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Everything You Need to Know About Saudi Arabia’s First Contemporary Art Biennale

The historic district of At-Turaif in Ad-Diriyah, north-west of Riyadh, where the biennale will take place. Photo: Alamy

Saudi Arabia recently announced the launch of its first contemporary art biennale, Diriyah Contemporary Art Biennale. “Cultural and artistic exchange are essential in this period of unprecedented growth and development in the creative community in Saudi Arabia,” states HH Prince Badr bin Farhan Al-Saud, Minister of Culture of Saudi Arabia. “The Diriyah Contemporary Art Biennale is at the forefront of this cultural awakening and flourishing art scene.”

Aya Al-Bakree, CEO of the Diriyah Biennale Foundation. Photo: Courtesy

Leading the charge is Aya Al-Bakree, CEO of the Diriyah Biennale Foundation. She comments, “The foundation’s biennale is the first contemporary art biennale organized, conceived, and hosted in Saudi Arabia. We could not be prouder to provide the platform for this historic moment in the evolution and growth in the arts and culture landscape of the Kingdom. The biennale is emblematic of our commitment to showcasing the array of local talent, in dialogue with leading artists from around the world.” Al-Bakree furthers, “The Biennale will drive cultural exchange, promote dialogue and understanding, and further establish the Saudi Arabian artistic community as an important cultural voice.” To be located at the repurposed JAX district of Diriyah, outside Riyadh, the exhibition will showcase the Kingdom’s cultural and creative communities through six chapters under the creative umbrella Feeling the Stones, featuring works from some 70 national and international artists, curated by a team led by Philip Tinari, director and chief executive of UCCA center for contemporary art in China. What’s more, the foundation will launch a second biennale in 2022 focusing on Islamic arts.

The Diriyah Contemporary Art Biennale is on from December 11 to March 11, 2022 

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