RIYADH: German Ambassador in Riyadh Jorg Ranau and his wife Heike Ranau hosted the opening reception of a contemporary Saudi art exhibition at their residence in the Diplomatic Quarter on Monday.
The exhibition showcased the works of seven Saudi artists — sculptors Talal Al-Tokhais, Mohammed Al-Thaqafi and Ali Al-Tokhais, as well as painters Najla Al-Saleem, Fahad Al-Naima, Shuruq Al-Safran and Talal Al-Zeid.
The German Embassy said that the event brought together 80 dignitaries, business people, academics and artists as well as members of the German community and Saudi civil society to celebrate the rich artistic scene in the Kingdom.
The three-day event previewed on Monday. Opportunities for the public to see the artworks were provided by two visitor’s days on Tuesday and Wednesday from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.
In his opening remarks, Ranau referred to the rich cultural traditions of Saudi Arabia, which have influenced the contemporary art works displayed at the exhibition.
He also commended the artists for their success in reaching out to international audiences as many of them have already exhibited their works in the US, Europe and the Gulf region.
The ambassador unveiled, together with the artist Talal Al-Zeid, a work called Buddy Bear.
The bear, which is a symbol of Berlin, can be found in many places in the city and abroad. While the shape of the bears is identical, their design is usually made by a local artist, showing the connections between the two countries.
Over the past weeks, Talal Al-Zeid worked on the bear, which now features a street-art-design inspired by Saudi motifs. It is the first Buddy Bear in Saudi Arabia.
The German Embassy is aiming to display the bear at a location accessible to the public.