Arab Today, arab today first outdoor art show in conservative saudi
Last Updated : GMT 05:43:50
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today

Dozens of paintings display on billboards

First outdoor art show in conservative Saudi

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today First outdoor art show in conservative Saudi

Saudi artists stand in front of paintings displayed during showcase of Saudi art
Riyadh - Arab Today

In highly conservative Saudi Arabia where most forms of entertainment are forbidden, art has taken to the streets.
Dozens of paintings are being displayed on outdoor advertising billboards in the capital Riyadh and other cities in what organisers say is the kingdom's first public art show.
"It is something new," said Mohammed al-Khereiji, deputy chief executive of Al-Arabia Outdoor, the advertising firm behind the exhibition.
It opened Monday night along Riyadh's glitzy Tahlia Street and runs until Saturday.
"For the first time, art is presented to the public," although small indoor exhibitions have previously taken place in the kingdom, he said.
Sculptures have also been displayed in the open, including a permanent display along the corniche in the Red Sea city of Jeddah, and the country has some small galleries.
With about 3,400 billboards showing 80 paintings by Saudi artists, Khereiji called it "the biggest art gallery in the Middle East".
Normally on Tahlia Street, the only things on show are flashy cars cruising past the boulevard's wide sidewalks, outdoor cafes, and high-end restaurants serving Western cuisine.
The kingdom, which practises a conservative Salafist version of Islam, bans alcohol even in luxury hotels, does not allow cinemas or theatres, and strictly separates the sexes.
"The culture and the society do not encourage artists and it is difficult to be an artist in this society," said Majed Saud al-Mefareh, in front of a billboard featuring his painting, "Story".
It is a patchwork of abstract figures and images depicting Saudi life and traditions.
Mefareh, 38, who holds a regular job in administration, said he has been a part-time painter for about two decades because he enjoys his hobby and knows that "some people in our society like it" too.
The inaugural exhibition should help more Saudis to appreciate the visual arts, he said.
Sultan al-Adwani, a curious onlooker who works at the interior ministry, said the outdoor gallery seemed like a good idea.
"It's better than inside the building," he said in the chilly evening air as waiters served glasses of juice to invited guests outside a French restaurant.
- A powerful image -
The paintings were chosen after a call for submissions drew 3,200 entries.
Most of the colourful works are in an abstract style, some reminiscent of early-20th century Cubism made famous by Picasso.
They include a variety of subjects including urban and rural landscapes, sports, Islam's holiest site the Kaaba, a stylised camel, and a couple in traditional dress sitting on chairs together at the seaside.
The strict Wahhabi version of Islam forbids paintings of the human form but several works in the exhibition clearly depict people, many of them women.
One painting shows a green female figure, hands on hips and head held high, emerging from a cactus in a desert landscape.
It is a powerful image in a country that does not allow women to drive and where they cover themselves in black from head to toe outside the home.
Ahlam Nassir al-Harbi, 23, said women are also a minority among the country's artists, making up perhaps 10 or 20 percent of painters.
An art student at Princess Nora bint Abdulrahman University for women, she said "it feels lovely" to have one of her paintings exhibited outside.
The work shows two female forms alongside traditional Bedouin designs.
Harbi, only her eyes visible under a black abaya robe, agreed the outdoor show would help elevate the low level of interest in art among the Saudi public.
It did not, however, generate much attention from the country's religious police tasked with cracking down on perceived moral violations.
"The Islamic police passed by", Khereiji said, and they had no problem with the exhibition.
Source: AFP

Name *

E-mail *

Comment Title*

Comment *

: Characters Left

Mandatory *

Terms of use

Publishing Terms: Not to offend the author, or to persons or sanctities or attacking religions or divine self. And stay away from sectarian and racial incitement and insults.

I agree with the Terms of Use

Security Code*

Arab Today, arab today first outdoor art show in conservative saudi Arab Today, arab today first outdoor art show in conservative saudi

 



Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today Fadi explains secrets of  Nancy Ajram's newlook

GMT 18:23 2017 Friday ,24 February

Fadi explains secrets of  Nancy Ajram's newlook
Arab Today, arab today Tourist guide explains types of tourism

GMT 18:28 2017 Saturday ,25 February

Tourist guide explains types of tourism
Arab Today, arab today Expresses Algerian history by woody figures

GMT 13:26 2017 Friday ,24 February

Expresses Algerian history by woody figures
Arab Today, arab today Iran complying with nuclear deal

GMT 07:14 2017 Saturday ,25 February

Iran complying with nuclear deal
Arab Today, arab today Ayat Abaza says state TV presented major stars

GMT 03:52 2017 Sunday ,26 February

Ayat Abaza says state TV presented major stars
View News in Arabic - Culture: أخبار ثقافة
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today Reading therapy relieves mental disorders

GMT 15:39 2017 Friday ,24 February

Reading therapy relieves mental disorders
Arab Today, arab today UK appoints 1st Scotland Yard chief in 188 years

GMT 05:14 2017 Thursday ,23 February

UK appoints 1st Scotland Yard chief in 188 years
Arab Today, arab today Penguins in the age of dinos

GMT 11:44 2017 Saturday ,25 February

Penguins in the age of dinos
Arab Today, arab today Pluto's unruly moons

GMT 06:31 2015 Thursday ,04 June

Pluto's unruly moons
Arab Today, arab today 'Constructive' Vauxhall talk with union

GMT 08:54 2017 Saturday ,25 February

'Constructive' Vauxhall talk with union
Arab Today, arab today Tesla back into red but revenue grows

GMT 07:27 2017 Thursday ,23 February

Tesla back into red but revenue grows
Arab Today, arab today Actress Lobna Abdel Aziz proud of her career

GMT 06:08 2017 Thursday ,23 February

Actress Lobna Abdel Aziz proud of her career
Arab Today, arab today Ex-yoga missionary unleashes rage

GMT 12:16 2017 Thursday ,23 February

Ex-yoga missionary unleashes rage

GMT 07:36 2017 Wednesday ,22 February

Wafaa Amer is happy for Sherihan’s return

GMT 12:35 2017 Tuesday ,21 February

63-Year-Old Woman Delivers Baby

GMT 22:42 2017 Thursday ,23 February

Nasima Gamei revives heritage in jewelries

GMT 10:28 2017 Wednesday ,22 February

Milan laughs while Rome cries

GMT 20:33 2017 Friday ,17 February

To release new antiques collection

GMT 10:20 2017 Thursday ,23 February

Brazil's top diplomat resigns

GMT 11:54 2017 Thursday ,23 February

Saudis await visitors but will they come?

GMT 13:12 2015 Saturday ,09 May

Sheikh Sultan opens Sharjah Centre

GMT 20:02 2017 Tuesday ,21 February

Nohan Seyam designs beautiful accessories
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
 
 Arab Today Facebook,arab today facebook  Arab Today Twitter,arab today twitter Arab Today Rss,arab today rss  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday
بناية النخيل - رأس النبع _ خلف السفارة الفرنسية _بيروت - لبنان
arabstoday, Arabstoday, Arabstoday