As the ongoing Riyadh Season was in full swing in Saudi Arabia's capital, the Naqwa exhibition opened this month to a massive fanfare and excited attendees. Situated at Riyadh Front, the art exhibition plays host to some of the region's arts and crafts as both local and international tourists attend to see the works by contemporary artists and businesses. In fact, Naqwa is open to exhibiting from the following categories: fashion, art, jewelry, decoration, crafts, technology, cars, restaurants, and cafes.
One of the most prominent displays are the sculptures, which are made out of plastic and on display across two areas. This includes the "Catalyst" by Thamer Al-Juhani, which proved to be a favorite as attendees were encouraged to examine through details of each sculpture on display. Visitors also got to learn what it took to craft each sculpture as Al-Juhani elaborated on his journey in crafting his masterpieces up to completion. The Catalyst was just one of four sculptures that he was able to complete in just a year.
"Dakhilah" was another display that people took notice of, as it depicts a Bedouin woman while serving as a representation of Al-Juhani's family. On the other hand, "Samran" represents a real-life depiction of a Saudi man with emphasis on his chivalry and firmness.
Naqwa exhibition comes as the Kingdom is setting itself as a regional destination for art. In recent months, for instance, we saw the launch of AlUla Art Residency program, which seeks to transform the historical region into an art destination. In addition, the Kingdom launched its first Diriyah Contemporary Art Biennial, and campaigned to add Arabic calligraphy on UNESCO's heritage list. Currently, AlUla is set to host the Desert X art exhibition from February 11 to March 30, 2022.