Sultan Bin Fahad

‘Rome chose me,’ says Saudi artist on breakthrough Italian exhibition

October 24, 2020 - Francesco Bongarrà _ Arab News

ROME: Saudi artist Sultan bin Fahad has chosen Rhinoceros, an art gallery in Rome’s historic heart, for his first solo show.
The exhibition, “Frequency,” is staged in a 15th-century building recently renovated by French architect Jean Nouvel, and includes six installations featuring light, incense, shadows, music and sounds. Each piece describes a spiritual journey to modernity through many cultures, but one that is firmly linked to Islam.
“Rome chose me and not vice versa. This idea wants to be a bridge between cultures,” Fahad told Arab News from Los Angeles, where he lives. He could not be in Rome for the opening of the exhibition, which is open to visitors until Dec. 10.

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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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“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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The 2020 edition of 21,39 opens in Jeddah

January 28, 2020 - Melissa Gronlund_The National

The seventh 21,39, the Jeddah Arts Week, has opened in the Red Sea city today. Curated by Maya El Khalil and titled I Love You, Urgently, the week consists of talks and a central exhibition. It concentrates on ecology and sustainability, inspired by the work of German architect Frei Otto, who built a number of projects in Saudi Arabia.

Community and the environment permeate the exhibition’s projects. They range from an analysis of the unique ecosystem formed by the Al Manakh concrete factory outside of Riyadh, in a project by Fahad bin Naif and Alaa Tarabzouni, to interventions in Jeddah’s Al Balad, or Old Town, neighbourhood. As El Khalil noted at the press conference, Al Balad is itself a unique ecosystem, with its Unesco-protected carved wooden doors and traditional houses.

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بدعم من وزارة الثقافة.. المجلس الفني السعودي يدشن معرض 21،39 فن جدة بعنوان “أيتها الأرض”

January 28, 2020 - Anhaa News Report

بدعم من ووزارة الثقافة السعودية، دشن المجلس الفني السعودي النسخة السابعة من معرض 21،39 فن جدة تحت عنوان “أيتها الأرض” والذي يحوي اعمالاً تتناول مواضيع الاستدامة البيئية واستكشاف طرق بديلة للتعايش والحياة على كوكبنا من خلال برنامج فني وثقافي وتعليمي يشمل معارض وورش عمل وحوارات نقاشات، وبرنامج تعليمي عام واسع النطاق.

ويضم معرض ” أيتها الأرض” الذي يقام من 28 يناير الى 18 أبريل في كل من مقر المجلس الفني السعودي والمنطقة التاريخية بجدة القديمة أعمالاً لأكثر من 60 فنان ومهندس معماري ومصمم ومفكر محلي ودولي تبحث عن التحديات الناجمة عن تدمير البيئة الطبيعية وتعتبر مبادرة هذا العام استمرارا لرسالة المجلس الفني السعودي والتي تهدف إلى تنمية مشهد الفن المحلي وبناء الجسور مع عالم الفن الدولي.

 

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Creative thinkers to tackle climate crisis at 21,39 Jeddah Arts event

January 18, 2020 - Arab News report

JEDDAH: More than 60 artists, architects, designers and thinkers will gather in Saudi Arabia this month for the seventh edition of 21,39 Jeddah Arts.

This year, the Saudi Art Council event has been given the title “I Love You, Urgently,” as a call to action in response to the global environmental emergency. With Saudi society undergoing a rapid transformation, the council asked local and international figures from the worlds of art, architecture and design to seek tangible solutions to the crisis and come up with alternative and symbiotic ways of living on our planet.

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‘We Have Our Own Individual Voices’: Saudi Artists Debate Their Place in the Kingdom as the West Becomes Wary of Its Commitment to Progress

September 12, 2019 - Rebecca Anne Proctor_ Artnet

The resulting video, Sarab (2016), was included in “Naphtha,” a summer exhibition curated by artist Moath Alofi at the Khuzam Palace in Jeddah and organized by the Saudi ministry of culture. It stands as a provocative representation of the changes taking place in the country, and a potent symbol of its attempted break with the past as it enters new terrain under 33-year-old crown prince Mohammed bin Salman, known as MbS, who has promised modernizing reforms.

 “When things move fast and you are in the middle of them, you cannot comprehend the speed,” says Mohammed Hafiz, an art collector and co-founder of Athr Gallery, a contemporary art space established in Jeddah in 2009.

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Reportage dall’Arabia Saudita: il regno che verrà (Report from Saudi Arabia: the kingdom to come)

July 14, 2019 - Daniele Perra_ Artribune

THE RED PALACE RETURNS TO LIVE

It is in Riyadh that the artist Sultan bin Fahad (Riyad, 1971) - a member of the royal family and one of the most active and enthusiastic promoters and initiators of the change - installed a monumental exhibition divided into seven chapters, curated by Reem Fadda, in the evocative spaces and délabré of the Red Palace. Center of power and magnificence, the Palace, completed in 1944 - the first building in the capital to be built with concrete and iron-steel - was the residence of the then Prince Saud bin Abdulaziz, later the office of the Saudi Ministers Council and until 1987 the Palace of complaints. It has been closed and abandoned for twenty years and after the exhibition it will be converted into a hotel.

The artist has long been fascinated by the palace and his exhibition, through installations, videos and photographs, talks about the events that took place there - from the power meetings behind the scenes to the work of the many attendants who worked there - over the years and the history of the country. Family history. "On the evening of the opening to the public, " he says, " I met a lady in her nineties who told me that she lived in the Palace. Walking with his grandchildren he recognized the various rooms. He began to cry, seized by nostalgia and the many memories of his days spent in the Palace ”

 

 

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Sultan bin Fahad’s The Red Palace Exhibition Travels From Riyadh To Jeddah's Khuzam Palace

June 12, 2019 - Rebecca Anne Proctor_Harper Bazaar Arabia

Sultan bin Fahad’s second solo exhibition opened the doors for the first time of a palace in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Rebecca Anne Proctor surveys the artist’s material investigations as well as the show’s explorations regarding the subjects of rebirth and reappropriation

Inside the main atrium of a stately building in Riyadh are large rectangular air conditioning unit holders with a heap of stacked crystal chandeliers. At first glance they seem to have been destroyed, perhaps the leftovers of some domestic catastrophe, but upon closer look the holders seem to symbolise a desire to preserve the luxury objects and also the grandeur of what once was. Above them hang several other chandeliers in perfect condition, suspended and scintillating from the ceiling just as a chandelier does.

There’s an element of violence and of beauty here as well as musings on material wealth and ruins. Maybe it is the element of crystal, its ability to cut and inflict pain that summons up this sense of turmoil and change, and then there’s the eerie beauty that the crystals radiate from the air conditioning holders that protects the found objects, perhaps meant soon to be used again for another location, a new purpose for beauty.

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