Noor Riyadh: A Fusion of Light and Art Transforming Saudi's Capital
Noor Riyadh, following its inaugural event in 2021, returns to cast a radiant spell on the Saudi capital. This light art festival, celebrated for bringing art into the everyday lives of Riyadh's residents, illuminates the city's districts and neighborhoods with spectacular installations.
This year's festival, commencing on November 30 and concluding on December 16, is set to be a visual feast. Large-scale art pieces crafted by artists from Saudi Arabia and around the globe will grace various locations across Riyadh. The theme, “The Bright Side of The Desert Moon,” explores the desert as a place of reconnection, inviting viewers to discover Riyadh's hidden gems and cultural landmarks under the enchanting cover of night.
“One of the key components of the festival is to stage it everywhere in the city of Riyadh,” says Miguel Blanco-Carrasco, adviser at the Royal Commission for Riyadh City and Riyadh Art. He emphasizes that Noor Riyadh aims to attract a diverse audience, including those who typically might not engage with art exhibitions.
This year, Noor Riyadh will feature 120 artworks by more than 100 artists from around 35 countries, emphasizing a strong representation of Saudi talents. The festival's central hub is located in the King Abdullah Financial District, a bustling center for business and lifestyle in Riyadh, which recently hosted the inaugural Riyadh Fashion Week.
The lineup includes acclaimed artists like Ange Leccia, Carsten Holler, Chris Levine, and more, with several returning artists such as Muhannad Shono and Ahaad Alamoudi. The curatorial team, led by Jerome Sans and including curators Pedro Alonzo, Fahad bin Naif, and Alaa Tarabzouni, reflects the festival's multinational and multicultural spirit.
Running parallel to the festival is the exhibition “Refracted Identities, Shared Futures,” curated by Neville Wakefield alongside Maya Al-Athel. This exhibition will showcase works from various artists, running until March 2, 2024.
Nouf Al-Moneef, project manager of Noor Riyadh, highlights the festival's commitment to community engagement. “Our focus is on making art accessible and educational through various initiatives like talks, workshops, and school programs,” she says. This year’s event also explores the intersection of art and technology, pushing new boundaries in artistic expression.
Noor Riyadh is part of the larger Riyadh Art initiative, which aims to transform the city into a vibrant "gallery without walls." This initiative is a testament to Saudi Arabia’s growing cultural scene, aiming to integrate public art into the fabric of the city and foster local artistic talent.
For more information and to experience the transformative power of light and art, visit riyadhart.sa.