Muhannad Shono

Beyond Words With Artist Muhannad Shono

July 25, 2021 - Rebecca Anne Proctor - Harper's Bazaar Arabia

Through the use of pigment and vibration, the artist studies what he deems “the crisis of the word.” In each work Muhannad grinds hardened charcoal words to dust and then employs vibrations from inaudible spectrums of sound to result in the new “words” – undefined black pigment forms – on paper.

Muhannad’s depictions on paper are the result of the artist’s inquiry into the shifting states of storytelling that occupy contemporary society. He believes that human beings have a tendency to place faith in stories and myths, drawing us to the construction of our present, past and future worlds. Such exploration stems from the artist’s “imagined state of being.” It’s a state that is devoid of time and place and that simply exists. In many ways, it also frees the artist from his own sense of displacement.

 

 

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10 must-see pieces at Noor Riyadh: the installations lighting up Saudi Arabia's capital city

March 25, 2021 - Melissa Gronlund - The National

The Noor Riyadh festival of light and art is running until April 3, held at sites across Saudi Arabia's capital city.

An exhibition of historical artworks that use light, from international explorations in the 1960s and 1970s to more recent works from the kingdom, is also on until June 12 at the King Abdullah Financial Centre.

4. 'Diwans of the Unknown' by Dana Awartani (2021). Location: Light Upon Light, King Abdullah Financial Centre

Arranged like a miniature screen, in Diwans of the Unknown the Palestinian-Saudi artist Dana Awartani projects lines of poetry from female poets of the pre-Islamic age to the 12th century. The phrases are stitched into gauzy sheets of silk that are lit from the side, so that the words float like ghosts from another age. The work is a continuation of Awartani’s 2018 large-scale sound installation, in which the whispers of these poems swirled around gravestone-like silk cloths, embroidered in complex geometry.

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Light in a time of darkness

March 24, 2021 - By AFP - Global Times

As the world slowly begins to emerge from the global COVID-19 pandemic, the kingdom of Saudi Arabia seeks to reengage its population with cultural activities. Noor Riyadh - which translates from Arabic to "Light of Riyadh" - is a citywide light and art festival illuminating the Saudi capital of Riyadh for the next three months.

Due to the global pandemic, 2020 was hardly characterized by cultural events or communal gatherings. But globally, society has gradually begun to emerge from a state of self-preservation, lockdowns and solitude, and begun a return to normalcy. As the Saudi public re-integrates into post-pandemic society, the Noor Riyadh festival aims to transform urban spaces into art that immerses and engages the community.

The second half of the festival, which takes the theme "Light Upon Light," is a retrospective exhibition tracking light art from the 1960s to the present. It runs until June 12 in the King Abdullah Financial District Conference Center.

Saudis are eager to leave the challenges of 2020 behind and look to a "brighter future," according to Director of Riyadh Art Khaled Al-Hazani. The festival, "a celebration of light and art on an unparalleled scale," has already proven popular with Saudis, who have flocked to see the exhibitions on display. Lulwah Al Homoud, one of the Saudi artists exhibiting her work, considers the inaugural festival as the beginning of a "golden age of Saudi art," she says.

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Noor Riyadh references Saudi Arabia’s past and rapidly changing present

March 23, 2021 - Rebecca Anne Proctor _ Arab News

The artworks, which encompass a range of media, including music, sculpture and performance, can be found in two main areas: The King Abdul Aziz Historical Center and the King Abdullah Financial District, where visitors can also view “Light Upon Light,” an exhibition of light art from the 1960s to the present, which is on view until June 12.
While the global art community will have to view the artworks virtually, Saudis have already been flocking to the venues in record numbers.
“One of the most critical aspects of Vision 2030 is the flourishing of the Saudi creative economy, which we are trying to foster, and this is one of the main highlights of Noor Riyadh as a program,” Anas Najmi, adviser to the Royal Commission for Riyadh City, told Arab News. “Despite all of the challenges of the pandemic, we managed to give the experience to 15,000 visitors in just one day. Secondly, over 1,200 jobs were created as part of the Noor Riyadh festival, half of which are for Saudis.”

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"نور الرياض"..السعودية تشهد انطلاق احتفالية تبرز إبداع فن الضوء

March 19, 2021 - CNN Arabic

دبي، الإمارات العربية المتحدة (CNN) -- شهدت المملكة العربية السعودية، مساء الخميس، انطلاق احتفالية "نور الرياض" والتي تضمنت عرض أعمال فنية تفاعلية تعتمد على الإضاءة في مواقع متعددة بأنحاء مدينة الرياض

وتضمنت الاحتفالية مشاركة 60 من كبار الفنانين في مجال فنون الإضاءة، ينتمون لأكثر من 20 دولة حول العالم، منهم 23 من الفنانين السعوديين، وفقاً لوكالة الأنباء السعودية "واس"

 

وتشتمل احتفالية "نور الرياض" على 60 عملاً فنياً، تضم جميع أشكال فنون الضوء، من بينها أعمال تاريخية وهندسية وضوئية، ومنحوتات، وعروض للإضاءة، وعروض تفاعلية، وقطع حركية، وتركيبات وأعمال خارجية، ومجموعة من أشكال الفن الخفيف، يتاح لسكان وزوار مدينة الرياض الاستمتاع بها عن قرب في مختلف أرجاء المدينة، مع تخصيص مركزين رئيسين للاحتفالية في كلٍ من مركز الملك عبدالله المالي ومركز الملك عبدالعزيز التاريخي بالمربع

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Saudi Arabia: Magic light festival to illuminate Riyadh

March 4, 2021 - Samir Salama, Associate Editor

The festival, dubbed Noor Riyadh, will also feature workshops, discussions, tours, presentations, volunteer programmes, cinematic and musical events, and recreational and educational activities.

“It aims to improve the city’s quality of life in line with the goals of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030, and to enhance the cultural and artistic aspects of the city, by transforming Riyadh into an open art gallery that blends the traditional with the contemporary,” said Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Farhan, Minister of Culture.

Prince Bin Farhan said the festival sought to enhance community interaction, spread art and beauty throughout the city, and enrich the daily life of its residents and its visitors, by promoting art in public places and the local art movement, and encouraging more creativity and innovation.

 

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أسبوع «مسك» للفنون... من الرياض إلى العالم وبالعكس

December 7, 2020 - Abeer Mishkas _ AlSharaq Alawsat عبير مشخص ـ الشرق الاوسط

لندن: عبير مشخص

في دورته الرابعة واجه أسبوع «مسك» للفنون جائحة كورونا، واحتمالات مختلفة، منها المضي قدماً أو الإلغاء، لكن «كورونا» لم تستطع تأجيل موعد عشاق الفن والثقافة مع الحدث الفني البارز على روزنامة الفن والثقافة في السعودية. في حوار مع ريم السلطان، الرئيسة التنفيذية لمعهد «مسك» للفنون، عبّرت عن الإصرار والتفاؤل في آن واحد. قالت لـ«الشرق الأوسط» إن الجائحة فرضت على المنظمين صيغة رقمية للوصول للجمهور، لكنها لم تمنع من إقامة بعض الفعاليات على الأرض. تحدثت معنا حول فعاليات الأسبوع، وأيضاً ألقت بنظرها على ما سيقدمه المستقبل.

السلطان تتحدث بحماسة جميلة، تتوجها بابتسامة لطيفة لم تفقد تأثيرها عبر شاشة الكومبيوتر، تعود معي لمرحلة الإعداد للأسبوع الفني. تقول: «كنا ننظر بقليل من القلق إلى مدى التفاعل مع الصيغة الافتراضية، لكن التفاعل كان أكثر من جيد، والمشاركات بشكل عام كانت كلها إيجابية». ترى في الموضوع العام الذي يغلف فعاليات الأسبوع، وهو «صياغة الثقافة»، عنصراً جاذباً، فهو «يلمس كل الفئات، ولهذا كانت هناك مشاركات وقبول من أطراف مختلفة».

تشير إلى المشاركين في الفعاليات: «شارك معنا أكثر من 65 مختصاً وخبيراً في الفنون والثقافة، تقريباً من أكثر من 10 دول»، ترى أن الموضوع (صياغة الثقافة) وأهميته وتوقيته كانت عناصر جذب للمشاركين.

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Grants scheme for Saudi artists aims to ease coronavirus pressures

May 26, 2020 - Hala Tashkandi _ Arab News

RIYADH: A Saudi art gallery has launched an initiative to provide financial grants to help support the work of artists in the Kingdom during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

Athr Gallery in Jeddah recently announced its Maan (Arabic for together) project in a bid to cushion the impact of the virus outbreak on the local art scene. As part of its mission to keep the arts sustained and accessible to a wider audience, Athr has collaborated with seven artists, whose limited-edition works will be sold to fund the grants.

The artists contributing their pieces are Ahmed Mater, Ayman Yossri Daydban, Dana Awartani, Manal Al-Dowayan, Muhannad Shono, Nasser Al-Salem, and Sultan bin Fahad.

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From California to Saudi Arabia: Desert X lands in Al Ula

February 10, 2020 - Stephanie D'Arc Taylor_ Evening Standard

Much of the work is exuberant and visually spectacular, from a giant swing set by the Danish collective Superflex (which first appeared in Tate Modern in 2017) to a 25ft-tall silver fuselage-type installation by American artist Gisela Colon that calls to mind a sex object outlawed in the kingdom.

Saudi artist and storyteller Muhannad Shono showed his The Lost Path installation, which binds together 65,000 black plastic pipes to wind hundreds of feet through the dunes and cliffs. The work, he says, is meant to invoke a treasure map as well as a reminder of the oil that the tubes once contained and the far-reaching effects of that modern-day treasure.

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“I asked artists to think about three core ideas,” El Khalil says. “The first was biomimicry – a connection with nature, learning from nature, from 3.8 billion years of evolution. The second was adaptability: decisions might need to be amended ver

February 9, 2020 - Melissa Gronlund_ The National_ Art & Culture

I Love You, Urgently looks to natural forms, communities, connections, and a level-­playing field between humans and the natural world – ideas such as camel herders singing lullabies to their animals. Its ostensible focus is the continuing climate emergency, though the artists involved in the exhibition were inspired not just by climate change, but by the strategies and shifts in mind-sets that will be necessary to improve or adapt to a changed planet.

“I asked artists to think about three core ideas,” El Khalil says. “The first was biomimicry – a connection with nature, learning from nature, from 3.8 billion years of evolution. The second was adaptability: decisions might need to be amended very quickly, and the needs themselves might need to be amended very quickly. And the third was specificity: to look at our environment and to think, what are the specific needs?” Each of the works on show were commissioned, and the 21, 39 organisers worked with the artists from research phase to final result.

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