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.


Houthis, Iran condemned over new drone attacks on KSA

Updated 26 October 2020

Houthis, Iran condemned over new drone attacks on KSA

  • One civilian injured by shrapnel after Saudi-led coalition intercepts four flying bombs launched from Yemen

JEDDAH: Houthi militias and their Iranian backers were condemned on Sunday after the Saudi-led coalition intercepted four explosive-laden drones in two attacks launched from Yemen targeting the south of the Kingdom.

Three of the drones were destroyed early on Saturday and a fourth on Sunday. Shrapnel that fell in Sarat Abidah governorate injured a civilian, and damaged five homes and three vehicles, said civil defense spokesman Capt. Mohammed Abdu Al-Sayed.

Iran was increasing its support to the Houthis to undermine efforts for peace, Dr. Hamdan Al-Shehri, the political analyst and international relations scholar, told Arab News.

“They want the Houthis to sabotage all they can in Saudi Arabia, regardless of whether their target is a populated area, oil facilities or even a sacred place. This adds tension to the area, and that is what Iran is working on.”

Iranians want the Houthis to sabotage all they can in Saudi Arabia, regardless of whether their target is a populated area, oil facilities or even a sacred place. This adds tension to the area, and that is what Iran is working on.

Dr. Hamdan Al-Shehri, political analyst and international relations scholar

Al-Shehri said the situation in Yemen would remain the same unless the legitimate government was returned to Yemen, Security Council Resolution 2216 was put into practice and the Houthi militia were removed.

“Without these things, the Yemen crisis will not end and the whole region will remain in tension.”

The Houthis did not differentiate between military sites and civilian locations, he said.

“Their objective is to damage all places they can reach in Saudi Arabia, and their latest attempts to attack a populated area are nothing new.

“They have also targeted airports and some Aramco oil facilities. If the Aramco attack had not been contained, the damage would have affected the whole Eastern region. They have also attempted to target Makkah, where pilgrims and worshippers were performing their rituals.

“They don’t care. If you look back at what the Revolutionary Guards did at the Grand Mosque, you will realize it is not strange that the Houthis are trying to destroy everything in Saudi Arabia. The strange thing is the silence of the world toward what is happening.”