Riyadh lights up with Under One Sky until April 3. The Festival, which involves over 60 artists from more than 20 countries as a whole, hosts 33 spectacular large-scale public installations throughout the city of Riyadh, created by international artists such as Daniel Buren, Robert Willson, Carsten Höller, Ilya & Emilia Kabakov and by Saudi artists such as Ahmed Mater, Lulwah Al-Homoud, Ayman Zedani, Saeed Gamhawi, Ali Alruzaiza.
The project of the 33 spectacular installations was created with the creative guidance of Marco Balich and the artistic direction of Lida Castelli. The curators are Eiman Elgibreen together with Pam Toonen with the advice of Vincenzo de Bellis.
The launch edition of Noor Riyadh includes large-scale public installations throughout the city of Riyadh, a historical exhibition Light Upon Light: Light Art since the 1960s, and a diverse program of special activities including tours, lectures, workshops, activities for families, movies and music, many of which are available online to reach a wider audience. The uplifting event is the first program of the larger Riyadh Art project.
This inaugural edition brings together many exciting names in light art, bringing some of the greatest international and regional artists to the city of Riyadh, while providing a transformative platform to an expanding roster of emerging local artists.
Among the participating artists are Saudi artists such as Ahmed Mater, Lulwah Al-Homoud, Ayman Zedani, Saeed Gamhawi, Ali Alruzaiza, and international artists such as Daniel Buren, Robert Wilson, Carsten Höller, Ilya & Emilia Kabakov.
Noor Riyadh’s 2021 theme, “Under One Sky”, is a catalyst for artists to create works that respond to inclusiveness and shared humanity. It alludes to the universal human urge to gather around the light, to gaze at the flames of a bonfire and to gaze at the stars. While the theme in its English translation is immediately traceable to an international audience, the words in Arabic (تجمعنا سماء واحدة) literally mean “we gather under one sky”. Encompassing all forms of light art, including sculptures, projections, interactive performances, kinetics and engaging pieces, Noor Riyadh brings city-wide outdoor installations to Riyadh residents.
Eiman Elgibreen, curator of the project of the 33 installations that animate the city in conveying a little of the love and emotions that visitors are experiencing, of the stories of a mother who, in trying, with difficulty, to convince her four-year-old son, Enraptured by the light show in which he was immersed, on returning home he comments: “These two minutes will remain etched in my son’s memory forever. We now have an extra art lover”. And in commenting on the work carried out under the creative guidance of Marco Balich and the artistic direction of Lida Castelli Eiman Elgibreen says: “Here everyone’s work is attracting the attention of different groups of people. We thank them, they are among the protagonists of this project. If it hadn’t been for them, we wouldn’t have been able to do something so spectacular. “