A constellation of artworks pays tribute to the night in Riyadh

Saudi Arabian Museum of Contemporary Art’s latest exhibition ‘In the Night’ is an ode to the intricate dimensions of darkness, featuring artworks including ‘I’m Sorry,’ a multi- material textile creation by South African painter Claudia Tennant. (Supplied/AN photo)
Saudi Arabian Museum of Contemporary Art’s latest exhibition ‘In the Night’ is an ode to the intricate dimensions of darkness, featuring artworks including ‘I’m Sorry,’ a multi- material textile creation by South African painter Claudia Tennant. (Supplied/AN photo)
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Updated 08 March 2024
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A constellation of artworks pays tribute to the night in Riyadh

A constellation of artworks pays tribute to the night in Riyadh
  • ‘In the Night’ exhibition held in Riyadh features 30 artists from around the world

RIYADH: As the sun descended on Riyadh, the night became the star of the show at the Saudi Arabian Museum of Contemporary Art’s latest exhibition “In the Night.”

The showcase is an ode to the mysteries, possibilities, and intricate dimensions of darkness and the contemporary art practices surrounding different phases of the night.

Curated by Geraldine Bloch, it features over 30 artists from across the globe including France, Morocco, Tunisia, India, Japan, Argentina Pakistan, Croatia, Australia, and the UK, all brought together by the intricacies of their practice and their shared bond over the nocturnal landscape.




Hans Op De Beeck’s work titled ‘My bed a raft, the room the sea, and then I laughed some gloom in me.’ (Supplied)

Polish artist Katarzyna Wiesiolek’s “Light Pillars” is inspired by the grandiosity of the cosmos. She hand draws the pieces using some of the darkest pigments she can find. After stripping the paper of its first layer to create a morse absorbent surface, she applies the powder to the canvas.

The work features strobes of light descending into pitch-black, transporting the viewers into liminal space commanded by the stars and skies.

HIGHLIGHTS

• Curated by Geraldine Bloch, ‘In the Night’ exhibition features over 30 artists from across the globe including France, Morocco, Tunisia, India, and Japan.

• Saudi artist Hana Almilli’s ‘I’ve told my dreams to come, and they came,’ is also featured.

Wiesiolek is drawn to the multidimensionality of darkness: “Night for me is a kind of comfort. The coziness of being by yourself is a comfort zone for me, but it can also be kind of scary. Night is also very silent, so you can hear sounds or see light much more than in the daytime.”

The artist draws from both scientific images and personal memories, the three works on display invoke a sense of powerful suspension and melancholy.

Artist Nadezda Nikolova has moved to drawing landscapes after having photographed them for so long. Similarly to Wiesiolek, she relies on memory to imprint the scene. Her “Elemental Forms” uses paper masks, brushes and various manipulations via the early photographic collodion process to transfigure the images of a mysterious nature.




Claudia Tennant, South African artist. (AN photo)

She said: “The night is never devoid of a source of light, and within that there’s a sense of safety that we can trust — that we’re not alone.

“It’s a time of dreams and visions, and a time where you can open your aperture and look towards the cosmos and connect to that sense of a larger reality and we’re part of it.”

Textiles often hold memories. They carry your history.

Claudia Tennant, South African artist

She celebrates her intimate bond with nature by using it as a source of inspiration. “Nature has this purity and it is so much easier to connect with that source than, for example, an urban space,” she explained.

The work is less about transcription or documentation and edges more towards becoming an “embodied camera” for sensory information. After spending time in a particular spot, absorbing all its majestic detail, she works quickly to produce the pieces in layers of exposure.




Mohannad Shono’s “A Song of Silence” draws inspiration from ancient and nearly immemorial narratives and myths. (Supplied)

“Wet plate collodion dries in three minutes, and once it’s dry I can’t use it …You have to rely on instinct, and that comes from a lot of repetition and just your intuitive sense,” Nikolova said.

She sometimes has to strip away some details to create a more universal experience within her work — in a way, the art essentially lies in the process itself and its adaptation.

South African painter Claudia Tennant also creates textile art. At the exhibition, she is presenting her artwork “I’m Sorry,” a multi-material textile creation in which colors and threads pile up and contort, inflate and stretch as living beings do.




Polish artist Katarzyna Wiesiolek’s “Light Pillars” was inspired by the grandiosity of the cosmos. (AN photo)

“There’s this idea of having traversed something: those lower painful emotions like fear, guilt come up, and you go through that and come out the other side,” she told Arab News. “Textiles often hold memories. They carry your history.”

The piece appears organic and the knitted fabric becomes a net. The bulky piece comes undone in some places and tightly intertwined in others. It features multiple fabrics and colors, including construction bags peeking out of the knits, demonstrating the duality of the roughness and softness of human beings.

The piece, which was completed during the nighttime hours, almost comes together in celebration of all that encompasses Tennant’s victories and defeats.




Vladimir Skoda’s “From Within” places 21 spheres in an ellipse in question of the invisible and inaccessible heart of matter. It challenges the viewer to perceive beyond the lifeless matter. (Supplied)

French-Moroccan artist Mustapha Azeroual uses a monochrome photography process called gum bichromate that dates back to the 1850s. Azeroual walked for five days in the Moroccan Atlas Mountains and patiently captured the landscape from various angles, ultimately leading to his series “Ellios,” which means “sun” in Greek.

He told Arab News: “Light makes things visible, but it’s invisible. It gives us the capacity to see. The sensation you feel through an artwork is more than visual.”

By using the inverted image of the sun hitting the range, it creates an artificial night-scape and focuses on the light we cannot see.




The “In the Night” exhibition showcases immersive installations including Saudi artist Abeer Sultan’s “The Reparation of a Lost Tooth”. (Supplied)

“What I want to show is not the mountain, but the light that highlights it. The negative film is the first recording of light ever made,” he said.  

“In the Night” is a culmination of cosmic nights, energy, abundant evenings, and dreams. Each artwork is a star that traces the exhibition’s constellation.

It showcases poetic creations like the work of Saudi Hana Almilli’s “I’ve told my dreams to come, and they came,” and Arwa Alneami’s “Sound of Cardamom,” as well as immersive installations including Abeer Sultan’s “The Reparation of a Lost Tooth” and Mohammed Alfaraj’s “Did you hear that?”

The exhibition runs until the end of May 2024.

 


Saudi Arabia’s Prince Faisal meets with French foreign minister Sejourne

Saudi Arabia’s Prince Faisal meets with French foreign minister Sejourne
Updated 9 sec ago
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Saudi Arabia’s Prince Faisal meets with French foreign minister Sejourne

Saudi Arabia’s Prince Faisal meets with French foreign minister Sejourne
  • The two ministers discussed Saudi-French relations
  • Also discussed the situation in Gaza

PARIS: Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Prince Faisal bin Farhan met with the French Minister of Europe and Foreign Affairs Stephane Sejourne in Paris on Friday.

During the meeting, the two ministers discussed Saudi-French relations and ways to enhance them and ways to improve coordination on various issues of mutual concern, Saudi Press Agency reported.

The two ministers also discussed the situation in Gaza and its surroundings and the need to deliver humanitarian assistance to the civilians in the enclave.

The meeting was also attended by Saudi Ambassador to France Fahd bin Mayouf Al-Ruwaili, the Foreign Minister's office director general Abdulrahman Al-Dawood, and ministry Advisor Manal Radwan.


Sync Summit at Ithra ends with world premiere of documentary

Sync Summit at Ithra ends with world premiere of documentary
Updated 24 May 2024
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Sync Summit at Ithra ends with world premiere of documentary

Sync Summit at Ithra ends with world premiere of documentary
  • The documentary takes viewers on a trip as he journeys to places near and far within Japan to interact with locals, expats and visitors about their relationship to technology and nature

DHAHRAN: For the finale of the two-day Sync Digital Wellbeing Summit at the King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture, or Ithra, a documentary titled “The Dark Side of Japan” premiered at the Ithra Cinema on Thursday. 

The Bahraini creative influencer, Omar Farooq, who was the narrator in the documentary, was there in-person with his team to answer questions after the screening.

As part of the Sync Spotlight series, the documentary tied together all the various themes explored during the summit, of which technology and wellness topics were explored on stage and at various points throughout the center. The documentary, which was filmed in Japan, showcases Farooq as he observes the Japanese people’s intense interactions with — and addictions to — their screens. Amid the bright lights of flashy Tokyo emerges a lingering dark side of loneliness, heads down, and fingers scrolling endlessly.

The filmmaker and influencer tried to convey an important message the old-fashioned way before the film premiere. He asked every attendee to take a moment to look under their seats. After a minute of awkward shuffling, it was revealed that an envelope was placed there so they could tuck their phones away and watch the documentary phone-free.

An envelope that was placed under each seat at the Ithra Cinema instructing viewers to place their phones there and enjoy the documentary phone-free. (Supplied)

Farooq wanted the audience to be completely immersed and to be on the journey alongside him.

The documentary takes viewers on a trip as he journeys to places near and far within Japan to interact with locals, expats and visitors about their relationship to technology and nature. He spoke to families of young children about the school system and he spent time with adults of various backgrounds to ask about their preferences: city life or country life?

“It’s hard to keep a close relationship with people (in Tokyo). We don’t have time to care about others,” a Japanese artist told him in one scene.  

Wildly popular, with 3.9 million followers on instagram, Farooq was on hand to have a discussion on stage after the screening. Moderated by Ithra’s own head of a performing arts and cinema, Majed Z. Samman, who had studied in Japan and was familiar with the Japanese culture, they were joined by Mohammed Alhajri and Ahmed Alsayed, both of whom were with Farooq in Japan to assist with the filming. They sat on the floor, Japanese style, on stage for the discussion.

The panel sat on the floor, Japanese style, for the panel discussion. (Supplied) 

“This documentary isn’t about Japan,” Farooq cautioned the audience. Japan was merely an example of a place that has been plagued by hyper internet addiction and loss of real world connection. He asks the question: “Will this be our future? Is it already our present?”

He instructs viewers to look within and not just walk away as a programmed robot on autopilot; constantly shackled to their smartphones and ignoring the world around them.

After the initial screening, there were two other screenings back-to-back at the cinema, both of which were sold out.

The Ithra-produced documentary was mostly in Arabic, with some English and some Japanese.
 


Saudi Ports Authority: Jeddah Islamic Port is ready for 2024 Hajj season

Saudi Ports Authority: Jeddah Islamic Port is ready for 2024 Hajj season
Updated 24 May 2024
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Saudi Ports Authority: Jeddah Islamic Port is ready for 2024 Hajj season

Saudi Ports Authority: Jeddah Islamic Port is ready for 2024 Hajj season
  • During Hajj season, ports are not only limited to receiving pilgrims but will also provide them with logistical and strategic services
  • Jeddah Islamic Port is the gateway to the Two Holy Mosques

RIYADH: The Saudi Ports Authority said it is ready to provide this year’s pilgrims with a distinguished experience through advanced equipment and high-tech operation systems run by young Saudi men and women skilled in welcoming pilgrims.
The authority explained that, during Hajj season, ports are not only limited to receiving pilgrims but will also provide them with logistical and strategic services, including goods and medicines delivered in a timely manner.
Ships will likewise transport livestock for sacrificial purposes, clearing them, ensuring their safety, and facilitating their transportation from the port to the holy sites through the Huda and Adahi Route initiatives, organized by the authority.
Jeddah Islamic Port is the gateway to the Two Holy Mosques and an important logistical and commercial center along the coast. It extends over an area of 12.5 sq. km and comprises equipped container terminals through which chilled and frozen food products, as well as other goods, pass.


Cameroon’s National Day celebrated in Riyadh

Cameroon’s National Day celebrated in Riyadh
Updated 24 May 2024
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Cameroon’s National Day celebrated in Riyadh

Cameroon’s National Day celebrated in Riyadh
  • Cooperation between the countries hailed by ambassador
  • The ambassador said that in addition to the projects, both countries had attributes which were complementary

RIYADH: Cameroon’s Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Iya Tidjani hailed the cooperation between the two countries at a reception in Riyadh to celebrate Cameroon’s 52nd National Day.
Tidjani told Arab News: “The cooperation between Saudi Arabia and Cameroon currently has an active portfolio of four projects, for a total of $61 million.
“These include the construction of the Olama-Kribi road (Bingambo-Grand Zambi section); the construction of an industrial high school in the city of Douala; the construction and equipment supply to the regional hospital of Mbalmayo; and the construction of the Bikoula-Djoum road.”
The ambassador, who was speaking at the reception, said that in addition to the projects, both countries had attributes which were complementary, and would lead to further cooperation.
Cameroon’s National Day takes place on May 20 each year, and the ambassador added: “The political history of Cameroon reminds us that it was on May 20, 1972, that Cameroonians, from north to south, from east to west, decided, following a constitutional referendum, to create a single state, whose rich cultural mosaic would constitute the strong basis of its unity.
“Long live the cooperation between the Republic of Cameroon and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
“The cooperation between the two countries is testimony of the solid friendship ties existing between our two countries, and also reflects the excellent relationship we have maintained over the decades.”
Relations between Saudi Arabia and Cameroon were established in 1966 and have continued to deepen in the years since.


Shoura Council speaker heads to Algiers for Arab parliamentary forum

Shoura Council speaker heads to Algiers for Arab parliamentary forum
Updated 24 May 2024
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Shoura Council speaker heads to Algiers for Arab parliamentary forum

Shoura Council speaker heads to Algiers for Arab parliamentary forum
  • The conference will be held in Algiers on May 26-27
  • Al-Sheikh said that the Shoura Council’s participation in the conference stems from the Kingdom’s commitment to supporting joint Arab action

RIYADH: Speaker of the Saudi Shoura Council Dr. Abdullah bin Mohammed bin Ibrahim Al Al-Sheikh will lead the Kingdom’s delegation to the 36th Conference of the Arab Inter-Parliamentary Union, Saudi Press Agency reported.
The conference will be held in Algiers on May 26-27, and will be attended by heads of parliaments and councils from Arab countries.
In a statement, Al-Sheikh said that the Shoura Council’s participation in the conference stems from the Kingdom’s commitment to supporting joint Arab action, and its continued interest in establishing security, stability, and peace in Arab countries and the world.
The council seeks to support official diplomacy by taking part in regional and international parliamentary meetings and conferences, or through reciprocal visits to enhance parliamentary cooperation with various parliaments around the world, he said.
A consultative meeting between heads of parliaments before the conference will discuss several topics to be presented by its permanent committees, the Palestine Committee; the Social Affairs, Women, Children, and Youth Committee; and the Political Affairs and Parliamentary Relations Committee.
The Shoura Council delegation includes council member and member of the Executive Committee of the Arab Inter-Parliamentary Union Bandar bin Mohammed Asiri, council members Issa bin Mohammed Al-Issa and Ahmed bin Abdulaziz Al-Yahya, and several council staff members.