The centre of Saudi Arabian art and culture, Ithra’s latest artistic endeavour is ‘Amakin’, a contemporary art exhibition exploring notions of space, belonging and home.
Saudi artistic expression is leaving its mark, and the kingdom is fast becoming a cultural hub in the MENA region by any means necessary. Whether it’s by incorporating a long tradition of Saudi embroidery or expressing spiritual influences, emerging Saudi artists are redefining their culture and art. And Ithra, the space leading Saudi Arabia’s cultural renaissance, is no different.
Ithra, which means ‘enrichment’ in Arabic, is also known as King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture. The cultural centre was inaugurated in 2017 in Dhahran, and since then it has been home to multiple exhibitions, performances, and film screenings. The building is, in and of itself, a piece of art, designed by Norwegian firm Snøhetta and listed in Time Magazine amongst their Top 100 must-visit spots.
The building’s striking composition is inspired by irregular rock shapes to mirror the kingdom’s landscapes and symbolise diversity and solidarity. Ithra’s latest artistic endeavour is ‘Amakin’, a contemporary art exhibition exploring notions of space, belonging and home. The exhibition is curated by renowned artist Venetia Porter who is an expert in Middle Eastern and Islamic art, featuring 28 international and regional artists who have all taken their audiences on a journey of exploration of ‘place’ whether in the physical, imaginary or mystical sense.
Running until September 30th, the exhibition’s versatile theme is inspired by beloved Saudi singer Mohamed Abdou’s song, ‘All the places long for you’, wherein a simple word like “Makan” becomes a signifier for much more.