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Young Saudi Artists

Last two days of the exhibition. Drop by if you haven’t, and think about your art attitude while you’re at it.

What are young creative minds in Saudi Arabia thinking about? How different and how similar are they to young people from other countries? What does it mean to be a young Saudi today? Young Saudi Artists, in its second year this February, might show you the way towards an answer.

It was a year ago when I walked out of Young Saudi Artists 1 with the ‘feeling of having witnessed something that might change forever the way this region will come to be talked about’. I have learnt to trust my instinct since.  2012 might have started with echoes of foreboding and fear of endings for some, but for contemporary Saudi art, the year was literally a year of birth. Not so much a birth, perhaps, but a striking and unforgettable appearance on the scene. An entry with a bang.

The word ‘Saudi art’ has come to embody a unique and inimitable truth. It is an art that is coloured by the social, political and cultural realities of the region. As it is, not only for the majority of outsiders who have never visited Saudi Arabia but also for a surprising number of expatriates living in Saudi Arabia, the full richness of Saudi culture, and the details of its contours is a relative mystery. Saudi art opens a gateway into that culture.

Young Saudi Artists is Athr Gallery’s initiative to search and showcase young artistic talent from across the country. While the senior artists of a region define the past, the young voices sing of the future. Here’s to this chorus of fresh, fearless new voices, their hopes, their fears, and their ideals.

Young Saudi Artists II

This year marks the first major public contemporary art exhibition in Saudi Arabia, bringing to light the breadth and depth of the existing Saudi Art scene. In support of this new spirit of expression and dialogue, Athr Gallery is proud to present the second edition of the Young Saudi Artists exhibition. The exhibition will show the works of twenty-three up and coming new artists, across a range of styles and mediums. The exhibition demonstrates primarily, the continuity and particularly, the growth of the Saudi art scene, showing that it is expanding, thriving and here to stay.

Many claim that the environment of Saudi Arabia and its conservative and traditionalist nature is not conducive to contemporary art. The Young Saudi Artists exhibition demonstrates that not only is it conducive to the production of art, but it is this very nature that sets that art apart. It forces young people to search for alternative means of expression and imbues their work with subtlety and multiple layers of meaning. The Young Saudi Artists continue to explore current realities, push boundaries, challenge stereotypes and engage each other on a platform where Individual artistic identities are made known; some free from the stigma of locality and others a testimony to it.

Exhibiting Artists

Sara Al Abdali
Heba Abed
Namir Alireza
Ahaad Al Amoudi
Mala’a Al Amoudi
Zeina Badran
Rawan Al Barakati
Najla Al Bassam
Mohsen Al Dajani
Rahaf Al Ghoneim
Louai Kofiah
Noura Al Mazrooe
Jawaher Al Mhanna
Mahmoud Naseem
Arwa Al Neami
Mona Al Qahtani
Rami Al Qthami
Suzan Al Quasmi
Redwan Al Reemi
Awatef Al Safwan

Text titled ‘Young Saudi Artists II’ and image provided by Athr Gallery.

– Naima Rashid

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