Jeddah Art Week: Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

The second year of Jeddah Art Week (JAW) presents in its 2014 programme 13 exhibitions, several public performances and an international conference on global visual culture in venues across Jeddah, Saudi Arabia until 6 February. Over 1,500 visitors were attracted to JAW in its first year, and building on this success the Art Week aims to promote engagement with local creative practices and international contemporary art, as over thousands of years the port of Jeddah and the gateway to Mecca have stood as a crossroads, traditionally welcoming and accommodating varied cultures and people.

Events include French-Tunisian street artist eL Seed performing “calligraffiti” — combining graffiti with traditional Arabic calligraphy to paint a mural in Jeddah’s Old Town, in collaboration with five local Saudi street artists. Kakaibang Jeddah! is an exhibition by 15 Jeddah-based Filipino photographers, the first of its kind in the Gulf. There will be an unveiling of a newly restored outdoor sculpture park along Jeddah’s Corniche, with over 24 works by artists such as Henry Moore, Alexander Calder and Juan Miro.

EOA Projects’ border-crossing exhibition of over over 100 works on paper, including works by Banksy, Walid Raad, Peter Blake, Anish Kapoor and Ahmed Mater will be shown and there will be a presentation of Wasma Mansour’s ongoing photographic study of single Saudi women living in London which forms an interrogation of the stereotypical representation of women from her native country. Tunisia’s leading contemporary art gallery, Galerie El Marsa, presents two of North Africa’s foremost calligraphy masters of the 20th century. There will also be a solo show by Maha Mulluh presented by Selma Feriani Gallery and an exhibition featuring works by Abdulnasser Gharem, Maha Malluh, Shaweesh, Rashad Al Shaisi and Huda Beydoun at Ayyam Gallery.

JAW will present Sotheby’s Exhibition Highlights from its upcoming contemporary art auction in Doha, including works by Ali Bandisadr, Jannane Al Ani, Mounir Fatmi, Damian Hirst, Hayv Kahraman, and Khalil Rabah. An exhibition of 22 Saudi artists, will be shown curated by Arabian Wings, a grassroots organisation dedicated to supporting the visual arts of the Arab World.

A one-day symposium will be held at one of Jeddah’s leading universities, Dar Al Hekma. The conference, ‘Global Contemporary Art and Its Networks’, encompasses a series of lectures and panel discussions considering the development of contemporary art in its historical and global context. Participants include Saudi artists Abdulnasser Gharem, Ahmed Mater, Maha Malluh and Shaweesh, as well as international academics and celebrated art world specialists.

Jeddah Art Week takes place under the patronage of Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Culture and Information and Abdul Latif Jameel Community Initiatives (ALJCI), and in cooperation with the Saudi Arabian Society for Culture and Arts.

Jeddah Art Week runs until February 6 in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. For more information visit

1. The More You Go To The West, The More You Reach The East New York, 2013. Courtesy of Jeddah Art Week.