Contemporary art shines in Saudi Arabia’s Diriyah

Contemporary art shines in Saudi Arabia’s Diriyah
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Contemporary art shines in Saudi Arabia’s Diriyah
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Contemporary art shines in Saudi Arabia’s Diriyah
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Photo/Supplied
Contemporary art shines in Saudi Arabia’s Diriyah
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Photo/Supplied
Contemporary art shines in Saudi Arabia’s Diriyah
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The art exhibition will continue until Dec. 26 in Diriyah’s Industrial Zone. (Supplied)
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Updated 24 December 2019

Contemporary art shines in Saudi Arabia’s Diriyah

Contemporary art shines in Saudi Arabia’s Diriyah
  • The Saudi artist’s work was fueled by contemplations on discarded items in urban landscapes

RIYADH: Artists from the region have been exhibiting their work in Diriyah’s Industrial Zone as part of the area’s transformation, and the first step to creating a contemporary arts area on the outskirts of Riyadh.
“From Within,” which was inaugurated earlier this month by the Kingdom’s Deputy Minister of Culture Hamid bin Mohammed Fayez, features work by artists from Saudi Arabia and other Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries.
The paintings, installations and sculptures deal with the relationship between man and architecture, and how one can affect the other.
“Stripped Away from All Constructs,” by Emirati artist Afra Al-Dhaheri, is a piece of fabric coated in cement that hangs from the wall between two pieces of steel. It explores a romanticised debate of love and hate for the act of demolishing architecture. The cement lines act as a blueprint on the surface of the fabric. The cotton mesh fabric is normally used as reinforcement in construction but, by suspending architectural material from two points and allowing it to drape down as if it were made only of fabric, it becomes an imaginative way of removing a building’s structure.
The installations of Saudi-born conceptual artist Ayman Zedani renegotiate the relationship between the human and non-human, animal and plant, organic and inorganic, land and water.
“The Old Ones,” which is on display at Diriyah Industrial Zone, highlights the consumption of nature in the Gulf. Visitors experience a landscape from a fourth-dimensional perspective, a fictional representation of an ancient land where the desert used to be greener and more vibrant. The project, in part, is homage to the lands that made the Gulf what it is today. On the other hand it is also an attempt to encourage a healing process for its inhabitants.
In the corner of the exhibition, Aziz Jamal’s “Vacant” sits as a collection of dyed cement forms, cast in a variety of objects collected by the artist.
The Saudi artist’s work was fueled by contemplations on discarded items in urban landscapes. The common understanding of space is limited to the space the objects occupy and never encompasses the negatives they accidentally design. The inner crevasses and outlines of things create an almost negative and neglected area of being in an urban landscape, with his work celebrating the neglected.
Bu Yousuf takes a radical approach to the concept of skyscrapers that decorate the Gulf’s skylines and represent its economic progress. “The Nursery” consists of a hospital unit for skyscrapers that is fitted out as a nursery. The babies are skyscrapers made of silicone, referencing contemporary buildings from the artist’s native Dubai. It is an imaginary world where the infant “buildings” need constant care and attention to grow into stable structures.

HIGHLIGHTS

• The paintings, installations and sculptures deal with the relationship between man and architecture, and how one can affect the other.

• The exhibition reveals the creative capacities of Saudi and other regional artists.

• It is also part of an initiative designed to achieve goals in the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 reform program.

The performance aspect of the piece is composed of nurses who are trained to take care of the babies. The artist estimates that the babies were born at 40 weeks and are stable, meaning they can breathe on their own and maintain a regular body temperature, as opposed to premature skyscrapers who require more assistance. His work is a commentary on the need to incubate the different buildings of Dubai and give them the care that meets their needs.
Donia Al-Shetairy presents an installation called “The Cradle of Civilization” which consists of balls inside a hollow space. It turns into a livelier work when light is shed on its moving shadows. The artist expresses human adaptation, the relationship between culture and civilization, and the environment that embraces them.
“From Within” reveals the creative capacities of Saudi and other regional artists, allowing them to showcase their talent as well as helping them to reach a greater number of art enthusiasts and industry practitioners.
It is also part of an initiative designed to achieve goals in the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 reform program. “From Within” runs until Dec. 26.


Saudi students compete to design KSA’s cultural buildings

Saudi students compete to design KSA’s cultural buildings
A view shows buildings and the Kingdom Centre Tower in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. (REUTERS file photo)
Updated 3 min 47 sec ago

Saudi students compete to design KSA’s cultural buildings

Saudi students compete to design KSA’s cultural buildings
  • The competition is one of several strategic initiatives from the Architecture and Design Authority

JEDDAH: Saudi students will compete to design cultural buildings as part of a ministry-led initiative to identify and hone in on young talent in the Kingdom.

The initiative, from the Ministry of Culture’s Architecture and Design Authority, was launched on Sunday.
There will be competitions covering areas such as urban design and planning, landscape architecture, interior, industrial and graphic design.
The first competition requires students to design public libraries in various Saudi cities. The buildings must be designed to accommodate the city’s cultural identity through a deep understanding of its social and historical context.
Nouf Alrashed, an architecture and design student who is in her final year at Effat University, said that such competitions were a great motivator for students.
“Such competitions allow us to apply all that we studied in our years of university and test our skills,” she told Arab News. “To have the opportunity to design a structure that will be a part of the community and have it be something that is a creation of a student is amazing and exciting. It shows the level of confidence and support by our government, and will push so many designers to be innovative and creative in their designs. That’s what we do, we go big and we think outside the lines.”

HIGHLIGHT

There will be competitions covering areas such as urban design and planning, landscape architecture, interior, industrial and graphic design.

The initiative is expected to achieve several strategic goals, such as involving students in designing projects, discovering talent and skills at an early stage to orient students toward the appropriate career path, and increasing competition among university students, helping to raise education levels.
Architecture students from eight Saudi universities will be able to take part in the competition: King Saud University, Al-Faisal University, Prince Sultan University, King Abdul Aziz University, King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals, Imam Abdulrahman Al-Faisal University, Dar Al-Hekma University and Effat University.
The competition is one of several strategic initiatives from the Architecture and Design Authority. It also aims to strengthen the relationship between the authority and universities as higher education is considered an incubator of talent.