Residents mesmerized as Riyadh City dazzles with light art

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Riyadh has dazzled since last Thursday evening when the 33 public light art installations were ignited to illuminate the night sky as part of Noor Riyadh, a city-wide light art festival under the Riyadh Art program.

The 2021 theme ‘Under One Sky’, alludes to the universal human impulse to gather around light, to look into the flames of a campfire and to gaze at the stars.

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The launch edition’s program includes over 60 artworks comprising large-scale public installations across Riyadh, a landmark exhibition of light art since the 1960s’ Light Upon Light: Light Art since the 1960s’ and a diverse program of special activities including tours, talks, workshops, family activities, film and music.

‘Tribute to Ali Alruzaiza’ at Masmak Fort. (Courtesy: Noor Riyadh)
‘Tribute to Ali Alruzaiza’ at Masmak Fort. (Courtesy: Noor Riyadh)

Residents have flocked in large numbers to take part in the multitude of events happening as part of the Noor Riyadh festival. Over the first week of the festival more than 120,000 residents have attended the Noor Riyadh festival, while nearly 200,000 visitors have accessed the Noor Riyadh website.

Noor Riyadh’s program of activities has been scheduled to maximize participation and community engagement through creative, personal and immersive experiences.

’Run Beyond’ by Angelo Bonello, on Monorail at King Abdulaziz Financial District. (Courtesy: Noor Riyadh)
’Run Beyond’ by Angelo Bonello, on Monorail at King Abdulaziz Financial District. (Courtesy: Noor Riyadh)

During the first weekend the public have flocked to enjoy drive-in movies and to take part in creative talks with Saudi and global experts, join walking tours, and participate in creative workshops.

Thanks to technology, those in other cities or countries too can enjoy a vast menu of online workshops, talks, images and videos to not miss Noor Riyadh.

While residents have been captivated by the transformation of the city, Saudi and world-renowned international artists are also enjoying the energy of the festival.

Saudi physician turned conceptual artist, Ahmed Mater, who has created two artworks as part of the citywide installations program and the Light Upon Light exhibition, said: “The ‘Under One Sky’ theme of Noor Riyadh speaks of universality and equality, bringing the world together to share ideas and experiences. The art scene in Saudi Arabia is young, energetic and full of hope which is reflected in the authenticity and energy displayed throughout the festival.”

The public light installations will remain illuminated for 9 more days through to April 3, while the exhibition and a wide range of events and activities continues until early June.

Most events are ticketed to manage numbers with booking on a first come, first served basis available through the website.

Close to 25,000 tickets have been issued in a week, with this and a growing interest, it is expected for Noor Riyadh to spark the creative expression of Riyadh as never seen before.

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

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