‘Incense Route’ Showcases Contemporary Saudi Art in Paris

The City of Lights welcomes a taste of Saudi Arabia.

On the heels of the April 2017 Misk Art Exhibition in Riyadh, the Prince Muhammad Bin Salman Foundation (Misk) launched Incense Route, the Misk Art Exhibition’s first foreign art show established a mere six months after the Riyadh showcase. Over the course of five days in October, attendees enjoyed 36 works by a selection of more than 30 young Saudi artists at the UNESCO headquarters in Paris.

By highlighting a new wave of contemporary Saudi art, Incense Routes carries unique messages inspired from the Arabian traditions—and serves as a powerful platform to spur a cross-cultural exchange. Speaking during the launch event, Saudi Ambassador to France Khaled Al-Anqari explained that the exhibit’s name poignantly touches upon the historic caravan trade that started from the Yemeni coast of the Arabian Sea, passing through the Arabian Peninsula as it trekked up through the north of the Mediterranean Sea before landing in Europe, carrying incense and spices.

UNESCO Director General Irina Bokova, Permanent Representative of Saudi Arabia to UNESCO Ibrahim Al-Balawi, Secretary General of Misk Foundation Badar Al-Asakir, and several other officials, diplomats and cultural figures, were among the attendees present during the exhibit launch.

Learning and Leadership for the Saudi Arabia of Tomorrow

Bokova commended the Foundation’s efforts in organizing an event centered on intercultural convergence, youth assistance and education, all streams that echo the work being carried out by UNESCO itself.

In particular, the mission of the MiSK Foundation, created by the crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, is to cultivate learning and leadership for the Saudi Arabia of tomorrow, as reflected in the country’s Vision 2030 plan. Saudi Arabia takes great pride in its historical and cultural legacy, but understands that its real wealth lies in the ambition of its people and society and the potential of the younger generations. This includes the need to promote critical thinking among youth and open wider horizons for them in various domains besides connecting them with their community.

‘Incense Route’ created such an opportunity for revealing the Saudi scene in Paris, building bridges between the two artistic scenes, and encouraging meetings and dialogue between young Saudi artists and their French counterparts.

Read more at Saudi Gazette.