Final 20 artists selected for Tuwaiq International Sculpture Symposium

Teng Shan Chi, Tuwaiq International Sculpture Symposium, 2019 at Riyadh's Diplomatic Quarter. Courtesy Riyadh Art
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Following an overwhelming response to Riyadh Art’s open call for submissions, the final 20 sculptors have been selected for the 3rd edition of the Tuwaiq International Sculpture Symposium (TISS).

More than 400 sculptors from 71 countries applied to take part in the initiative, which takes place in Riyadh from Nov. 10 – Dec. 6. The 20 selected artists will create sculptures from black and white pearl marble in a live setting that will open up the creative process to the public at JAX District in Riyadh, against the historical backdrop of Ad Diriyah, the birthplace of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

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The completed works will be exhibited from Dec. 2-6 before moving to various outdoor locations across the city, furthering the mission of Riyadh Art to transform the city into a gallery without walls. This year’s theme is The Poetics of Space, which explores the connections between matter and emptiness, light and shadow. There will also be a diverse program of public talks and events taking place alongside the live art.

Khaled Al-Hazzani, Riyadh Art Director, said: “Participating artists will produce beautiful sculptures that manifest poetry in motion and create their own space while being in harmony with their surroundings.

The aim is to enrich the city by bringing art to neighborhoods, parks, and public squares in order to expand the understanding and appreciation of international art, to educate and effect change, as well as to create a platform for intercultural dialogue.”

The 20 artists are: Alessio Ranaldi, Italy, Aleksandar Eftimovski, North Macedonia, Ali AlJabri, Oman, Anna Korver, New Zealand, Ana Maria Negară, Romania, Anna Rasinska, Poland, Antonio Vigo, Spain, Carlos Monge, Mexico, Damjan Komel, Slovenia, Fernando Pinto, Colombia and Georgi Minchev, Bulgaria.

It also includes, Haider Alawi Al-Alawi, Saudi Arabia, Isabel H. Langtry, United Kingdom and Spain,, Jhon Gogaberishvili, Georgia, Jo Kley, Germany, Kim De Ruysscher, Belgium, Mohammed AlThagafi, Saudi Arabia, Nando Alvarez, Spain, Rajaa Alshafee, Saudi Arabia and Wafaa Al-Qunibit, Saudi Arabia.

TISS is curated by Ali Jabbar, an accomplished multidisciplinary artist with 40 years of experience in sculpting, who also helped select the artists alongside an expert panel.

The panel includes: Cristiana Collu (director of the National Gallery of Modern and Contemporary Art, Rome, Italy), Nicholas Cullinan (director of the National Portrait Gallery, London, UK), Yuko Hasegawa (director of the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art), Marina Loshak (director of the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts, Moscow, Russia) and Eike Schmidt (director of Uffizi Galleries, Florence, Italy).

TISS will also feature an education program, hosting school and university visits during the making of the sculptures, providing students with access to materials, skills, tools and techniques, and encouraging teachers to consider how sculpture can be meaningful, enriching and rewarding.

There will also be 12 panel talks and discussions by leading figures, artists and practitioners working within the medium of sculpture and public art.

TISS is the second public art program under Riyadh Art, following the success of the inaugural edition of Noor Riyadh festival of light and art, which saw 330,000 visitors across 13 locations in Riyadh earlier this year.

Riyadh Art comprises of more than 1,000 public art installations across 12 programs with the aim of bringing art to residential neighborhoods, gardens and parks, public squares and areas to create one of the world’s most livable, environmentally friendly and sustainable cities, in line with Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 goals.

Riyadh Art was launched by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman and Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman to turn Riyadh into a gallery without walls.