Land Art Rises in the Saudi Arabia Desert: Government-Funded X Al Ula Show


The latest project, the result of collaboration with Desert X, created a land art installation area near the city of Al Ula.

Desert X Al Ula has opened a six-week-specific installation of artworks, revealing a living museum to the public. The place is expected to draw 2 million tourists by 2035.

Saudi Arabia is one of the poorest nations when it comes to natural renewable water resources. The majority of the installations is dedicated to the problem of groundwater reserves.

“Now You See Me, Now You Don’t” by Manal AlDowayan.

Visitors are encouraged to bounce on the trampolines burrowed up and down a valley, creating an impression of strange black pools.

“The Lost Path” by the Saudi artist Muhannad Shono.

Rivers are created from 65,000 black plastic tubes that snake around the area and spill out into the sand.

“Glimpses of the past” by the Jeddah-based artist Zahrah AlGhamdi.

Metal boxes filled with mirrors and sand from all the different regions of Saudi create another symbolical river-route of trade.

“A Concise Passage” by Rashed Al Shashai.

Blue plastic crates create a 15-meter dramatic ziggurat. It references to the travel and cultural exchange that Saudi Arabia once was.

“Falling stones garden” by Mohammed Ahmed Ibrahim.

320 rock-like forms of various sizes create a rainbow of desert colors. It is a reminder of the fragility of the desert ecosystem.

“Star map NAJMA” by Lita Albuquerque.

A royal-blue woman represents the first sculpture of a woman on public display. She is sitting on a massive rock and reminds about a fictional character, Elyseria, a 25th-century female astronaut.

“Steel Rings” by the Lebanese artist Rayyane Tabet.

The history of the Trans-Arabian Oil Pipeline is depicted with forty rings, each inscribes with the distance from the pipe’s source.

There are many more wonderful and curious works of art to see. The exhibition is setting a new tone about politics and society. It encourages regional artists to explore their potential and create awareness.

Read more: Hall of Gems and Minerals: New York Museum of Natural History Exhibits the World’s Largest Gems


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