One of the world’s most exciting festivals of light and art, Noor Riyadh has just launched across the Saudi Arabian capital, lighting up the night sky. Combining the highest quality of light artworks across the largest city footprint, the festival brings together works by over 60 celebrated global artists from as far and wide as Argentina, China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom and United States, including 23 leading Saudi artists.
The theme of the inaugurating edition is Under One Sky, alluding to the universal human impulse to gather around light, to look into the flames of a campfire and to gaze at the stars.
Part of the larger Riyadh Art program that is investing in more than 1,000 pieces of public art to turn the city into a gallery without walls, Noor Riyadh 2021 is was inaugurated as one of the city's four mega-projects.
Director of Riyadh Art, Khaled Al-Hazan described the festival as "a celebration of light and art on an unparalleled scale" and an opportunity to "connect with people from across the globe, sharing experiences based on the warmth of personality, generosity of spirit and creative thought."
Art is a universal language and light is a symbol of hope and, in these challenging times, it is my hope that this festival shines like a beacon to the world and illuminates our path to a brighter future reflecting our theme of 'Under One Sky'.
Advisor of brand and marketing to the Royal Commission for Riyadh City, Hosam Al-Qurashi described the festival as "a metaphor for the transformation of Riyadh", illuminating the city's "ambition to become one of the world’s most competitive and liveable cities by 2030."
We believe this initiative will have a profound and positive effect on enriching the lives of citizens, residents and visitors alike, bringing together a global community which sparks creative expression and creates an inclusive culture.
The festival brings together over 60 artworks comprising large-scale public installations across Riyadh, created by international icons such as Daniel Buren, Carsten Höller, Lucio Fontana, teamLab, Ilya & Emilia Kabakov, Nancy Holt, Yayoi Kusama, Urs Fischer, Dan Flavin and Robert Wilson, alongside Saudi artists Ahmed Mater, Lulwah Al Homoud, Ayman Zedani, Rashed AlShashai and Maha Malluh.
The program also presents a landmark exhibition of light art titled Light Upon Light: Light Art since the 1960s.
In addition to the installations across the city, the festival also includes a program of over 270 special activities, such as tours, talks, workshops, family activities, film screenings and music. Many of these programs are available online, allowing the festival to be enjoyed by a wider global audience
The Noor Riyadh festival will take place in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia until June 12th, 2021, while a citywide installation program will be on view until April 3rd, 2021.
Part of Noor Riyadh, a Riyadh Art program, the exhibition Light Upon Light: Light Art since the 1960s will be on view at King Abdullah Financial District Conference Center (KAFD) in Riyadh until June 12th, 2021.
For a complete list of the exhibitions and special events, be sure to check out the official page of the festival.
Featured images: Zaman Jassim - When the Moon is Full, 2021. Fiberglass, LED lights and video projection, 1000 x 1000 x 270 cm; Koert Vermeulen - Star in Motion, 2021. Steel, aluminium, LED lighting, Automatic lighting, control systems, 625 cm diameter; Ayman Zedani - Earthseed, 2021. 3-channel video installation, Dimensions variable; Angelo Bonello - Run Beyond, 2015. Iron and LED lights, 5300 cm. Courtesy the artist and Light Art Collection; Abdullah AlOthman - Casino AlRiyadh, 2021. All images courtesy the artists. Photos © Riyadh Art.