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Noor Riyadh: world’s biggest annual festival of light and art is expected to surpass 2.5 million visitors, as accompanying exhibition continues to enthrall and educate


 Featured Photo Caption:Arne Quinze, Oasis, 2022. Image courtesy the artist. Photo © Noor Riyadh 2022, a Riyadh Art program

  • Second edition of Noor Riyadh leaves a lasting legacy on the Saudi Arabian capital city of Riyadh through light, art and community engagement, expecting to surpass 2.5m visitors by the time it turns the lights off


  • Festival concludes on November 19, with the accompanying exhibition‘From Spark to Spirit’ continuing until February 4, 2023



Bruno Ribeiro, Vibrance, 2022. Image courtesy the artist. Copyright Noor Riyadh 2022, a Riyadh Art program. (1)

Installation of artwork Vibrance by artist Bruno Ribeiro in King Abdullah Park in Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, on October (21), 2022, as part of the Noor Riyadh Festival 2022. Photo by Etienne Ruggeri/ABACAPRESS.COM

Bruno Ribeiro, Vibrance, 2022. Image courtesy the artist. Copyright Noor Riyadh 2022, a Riyadh Art program. (1)

All images courtesy of the artists. Photos © Noor Riyadh 2022, a Riyadh Art program.

Images L-R: Charles Sandison, The Garden of Light, 2022; Arne Quinze, Oasis, 2022; Bruno Ribeiro, Vibrance, 2022.



Riyadh, November 21, 2022 – Noor Riyadh, the world’s biggest annual citywide festival of light and art, is expected to have welcomed over 2.5 million visitors in the Saudi Arabian capital city, attracting local communities from families to artists, students, professionals and international audiences from across the globe.

With more than 2.5 million international, regional and local visitors having enjoyed the event to date, additional visitors are set to visit Noor Riyadh’s accompanying exhibition ‘From Spark to Spirit’ at JAX 03 (JAX District), which runs until February 4, 2023. They can also continue participating in the festival’s program of over 500 special activities, which include tours, talks, workshops, family activities and music. Some of these are available online and via the app allowing the festival to be enjoyed by a wider audience outside of Riyadh and Saudi Arabia.

On November 3, 2022, 190 artworks and installations illuminated 40 citywide locations, showcasing immersive site-specific installations, monumental public artworks, ephemeral sculptures, art trails, virtual reality, building projections and drone shows transforming Riyadh into a dazzling night-time ‘gallery without walls’. Renowned names in light art were brought together with an expanding roster of emerging and established local artists – many for whom light was a new artistic medium – within Saudi Arabia.


This year, the festival included at least 90 new commissions from international artists such as Daniel BurenShohei Fujimoto, Douglas GordonTadashi KawamataAlicja Kwade and Jean-Michel Othoniel. They were joined by Saudi artists such as Ahaad AlamoudiAbdullah AlOthmanDaniah Al SalehRashed AlShashaiSarah BrahimBricklab, and Muhannad Shono.


Artists from 40 countries as far and wide as Madagascar, Uganda, Japan, Puerto Rico, Turkey, Poland, France, United Kingdom and United States, were selected to display significant works of light art under the theme ‘We Dream of New Horizons’. With the festival co-curated by Hervé MikaeloffDorothy Di Stefano and Jumana Ghouth, the theme centered around a sense of hopefulness for the future, with connotations that are positive, optimistic and reflective of a confidence in renewal and transformation.

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

SpY, Earth, 2021. Image courtesy the artist. Copyright Noor Riyadh 2022, a Riyadh Art program.

Speaking on the conclusion of the citywide installations, Riyadh Art Program Executive Director, Khaled Al-Hazani, said: “We are delighted that Noor Riyadh has created unique moments of joy across the city, nurtured artistic talent and delivered awe inspiring immersive experiences, providing visitors with an opportunity to appreciate world-class light artworks and rediscover the city of Riyadh in a new light. We look forward to bringing together a global community of visitors to Noor Riyadh’s accompanying exhibition and shedding light on the artists, curators and community engagement initiatives enriching Riyadh’s thriving art and culture landscape.”


All images courtesy of the artists. Photos © Noor Riyadh 2022, a Riyadh Art program.

Images L–R – Daan Roosegaarde, Waterlicht, 2022; Marc Brickman, The Order of Chaos: Chaos in Order, 2022.


Noor Riyadh Exhibition – ‘From Spark to Spirit’

The festival’s accompanying world-class exhibition entitled ‘From Spark to Spirit’ continues until February 4, 2023 at JAX 03 (JAX District), Riyadh, curated by Neville Wakefield (lead curator) and Gaida AlMogren (associate curator). The exhibition traces the role light plays in shaping our relationship to a world in which light itself has become a signal of change, exploring themes such as the ‘Technologies of Light’, ‘Architectonics of Light’ and ‘Consciousness of Light’.

Just as the Light and Space Movement, which began in California in the 1960s, reflected changes in the established order, this exhibition explores a landscape of light inflected by the rapid cultural transformations shaping the Middle East. While the exhibition acknowledges the histories that have been shaped by the experience of West Coast America and the West in general, the show is structured as a cultural dialogue.



Neville Wakefield, the exhibition lead curator, said“As explored in ‘From Spark to Spirit’, it is evident that light in this world can be seen as an integral means of communication. We are now connected to each other by screens – by the light of information. We communicate with one another through the direct manipulation of light to form words and images that together map a collective consciousness, bringing us together in an era of rapid technological and cultural transformation.”


All images courtesy of the artists. Photos © Noor Riyadh 2022, a Riyadh Art program.

Images L-R: Refik Anadol, Machine Dreams: Space, 2022; Jim Campbell, Eroding Wave, 2016-2022; Theories of Imagination (TOFI), Extrospection, 2022.


Exhibition artists include Alicja Kwade, Claudia Comte, Daniah Alsaleh, Diana Thater, Doug Aitken, Eli Joteva, Gisela Colón, Haroon Mirza, Hmoud Alattawi, Huda Al-Aithan, Jac Leirner, Jason Ting, Jim Campbell, John Edmark, Larry Bell, Lina Gazzaz, Maryam Tariq, Moath Alofi, Nasser Al Shemimry, Nasser Al Turki, Norma Jeane, Phillip K. Smith III, Refik Anadol, Dr. Saad Al Howede, Theories of Imagination (TOFI), UVA (United Visual Artists), Walaa Fadul, Dr. Zahrah Al Ghamdi, Zarah Hussain and Zeinab Alhashemi.


More information here:


All images courtesy of the artists. Photos © Noor Riyadh 2022, a Riyadh Art program.

Images L–R: Zarah Hussain, Numina, 2022; UVA (United Visual Artists), Vanishing Point 3:1, 2019.


Noor Riyadh was the first of the Riyadh Art programs to launch, inaugurating what is becoming the project’s legacy of transforming Riyadh into a gallery without walls. Comprising of 10 programs, delivering more than 1,000 public art installations across the city created by local and international artists, and supported by two annual festivals, including Noor Riyadh, Riyadh Art is working to transform the capital into a vibrant, cosmopolitan city and enrich lives through creative joyful experiences, in line with Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 goals.

For more information regarding Riyadh Art and Noor Riyadh, please contact:


Zara Doshi at Pelham Communications


Anastasia Lander at Pelham Communications


Riyadh Art Media Center


Notes to editors

About Noor Riyadh
Noor Riyadh is a citywide annual festival of light and art which launched in March 2021. The 2022 theme, ‘We Dream of New Horizons’, alludes to a reflective hopeful future and refers to the shining light of dreams. The 2022 edition of the festival includes over 190 artworks by more than 130 artists – with 34% from Saudi Arabia – including large scale public installations, projections and interventions across the city of Riyadh, as well as a world-class exhibition entitled ‘From Spark to Spirit’. Artworks will be accompanied by a diverse public and community program, including tours, talks, workshops, family activities and music.

Noor Riyadh combines the highest quality light artworks from leading international and Saudi artists, across the largest city footprint of any light art festival worldwide. Staged under Riyadh Art, the festival aims to nurture local talent and inspire youth to drive Saudi Arabia’s creative economy.

Noor Riyadh 2022 took place in the following locations: King Abdullah Park, Salam Park, Diplomatic Quarter, JAX District, KAFD, Bayt AlMalaz, Al Masmak, Aladel Square, Imam Muhammad bin Saud Square, Riyadh High Court, Wadi Namar, Kindi Square, Oud Square, Yamamah Park, Asheeh Park, Cultural Palace, Wadi Hanifah, The Ritz-Carlton Riyadh, Olaya Park, King Fahad National Library, Narcissus Riyadh Hotel, Centria Mall, Al Faisaliah Tower, Kingdom Centre, Majdoul Tower, Ghadeer Walking Trail, The Zone, Digital City, U Walk, Al Nakheel Park, Boulevard Riyadh City, JAX District Valley, King Abdulaziz Center for National Dialogue, AlNada South Park, Alwaha Park, as well as Prince Abdulaziz bin Muhammad bin Ayyaf Park, Riyadh Front, King Khalid International Airport, Riyadh Exhibition & Convention Center, and Lakes Park

Instagram: @noorriyadhfestival
Twitter: @NoorRiyadhFest
Facebook: @NoorRiyadhFestival

Noor Riyadh is presented by Riyadh Art and the Royal Commission for Riyadh City.

About Riyadh Art

Riyadh, the capital city of Saudi Arabia, is on a ten-year mission to become one of the world’s most livable and competitive cities, a global city which is open for business and that welcomes the world. With a young and rapidly growing population of 7+ million residents, Riyadh is transforming into a vibrant and cosmopolitan global city.

Art and culture reflect the spirit of a city. That’s why the Riyadh Art project has been developed to turn the whole capital into a creative canvas – a gallery without walls – to enrich lives, ignite creative expression and kindle the creative economy. Riyadh Art is a demonstration of the open, accessible and creative transformation of the capital, where the exchange of ideas through creative expression, develops a deeper mutual understanding and respect.

The Riyadh Art project will have a positive impact on people, bringing every day moments of joy to residents and visitors alike, while instilling a greater sense of civic pride and creating a more beautiful city for everyone to enjoy. It will also spark the development of the new creative economy and have a positive effect in attracting new businesses to invest in the city.

Instagram: @riyadhartofficial
Twitter: @Riyadh_Arts
Facebook: @RiyadhArtOfficial



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