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Saudi Arabia’s Inaugural Contemporary Art Biennale

Saudi Arabia has just announced the inaugural edition of the kingdom’s contemporary art biennale, entitled, “Diriyah Contemporary Art Biennale.” In a statement about the event, HH Prince Badr bin Farhan Al-Saud, Minister of Culture of Saudi Arabia said, “Cultural and artistic exchange are essential in this period of unprecedented growth and development in the creative community in Saudi Arabia. The Diriyah Contemporary Art Biennale is at the forefront of this cultural awakening and flourishing art scene.”

Aya Al Bakree, the CEO of the Diriyah Biennale Foundation also commented, “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. The Biennale will drive cultural exchange, promote dialogue and understanding, and further establish the Saudi Arabian artistic community as an important cultural voice.”

The kingdom’s first ever contemporary art biennale will take place at the repurposed JAX district of Diriyah, on the outskirts of Riyadh and will be presenting Saudi Arabia’s cultural and creative communities via six chapters under the creative umbrella “Feeling the Stones,” which will feature work by around 70 national and international artists. The art works are curated by a team led by Philip Tinari, director and chief executive of UCCA center for contemporary art in China.

Moreover, next year’s edition is already underway and will be centered on Islamic Arts. 

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