Saturday April 13th, 2024
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All You Need to Know About the Diriyah Contemporary Art Biennale

Running until May 24th, the arts event features over 175 artworks, spread over 12,900 square metres of Diriyah’s JAX district.

Scene Now Saudi

All You Need to Know About the Diriyah Contemporary Art Biennale

On the outskirts of Riyadh in the Saudi ancestral homeland of Diriyah, the recently inaugurated JAX district has already hosted multiple world-class events, including Layali Diriyah, a sprawling pop-up shopping district. The latest event to be hosted in the district is the ‘After Rain’ Diriyah Contemporary Art Biennale (DCAB), which is now open to visitors of all ages. The free-to-enter event promises a dazzlingly broad selection of exhibitions hosted in six different gallery spaces, all of which will continue to display the selection of artwork until May 24th.

Curated by legendary German curator Ute Meta Bauer, professor of contemporary art and director of the Centre for Contemporary Art in Singapore, this second edition of the biennale is an exploration of the transformative power of art, set in a country that has witnessed, and continues to witness, rapid societal evolution since the 1940s. Exhibits, installations, performances and discussions from local and international artists alike will delve into the theme: After Rain. Over 175 artworks, including 47 captivating commissions specifically for the event, centre around the interplay between humanity and nature, taking over 12,900 square metres of JAX district.

“The role of a biennial goes beyond the presentation of contemporary art, as it feeds off and nurtures the cultural ecosystem in which it is embedded,” Meta Bauer, curator of DCAB 2024, tells SceneNowSaudi. “It brings together artists from different parts of the world with artists from Saudi Arabia and the wider region.”

All in all, the months-long event, which stretches right over Ramadan, celebrates the natural propensity to capitalise on what is given. Just like a desert oasis will flourish instantly after a lucky rain shower, so too has Saudi Arabia undergone a rapid paradigm shift since the discovery of oil. The Kingdom has capitalised on this in myriad ways, not least in the cultivation of cultural and artistic exhibitions and exploits, firmly placing the country on the global cultural map in a matter of decades.