RIYADH.- Edge of Arabia
, a groundbreaking cultural initiative, promoting and empowering contemporary artists from Saudi Arabia, launched today its world tour at the Global Competitiveness Forum (GCF), held in Riyadhs iconic Kingdom Tower under the patronage of The Custodian of the two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz.
Edge of Arabias participation at the GCF from the 23rd to 26th January represents the launch of an historic world tour that builds on landmark exhibitions in London (2008) and Venice (2009). The tour aims to create positive and sustainable cultural dialogue between Saudi Arabia and the rest of the world while investing in the Kingdoms creative potential at a crucial moment in the regions recent history.
This significant moment opens a fresh chapter in the history of Saudi art, allowing a new generation of creative voices to deepen understanding of the Kingdoms cultural achievements, while celebrating artistic practice at the centre of the Islamic world.
Following the GCF event, 2010 will see Edge of Arabia travel to Dubai in March (for Art Dubai 2010), Berlin in June, (to coincide with the Berlin Biennale) and Istanbul in November (as a part of Istanbul Capital of Culture). This will be the start of an Edge of Arabia World Tour that will run up to 2014 and take in many of the worlds cultural centres.
Stephen Stapelton, Director of Edge of Arabia says: What started off as a grass roots group of artists coming together in the mountains of Southern Saudi Arabia, has developed into a project of international significance. In launching this world tour in the capital of Saudi Arabia, we aim to amplify the moderate voices of a new generation of artists, and send a powerful and positive message to audiences around the world.
Edge of Arabias world tour launch at the GCF, which is sponsored by the Abdul Latif Jameel Co. Ltd, will include an art exhibition, press conference and book signings with curators and artists. Edge of Arabia will also deliver a series of dedicated art workshops with local school children.
The GCF 2010 will see international cultural leaders, top business figures, political influencers, renowned academics, artists and journalists brought together under the umbrella of the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA). The theme for this years conference will be sustainable competitiveness, highlighting the contribution of creative industries towards innovative economic development. Discussion panels at the Forum will include sessions on design, architecture and art with confirmed panellists including Michael Govan of Los Angles County Museum of Contemporary Art, and Glen Lowry, of the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
Participating Artists at GCF 2010
Shadia & Raja Alem (Jeddah), Mohammed Farea Ali (Riyadh), Ahmed Mater Aseeri (Abha), Abdulaziz Ashour (Jeddah), Ayman Yossri Daydban (Jeddah), Manal Al-Dowayan (Dhahran), Abdulnasser Gharem (Khamis Mushait), Yosef Jaha (Makkah), Mahdi Al Jeraibi (Makkah), Maha Malluh (Riyyadh), Ali Al-Ruzaiza (Riyadh), Faisal Samra (Bahrain) and Noha Al-Sharief (Jeddah).