Dazzling light art festival to illuminate Riyadh

Let it glow…

Noor Riyadh, a new citywide festival of light and art, is launching an experiential, fun-filled journey to illuminate the capital city.

From March 18 to April 3, Riyadh will be transformed into a giant art gallery of sculptures, lighting displays, interactive performances and outdoor installations.

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The inaugural edition features more than 60 artworks, including large-scale public installations across Riyadh and the Light Upon Light: Light Art since the 1960s retrospective at the King Abdullah Financial District Conference Centre.

There are also tours, talks, workshops, family activities, film and music, many of which are available to view online.

Over 60 artists from 20 countries will be exhibiting, with close to 40 per cent hailing from Saudi Arabia. Renowned international artists include Daniel Buren, Carsten Höller, Ilya and Emilia Kabakov, Yayoi Kusama and Dan Flavin.

Among the Saudi artists are Ahmed Mater, Lulwah Al Homoud, Ayman Zedani, Rashed AlShashai and Maha Malluh. The festival also aims to provide a transformative platform to local emerging artists.

‘Under One Sky’ is the theme for Noor Riyadh, which alludes to the universal human impulse to gather around light, to look into the flames of a campfire, and to gaze at the stars.

A lasting legacy

Noor Riyadh endeavours to enhance community interaction and to spread the manifestations of art and beauty in the city by promoting art in public spaces, fostering the local art movement, and encouraging more creativity and innovation.

The event is part of Riyadh Art, one of the four major projects under the mandate of the Royal Commission for Riyadh City that aim to turn the capital into “a gallery without walls”.

“Noor Riyadh honours Riyadh’s rich cultural heritage and areas of natural beauty through a carefully curated program, whilst creating a dialogue between tradition and modernity and the city’s past and future. The 2021 theme reflects Saudi Arabia’s long-held tradition of international exchange at the crossroads of east and west,” said His Highness Prince Badr bin Farhan Al-Saud, chairman of the steering committee for Riyadh Art.

Noor Riyadh 2021 will take place at the following locations: AlNakheel Sports Park, Digital City, Diplomatic Quarter General Authority, JAX District, King Abdullah Financial District (KAFD), King Abdulaziz Historical Center, Kingdom Tower, King Fahad National Library, Masmak Fort, Riyadh Front, At-Turaif World Heritage Site, Wadi Hanifah Dam Park, and Wadi Namar Park.

The Light Upon Light exhibition, which showcases 30 light installations, will stay on until June 12.

Visit: noorriyadh.sa / @noorriyadhfestival

Images: Supplied / Instagram