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Noor Riyadh: Spectacular installations light up Saudi capital’s night sky

Published: Updated:

Noor Riyadh, a magnificent light and art festival will begin on Thursday for the first time with spectacular installations lighting up the night sky of the Saudi Arabian capital for 17 days till April 3, 2021.

The magnificent installations will be visible to all in public spaces across the city.

Run Beyond by Angelo Bonello at  King Abdullah Financial District, Riyadh. (Courtesy: Noor Riyadh)
Run Beyond by Angelo Bonello at King Abdullah Financial District, Riyadh. (Courtesy: Noor Riyadh)

Displayed will be significant works of light art under the theme of ‘Under One Sky,’ 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 and including 23 leading Saudi artists.

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The Noor Riyadh festival features 33 citywide installations encompassing all forms of light art, including sculptures, projections, interactive shows, kinetic and immersive pieces placed in numerous locations across the city to excite and entertain residents and visitors.

Retrospective exhibition

Alongside the citywide installations, the ‘Light Upon Light: Light Art since the 1960s,’ the largest retrospective exhibition of lightworks featuring the work of 30 artists

The retrospective show will be on view till June 12, 2021, at the King Abdullah Financial District Conference Center (KAFD), Riyadh.

Picto Sender Machine by Felipe Prado at the King Abdullah Financial District. (Courtesy: Noor Riyadh)
Picto Sender Machine by Felipe Prado at the King Abdullah Financial District. (Courtesy: Noor Riyadh)

The light and art festival also includes a program of over 270 special activities of tours, talks, workshops, family activities, film screenings and music, many of which are available online allowing the festival to be enjoyed by a wider audience outside of Riyadh and Saudi Arabia.

Some events, such as workshops, film screenings and talks are ticketed with a nominal charge to manage capacity and ensure public safety and compliance with social distancing regulations.

Turning the city into a gallery

Noor Riyadh is 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.

It was inaugurated as one of the four mega-projects of Riyadh City by King Salman and initiated by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

According to Hosam Al-Qurashi, Advisor of brand and marketing to the Royal Commission for Riyadh City: “This magnificent festival is a metaphor for the transformation of Riyadh. It illuminates our ambition to become one of the world’s most competitive and liveable cities by 2030.

Star in Motion by Koert Vermeulen at Kingdom Tower. (Courtesy: Noor Riyadh)
Star in Motion by Koert Vermeulen at Kingdom Tower. (Courtesy: Noor Riyadh)

“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.”

Al-Qurashi said Riyadh Art will also positively contribute to the economic development of the city “as a place for investment and where the new creative economy flourishes, while having a positive impact on developing Riyadh as a beautiful, vibrant and cosmopolitan city for everyone to enjoy.”

Khaled Al-Hazani, Director of Riyadh Art, said: “Noor Riyadh is a celebration of light and art on an unparalleled scale. 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.’

Nocturnal Dialogue by Ralf Westerhof andTalal Al Zeid at the King Abdulaziz Historical Center. (Courtesy: Noor Riyadh)
Nocturnal Dialogue by Ralf Westerhof andTalal Al Zeid at the King Abdulaziz Historical Center. (Courtesy: Noor Riyadh)

“Noor Riyadh has been designed as an immersive, interactive festival of light and art and, whether you are here in-person or engaging with us online around the world, this is an opportunity to connect with people from across the globe, sharing experiences based on the warmth of personality, generosity of spirit and creative thought.”