Noor Riyadh, the world's largest light art festival, will return to Saudi Arabia's capital for its third edition from November 30 to December 16, 2023. More than 120 artworks, large-scale installations and immersive projections will light up the city, bringing art to the people and boosting the creative economy. The event supports the Riyadh Art objective of transforming Riyadh into an awe-inspiring 'gallery without walls', engaging diverse audiences, transcending boundaries, and integrating art into the urban fabric.
Presented by Lead Curator Jérôme Sans and Curators Pedro Alonzo, Fahad Bin Naif and Alaa Tarabzouni Noor Riyadh’s 2023 theme ‘The Bright Side of the Desert Moon’ explores light as a unifying force that sustains, comforts and connects us all. Artworks are dispersed across five main hubs and additional locations throughout Riyadh City, with the central hub located at the King Abdullah Financial District (KAFD), complemented by those at JAX District, Salam Park, Wadi Hanifa and Wadi Namar. Across the festival, the luminous city is contrasted against its arid surroundings, like a whirlwind of transformation. While the dazzling light of the desert is compared to the isolation of modern technology, the artworks by artists from 35 countries invite visitors to slow down, transcend time and space and reintegrate.
Running concurrently to the festival in the JAX District from November 30, 2023 to March 2, 2024, the exhibition 'Refracted Identities, Shared Futures', curated by Neville Wakefield and Maya Al Athel, offers a more intimate exploration of the concepts presented at the festival.
Refracted Identities, Shared Futures is a journey that moves through the three spaces of the exhibition: Cosmos, Temporality and Connectivity. Works from over 30 artists from across the globe address mythology, astrophysics, swarm intelligence, and the unique and multifaceted properties of light.
Talin Hazbar's Earth Records unearths temporal layers, revealing hidden histories embedded in the very earth beneath our feet, while Shaikha Al Mazrou’s Beyond All Measures layers time in the form of paired horizons in which the oxidization of metals serves to create infinitely slow sunsets. In the closing space of the exhibition, Aidha Badr’s filaments of luminescent threads weave us together, while Ahaad Alamoudi uses light to become a form of social interaction reaching across divides.
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