King Abdulaziz center for World Culture aka Ithra, is widely known for its impressive new structures, and it is located in the Eastern province of Saudi Arabia.
The center was developed by Saudi Aramco and inaugurated by King Salman bin Abdulaziz on 1 December 2017, the center included a cinema, a library, a museum and a number of exhibition halls.
Just recently, the center has unveiled its latest addition, which is a monumental new artwork designed especially for the Center by Italian artist Giuseppe Penone.
The artist said, “Source of Light’ emphasizes and represents the energy extracted from the earth that helps life and growth, it symbolizes the Source, where oil needed for the growth and development of the world’s economy was discovered. It celebrates with its own form and materials, including the gold that covers the central tree’s inner surface, the elevation of life.”
The monument is titled source of light and was inaugurated on the third of May, it is a 90-foot tall work consisting of three towering bronze trees rise up more than 92 feet in height and are supported by branches of a fourth, larger and centrally placed tree.
It is Ithra’s largest permanent art commission so far, and it celebrates the aim for creative change in the landmarks of Saudi Arabia.
“In our quest to foster cross-cultural exchange, this work offers visitors a unique and tangible example of global artistic expression. With the Source, Penone has synthesized memory and nature in dialogue with architecture to inspire our consideration of what has yet to be discovered,” said Ali Al-Mutairi,director of King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture.
The King Abdul Aziz Center for World Culture (Ithra) has launched a new exciting international Covid-19 exhibition that features a collective introspection on the pandemic.
The exceptional exhibition expresses different perspectives on the pandemic through a collection of thoughts, memories and feeling. In a way, really opening the stage to people’s various experiences.
For the actual show which will go live in July, Ithra is looking for brand-new artworks, images, or documentation that symbolizes the pandemic.
Ithra is currently inviting submissions for the gallery will go live to the public in July. If you believe you have something to share, don’t hesitate to apply at this link.
“Join a global exhibit and share with us those personal objects and the stories behind them in Ithra’s upcoming COVID-19 Exhibit. It could be a photograph that put a daily smile on you, a musical instrument that became your getaway, perhaps the pen you used to write your journal, or even a mug, item of clothing or a toy. If you have a particular object that you turned to for comfort, inspiration, or even in frustration during the COVID-19 pandemic we want to hear from you.” The website wrote calling out for artists.
“While this is an unprecedented time, it is also an unprecedented moment of global solidarity,” said Laila Faddagh, Ithra’s head of museums. “Art is about connecting people through culture — and culture is based on the exchange of ideas and identities — but we connect maybe even more easily through common objects.”
“Ithra is in Saudi Arabia, but, as a leading center for global culture, we want to include people from around the world. In the spirit of welcome, warmth and empathy — especially now during the pandemic — it is an opportunity to connect with everyone, from anywhere.” He added.
Share with us your thoughts on the exhibition and if you’re planning on taking part of such a magnificent movement.
“Due to the exceptional circumstances, and what the world is witnessing in the coronavirus pandemic, the Year of Arabic Calligraphy 2020 has been extended into 2021. We will overcome this crisis and continue to fulfill our dreams,” the minister tweeted.
The year-long celebration was designed to show the true identity of Saudi Arabia and to be a source of inspiration for artists around the world. In addition to highlighting the importance and historical significance of Arabic calligraphy.
The year of Arabic calligraphy will also play a vital role in passing down the language through generations, the generations that are close to losing their mother language.
Artists were invited to submit ideas and project proposals that highlights Arabic calligraphy, and winners were to be provided partial or full financial media and logistical sponsorship from the ministry.
“The impact of the current circumstances and the Kingdom’s efforts in limiting the spread of the coronavirus necessitated the postponement of many cultural events organized by the Ministry of Culture.” The ministry’s official spokesman, Abdulkareem Al-Hameed, said.
The long-awaited global event Expo 2020 Dubai was set to kick start six months from now, but due to the current unfortunate events, organizers of the event are currently looking into postponing the event till next year.
While everyone involved in #Expo2020 Dubai remains firmly committed, many countries have been significantly impacted by COVID-19 and they have expressed a need to postpone Expo’s opening by one year, to enable them to overcome this challenge. pic.twitter.com/8xgk5D0UJl
In a conference call that brought together members of the event’s steering committee, which comprises local government officials and foreign country representatives, all agreed that a delay is indeed needed and that the Paris-based based Bureau International des Expositions, or BIE, should study this option. The BIE awards the global event and its member states will have the final say regarding the matter.
We support the proposal to explore a one-year postponement at today’s Steering Committee meeting. We will follow due processes with Expo’s governing body, @BIEParis, on making the decision to delay, which requires a two-thirds majority vote from the BIE General Assembly. pic.twitter.com/76Lz3CcbkD
“The World’s Greatest Show” was expected to witness the arrival of around 11 million overseas visitors who were eager to come and enjoy the event’s unique medley culture, business, trade, and technology featuring pavilions from 192 countries.
“The global situation is fast moving, and remains unpredictable,” the event’s managing director, Reem Al Hashemi, said in a statement issued on state news agency WAM.
For years now, organizers and officials have regarded the showcase exhibition as the perfect boost for Dubai’s economy and billions of dollars have already been spent on marketing, building hotels and facilities for the global event.
As much as it saddens us all to have to keep enduring the cancellation of many significant events, it is however a logical and gracious move that needs to be taken. This pandemic is expected to come in waves, and postponing to 2021 will give us all a good time to recover both economically and emotionally.