From star-studded concerts and elite sporting events, to innovative green initiatives and even new megacities, the Saudi Vision 2030 has achieved a huge amount since it was launched five years ago. Part of this ambitious vision for the future is Riyadh Art, which was launched by King Salman in 2019. Comprising more than 1,000 public art installations and supported by 10 programmes and two annual festivals, the initiative is the first of its kind in the Kingdom, with the aim of transforming Riyadh into an open-air gallery. One of the two festivals is Noor Riyadh – a citywide celebration of light and art that unites Saudi and international artists, enriched by a programme of entertainment and educational activities.
The inaugural Noor Riyadh took place from 18 March to 3 April, to the backdrop of the global pandemic, which still hampers large-scale projects all over the world. “We participated in the tender for this first edition, while the whole world was facing the lockdown and, despite the challenges, we were appointed for this beautiful project,” commented Marco Balich, Managing Partner and Chairman of Balich Worldwide Shows (BWS), describing the pitching process. “In less than a month, we put together a 1,600-page proposal, which included more than 40 artworks selected thanks to the collaboration with two renowned art curators, under the guidance of Artistic and Creative Director, Lida Castelli and I.”
Photos: Noor Riyadh, ACTLD