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Saudi Arabia launches a series of sculptural symposiums to encourage local and international cultural exchange

Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Culture has launched its first of a series of arts initiatives that will take place in the Kingdom and Jeddah as part of Saudi Arabia’s cultural vision for 2020. Nestled in the heart of Al Balad, Jeddah’s historic district, overlooking the famous waterfront and facing Midan Al Beyaa, The Ministry of Culture welcomed 20 marble sculptures created for the inaugural Red Sea International Sculpture Symposium. 

20 international and local artists were invited to hand sculpt in situ free-standing monoliths over a three week period (21 November – 10 December) using blocks of white marble imported from the Sultanate of Oman. The Symposium presents a literal world stage exposing a global array of artists showcasing their sculptures diversely and harmoniously alongside one another.

Local Saudi artists, namely Essam Jameel, Rida Alalawi and Kamal Almualem exhibited their towering masterpieces alongside European entrants Michael Levchenko (Ukraine), Kamen Tanaev (Bulgaria), Jose Carlos Cabello Millan (Spain), Mario Lopes (Portugal), Jo Klay (Germany), Sylvain Patte (Belgium), Butrint Morina (Kosovo), Aggnessa Petrove (Bulgaria), Anna Maria Negara (Romania) and Anna Rasinska (Poland).

The Asian entrants, Takeshita Kubo, Fan Chilung-Lien and Lin Li Jen, spanning from Japan to Taiwan brought a unique abstract minimalism to the exhibition, juxtaposed with the otherwise structurally complex compositions of neighbouring Arab artists, Ali Jabbar (Iraq), Hisham Abdulmuty (Egypt) and Hany Fisal (Egypt).

Out of the 20 entrants Aggnessa Petrove (Bulgaria), Anna Maria Negara (Romania) and Anna Rasinska (Poland), whose sculpturally refined and intricate masterpieces occupied a resounding presence, each brought a unique flair with their towering marvels.

The Riyadh Symposium, the second Symposium of the series, is currently on view. 

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