Teng Shan Chi, Tuwaiq International Sculpture Symposium, 2019 at Riyadh's Diplomatic Quarter. Courtesy Riyadh Art
After 400 sculptors from 71 different countries answered Riyadh Art’s call for submissions, an international expert panel has chosen the final selection of 20 for the third edition of the Tuwaiq International Sculpture Symposium (TISS). The artists, who hail from different spots around the world, including Saudi Arabia, Italy, Mexico and New Zealand, will create sculptures from black and white pearl marble. This will be done in a live setting that will open up the creative process to the public at JAX District in Riyadh, against the historical backdrop of Ad Diriyah, the birthplace of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. While the event starts on November 10, the completed works will be exhibited from 2-6 December before moving to various outdoor locations across the city, furthering Riyadh Art’s mission to transform the city into a gallery without walls.
Talal Altukhaes, Tuwaiq International Sculpture Symposium, 2019 at Riyadh's Diplomatic Quarter. Courtesy Riyadh Art
This year TISS, which is curated by Ali Jabbar, one of the panel members and an accomplished multi-disciplinary artist with 40 years of experience in sculpting, is being held under a ‘The Poetics of Space’ theme. And the Saudi artists who will be exploring the connections between matter and emptiness, light and shadow include Wafaa Al-Qunibit, Rajaa Alshafee, Mohammed AlThagafi and Haider Alawi Al-Alawi. As well as Omani Ali AlJabri, they will be joined by Aleksandar Eftimovski from North Macedonia, Romania’s Ana Maria Negară, Polish Anna Rasinska, Italian Alessio Ranaldi and Antonio Vigo from Spain. The other Europeans that will also be revealing their take on the theme are Georgi Minchev from Bulgaria, the UK’s Isabel H. Langtry, Spanish Nando Alvarez, Jhon Gogaberishvili from Georgia, Germany’s Jo Kley, Damjan Komel from Slovenia and Belgian Kim De Ruysscher. In addition, there will be pieces by several creatives from other parts of the world, including Anna Korver from New Zealand, Mexico’s Carlos Monge and Fernando Pinto from Colombia.
Dia Azzawi, Tuwaiq International Sculpture Symposium, 2019 at Riyadh's Diplomatic Quarter. Courtesy Riyadh Art
“Participating artists will produce beautiful sculptures that manifest poetry in motion and create their own space while being in harmony with their surroundings,” Khaled Al-Hazzani, Riyadh Art Director, said. “The aim is to enrich the city by bringing art to neighbourhoods, parks and public squares in order to expand the understanding and appreciation of international art, to educate and effect change, as well as to create a platform for intercultural dialogue.”
Dia Azzawi (Detail) Tuwaiq International Sculpture Symposium, 2019 at Riyadh's Diplomatic Quarter. Courtesy Riyadh Art
There’s much more than the live art however, including a diverse programme of public talks and events taking place. There will be 12 panel talks and discussions by leading figures, artists and practitioners working within the medium of sculpture and public art. TISS will also feature an educational schedule, hosting school and university visits during the making of the sculptures, providing students with access to materials, skills, tools and techniques, and encouraging teachers to consider how sculpture can be meaningful, enriching and rewarding.
Including one for Belgian artist Koert Vermeulen's "Star in Motion", which was suspended from the Kingdom Center tower at a height of 256 metres and radiated 1.2 million lumens.https://t.co/oeWqVtuYdE— About Her (@AboutHerOFCL) July 3, 2021
TISS is the second public art programme under Riyadh Art, a project developed to turn the Saudi capital into a creative canvas, a gallery without walls. Launched by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and HRH the Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Riyadh Art aims to enrich lives, ignite creative expression and kindle the creative economy. It comprises of over 1,000 public art installations across 12 programmes with the aim of bringing art to residential neighborhoods, gardens and parks, public squares and areas to create one of the world’s most livable, environmentally friendly and sustainable cities, in line with Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 goals.