Noor Riyadh: Annual festival of light and art illuminates Saudi Arabia’s capital city

 Noor Riyadh: Annual festival of light and art illuminates Saudi Arabia’s capital city, with 190 artworks by more than 130 local and international artists 

Installation of artwork Earth by artist Spy at King Fahad National Library in Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, on October 26, 2022 as part of the Noor Riyadh Festival 2022. Photo by Ammar Abd Rabbo/ABACAPRESS.COM

Noor Riyadh 2022 brings together renowned names in light art, who will present their works alongside a roster of emerging and established local artists, for many of whom light is new to their artistic mediums. Themed ‘We Dream of New Horizons’, which centers on hopefulness for the future, the festival is co-curated by Hervé Mikaeloff, Dorothy Di Stefano and Jumana Ghouth.


Developed with the aim of nurturing local talent and amplifying Saudi Arabia’s cultural economy, Noor Riyadh is part of Riyadh Art, a wider initiative by the Royal Commission for Riyadh City.

It is an initiative that seeks to transform the Saudi capital into a “gallery without walls”, with more than 1,000 public art installations to be spread out across the city through its 10 programs and two annual events.


The festival features at least 90 new commissions, including new, never-before-seen works by Saudi artists Rashed AlShashai, Daniah AlSaleh, Ayman Zedani, Sarah Brahim, and Basmah Felemban.

Sarah Brahim, De Anima, 2022. Image courtesy the artist. Photo © Noor Riyadh 2022, a Riyadh Art program

AlShashai’s monumental piece reflects on climate change, while AlSaleh’s AI-driven video projection draws from popular love songs in the Middle East.  Noor Riyadh shows the breadth of Saudi talent, both emerging and established.

Social media star Warchieff, real name Mohammed AlHamdan, ventures into art with his interactive piece Walking Lights, which will add vibrancy to pedestrian movement in Riyadh‘s Olaya Street.

Meanwhile, Muhannad Shono, one of the Kingdom’s most prominent artists, takes over an entire building in Riyadh Malaz, filling it with light, thread and sound to create an immersive experience.




From the international sphere, artists such as Yann Kersalé, Marc Brickman, and artist duo Quiet Ensemble bring an awe-inspiring artworks that fuse light, technology, sound, and choreography on a massive scale, incorporating interactive elements into their presentations.



Other artworks inject new creative life into the city’s corporate spaces, exploring how the medium of glass influences visitors’ experience of light-based, immersive and interactive artworks. These include monumental pieces by artists Sabine Marcelis, Daniel Buren and Douglas Gordon.



Noor Riyadh is a citywide festival of light and art as a Riyadh Art program, November 3 – 19, 2022,




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