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Everything You Need to Know About the Islamic Arts Biennale Returning in 2025

The Islamic Arts Biennale is slated to return in 2025. Read on for more details.

islamic arts biennale 2025

My Place is the Placeless by Shahpour Pouyan for the first Islamic Arts Biennale. Photo:

The Diriyah Biennale Foundation has announced that the popular Islamic Arts Biennale (IAB) will be making a return for its second edition in 2025. The event will take place at the iconic Western Hajj Terminal of the King Abdulaziz Airport in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia from January to May and will be curated by a team of both, regional and international talents. The team includes artistic directors Julian Raby, Amin Jaffer, and Abdul Rahman Azzam, and Saudi artist Muhannad Shono as the contemporary art curator, Together, they will curate a providing a comprehensive and immersive experience.

The Islamic Arts Biennale’s inaugural edition in 2023 was held under the theme of ‘Awwal Bait’, meaning ‘First House’, as part of the Diriyah Biennale Foundation’s aim to promote creative expression and cultivate an appreciation for culture and the arts in the Kingdom. The IAB is dedicated to showcasing the rich and diverse arts of Islamic civilization, both past and present while taking visitors on a unique journey of the continuum of Islamic artistry through a curated collection of objects including contemporary artworks, historical artifacts, as well as new commissions.

For its upcoming edition, the IAB aims to emphasize architecture as an expression of Islamic culture, and to that end, has introduced a new AlMusalla Prize, which invites architects to design a sustainable and versatile prayer space or musalla. The competition is in line with the IAB’s spiritual connection with its venue, which holds great significance for Muslims around the world who travel through the terminal for the sacred Hajj and Umrah pilgrimages to Makkah.

Other highlights of the IAB include the return of AlMadar (meaning ‘the orbit’), a themed exhibition that invites contributions from institutions with significant Islamic art collections, and two special pavilions—Makkah and Madinah—which will focus on the histories of the two holy sites.

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