap in labor market

Updated 10 min 44 sec ago

Saudi Arabia committed to “25 by 25” to reduce the gap in labor market

  • The G20 engagement groups share common areas of interest in the pursuit of their specific objectives including women, youth and sustainable development

RIYADH: Reducing the gender gap in labor participation is a moral imperative as well as a key for growth and sustainable development, which is why G20 countries have committed to reduce the gap in women’s labor participation 25 percent by 2025.

Speaking at a session called “Approaching challenges from different perspectives” on the concluding day of the T20 Inception Conference in Riyadh on Monday, Thoraya Obaid, chair of the W20 engagement group, said: “The G20 countries have committed to increasing women’s participation 25 percent by 2025. We in the Kingdom have also adopted this in our Saudi Vision 2030 Program.”

The G20 engagement groups share common areas of interest in the pursuit of their specific objectives including women, youth and sustainable development.

Princess Nouf bint Mohammed of the C20 engagement group highlighted the importance of civil society taking commitments and promises seriously, and fulfilling its promises with implementation and accountability.

“Civil Society is our heart and soul, we are the people on the ground, and provide support to reach our goals,” she said.

“Together with other engagement groups, we have all adopted a joint statement to work in the pursuit of specific objectives. I think where we can make it big collectively is on the climate issue.”

Othman Al-Moamar, of Y20 engagement group, said: “Young people are the most important component in today’s technology driven world, therefore more young people in entrepreneurship means more prosperity, and opportunities.”

Highlighting their role, Nasser Al-Jaryad of L20 engagement group said: “Our aim is empowering people, guaranteeing minimum living wages and collective bargaining, promoting social dialogue for social cohesion, and ending corporate monopolies.

“We also take all possible actions to improve the progressiveness of taxation system,” he added.

Abdulmohsen Al-Ghanam of U20 engagement group said their themes represented common challenges and aspirations of global cities.

The session was moderated by Abdullah Al-Saud, member of the T20 steering committee and director of research at King Faisal Center for Research and Islamic Studies.