Rukun, a contemporary art and design gallery featuring a mix of sculptures, paintings, furniture and mixed media pieces, makes an exciting, visionary addition to Riyadh’s ultra-fashionable Noujoud Centre.
The gallery, essentially a hub for creative minds, displays a merger of playfulness and craftsmanship and shows what this union is able to produce. It also focuses on nurturing personal experiences with all of the pieces it displays. Gallery owner and designer Princess Noura Bint Saud Al Saud, who is passionate about teaming up original objects with merging cultures and histories, credits the intertwining world of art and design in the minimalistic exhibition space. Roula Allam talks to Princess Noura, who studied Contemporary Design at Sotheby’s institute of Art, about her venture.
Rukun isn’t your usual art gallery as it is intertwined with design. How would you describe it?
Rukun is a space for everyone, displaying all sort of artistic creations, sculptures, paintings, furniture and mixed media pieces. The most important aspect for Rukun is to showcase creativity with a focus on functionality in everyday life.
As chief designer of the gallery’s design studio, Kun, can you tell us what the studio focuses on?
The studio focuses on merging our history and culture with modern and contemporary designs, as well as establishing a cross relationship between art and design in addition to introducing artistic furniture to the Saudi market.
You personally handpick all the pieces in the gallery. What’s your favourite part of the process?
For me it’s when I am in the process of searching for new pieces, as the idea there are some amazing creations that I still haven’t come across is very exciting.
How did your life and studies in the UK affect your creative outlook?
I think it has made me more eclectic and open to many more styles than I probably would have been. London is a very versatile city, with many cultures coming into contact with each other and I believe that has given me a much more open outlook when I look at my culture and customs.
How exciting is it to see the region growing as an arty hub?
It is a very exciting time for the art world in our region and I am honoured to be playing a very small part in it.