A wide audience of art fans from around the world attended the first-of-its-kind Islamic Arts Biennale, which launched on Sunday, at the Hajj Terminal of the King Khalid International Airport, Jeddah.
Under the theme “Awwal Bait” (First House), the exhibition is aimed at celebrating the Islamic civilization with an artistic touch that combines contemporary art, rare memorabilia and manuscripts, and unique masterpieces.
Rakan al-Touq, general supervisor of Culture Affairs and International Relations at the Ministry of Culture, and vice-chair of Diriyah Biennale Foundation, said “the Islamic Arts Biennale is an initiative of the Diriyah Biennale Foundation, which was established as part of the National Culture Strategy in 2019.”
He noted that “the foundation curated the Contemporary Arts Biennale at the Diriyah’s Jax District, and now, the Islamic Arts Biennale at Hajj Terminal of the King Khalid International Airport, Jeddah.”
About the Biennale’s strategic goals, he said that “it aims to establish bridges of Islamic arts between the kingdom and the world, as many cultural foundations and international museums from several countries are partaking.”
The Biennale provides a platform that combines contemporary arts and Islamic artifacts; it’s also a platform for contemporary artists; “We currently have over 50 contemporary artworks made by more than 40 artists including 18 Saudis.”
“We believe that we play a major role in connecting people in this field, practitioners and experts, by building academic, research, and artistic partnerships with international foundations interested in this field,” he added.
Al-Touq revealed that the foundation has partnered with the Ministry of Hajj and Umra to organize tours for Umra visitors in different languages, noting that the exhibition’s content provides over 15 printed and four audio languages to ensure the visitors a rich experience.
“The tree-month exhibition includes a cultural program that features many activities, seminars, workshops, and a children camp. For over 90 days, the Biennale will offer amazing experience for its visitors.”