Saudi Arabia - Arts/Galleries
The cultural norms for the arts/galleries industry in Saudi Arabia includes the use of art as a reminder of history, creating a means of communication and cultural awareness with other countries and teachings to its citizens.
CULTURAL NORMS FOR THE ART/GALLERIES INDUSTRY IN SAUDI ARABIA
HISTORY AND NATIONAL SYMBOL
- Historical locations have a high level of importance and regularly receive recognition. They also serve as venues for major activities.
- An exhibition known as the "Red Palace exhibition" or "Nafthah" will be held at Khuzam Palace from June 8 – 18, 2019, because it is considered a national symbol of value for Saudis.
- Khuzam Palace has been the residence of King Abdulaziz, and the location of the first oil agreement between the United States and Saudi Arabia.
- The Red Palace is associated with wealthy figures, serving as a residence for Saudi Arabian kings, along with visits from several presidents, prime ministers, and other kings.
- Due to the historical prominence, the Ministry of Culture has the responsibility of documenting the history of Saudi Arabia artistically so that people can be knowledgeable about it and take pleasure in it.
SHARING CULTURE WITH OTHER NATIONS
- An exhibition of Saudi Arabia's culture in art form was inaugurated by Tawfiq Abdul Aziz Al-Sudairy in Argentina.
- As Saudi's Deputy Minister of Islamic Affairs, Call and Guidance, he made a tour of the King Fahd Islamic Cultural Center to show support for the initiative, as well as to emphasize Saudi Arabia's religious and communication efforts with other nations.
- Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Farhan Al Saud has a mission to utilize art to help remind people of their culture so that they can identify with it. He also desires to supply scholarship programs and prizes through the Ministry of Culture.
INVESTMENTS THAT LEAD TO CULTURAL AWARENESS
- Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud believes that art should be used as a means of reminding/teaching the youths about their culture and international relations.
- He is currently in the process of building the Misk Art Institute, which is an additional portfolio to his Misk Foundation.
- To gain the interest of the citizens, he will be having a National Public Art Prize and has acquired the Al Meftaha Arts Village in Abha in the southern region.
- His attitude towards art is now being considered aggressive and impulsive.
- He has already hosted ‘Arab Art and Education Initiative’ in New York to bring cultural awareness of Saudi Arabia, Syria, Morocco, Kuwait, and Egypt.
- Additionally, the Saudi government is looking to invest in entertainment, which also includes art.
COMPANIES IN THE ARTS/GALLERIES INDUSTRY
- Link to website
- Aramco operates as an oil conglomerate with more than 85 years worth of experience. It manages more than 336.2 billion barrels of oil for the country and has over 70,000 employees globally.
- The company is a major player in the mega-museum in Saudia Arabia called the King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture (or Ithra).
- The King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture is anticipated to help fund Funoon gallery (contemporary art) and Kunooz gallery (Islamic heritage).
THE MISK FOUNDATION
- Link to website
- The Misk Foundation serves as a not-for-profit organization spearheaded by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud. It concentrates on education, culture, media, and technology. (Source 11)
- It is a significant player in the establishment of the Misk Art Institute. (Source 10)
- The Misk Art Institute is acknowledged as "commissioner of the permanent National Pavilion of Saudi Arabia at La Biennale di Venezia, Saudi's permanent home at the world's most important cultural gathering." (Source 12)
Our research began by searching for a list of billionaires in the Middle East, which we found on Forbes. We decided to utilize the list to help guide our research. However, most of the individuals on the list were involved in oil, dairy, and investments, which were unrelated to art. Nonetheless, we discovered that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud was very much engaged in art and desired to be a leader in the industry. Information regarding his attitude and initiatives were provided as he is also a billionaire in Saudi Arabia.
The norms were chosen based on Saudi Arabia's position on art and culture, where the focus is on Islamic heritage, historical buildings, customs, and style. Our selection was guided by the cultural traditions of the country and provided by the Embassy of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. We also assumed that since the information was mentioned neutrally in Saudi Arabian news articles, they abide by the laws of the country as there were no negative connotations associated with them.
Since the sources made references solely to people with high incomes such as kings, princes, presidents, and prime ministers, we assumed that the information provided relates solely to high-income individuals. The average person was not mentioned as those who frequent art events, including exhibits at the Red Palace, in Saudi Arabia.
Key players in the art/gallery industry were selected based on their role as they were major funders and supporters in establishing art/gallery institutions.