Young Saudi artists find a voice in major New York exhibit

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.
Young Saudi artists find a voice in major New York exhibit
2 / 2
Updated 26 March 2018

Young Saudi artists find a voice in major New York exhibit

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.