Jeddah's first Islamic Arts Biennale showcases Global Islamic Art Legacy

Clock Icon Mar 14, 2023
Jeddah's first Biennale was held in the historic old Jeddah Airport. (Source: Shutterstock)

Jeddah's first Biennale was held in the historic old Jeddah Airport. (Source: Shutterstock)

The First Islamic Arts Biennale in Jeddah is a groundbreaking event that celebrates the rich and diverse legacy of Islamic art from around the world. Taking place from January 23rd to April 23, 2023, this exhibition marks a significant moment for the Islamic art world, as it is the first large-scale international exhibition of Islamic art since the 1976 World of Islam Festival in London.

The exhibition is located in the Western Hajj Terminal at King Abdulaziz International Airport, providing an immersive and mystical viewing experience that feels like a pilgrimage. Featuring over 60 artists from Saudi Arabia and around the world, the exhibition explores the theme of "First House" and the significance of the Holy Kaaba in Makkah and the Prophet's Mosque in Madinah.

Through contemporary artworks and historical artifacts, visitors can contemplate the cultural and metaphysical importance of these sacred sites in shaping Muslim identity and fostering a sense of belonging.

South African architect Sumayya Vally's design encapsulates a journey from darkness to light, resonating with spiritual and historical themes in Islamic culture. (Source: Shutterstock)

The artworks are arranged thematically to emphasize the exhibition's unity, evoking personal and communal experiences of Islamic rituals and Hajj. This unprecedented event has generated significant interest among the local population, attracting families and young people who are thoroughly enjoying this form of cultural entertainment.

The exhibition offers an unconventional approach to presenting art, featuring works from artists with diverse perspectives, including spiritual ones. This approach represents a significant shift in how Islam is presented in Saudi Arabia, opening up diverse viewpoints to Saudi and foreign visitors.

Such an approach is crucial in promoting greater cultural awareness and fostering a deeper understanding of Islam among the wider community. Jeddah's inaugural Islamic Arts Biennale is a momentous occasion that celebrates the beauty and heritage of Islamic art while creating a dialogue between the past, present, and future through contemporary artworks and historical artifacts.

"Salat al-Jama‘ah" by South African artist Igshaan Adams, is a blend of Islamic art and contemporary aesthetics, embodying communal prayer and unity. (Source: Shutterstock)

Visitors are provided with a unique opportunity to explore the intricacies and splendor of Islamic art in one of the most sacred cities in the world, close to Makkah, the birthplace of Islam. 

Images Source: Shutterstock

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