JEDDAH: An international joint exhibition showcasing the works of Saudi and US photographers has opened at the Saudi Arabian Society for Cultures and Arts in Jeddah.
Held under the auspices of Consul General of the US in Jeddah Faris Y. Asad, the exhibition — part of World Photography Day — displays 48 pictures depicting different natural and cultural life in the Kingdom and US.
Works include landscapes, archaeological and historic landmarks, and civil monuments in both countries.
Curated by Saudi photographer Omar Al-Nahdi, the exhibition also showcases the theme of “concepts of reality, perception and trust that hang in the balance.”
Photographs of well-known landmarks are on display, including the legendary Chicago Theater, Maraya building in AlUla, San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge, and the golden sand dunes of the Empty Quarter, which are contrasted with the red sands of the Arizona desert.
Saudi National Day and Independence Day celebrations in both countries are also shown.
Through the exhibition, SSCA’s focus on Saudi-US art and cultural exchange promotes the relationship between the two countries, which spans more than 70 years.
Director of SSCA in Jeddah Mohammed Al-Sobeih said that joint exhibitions in liaison with photographic associations from around the world “encourage more dialogue and the sharing of photographic expertise and experience.”
Al-Sobeih urged the importance of celebrating international culture and arts days and extending bridges of communication with everyone, “so that the Kingdom’s national message reaches around the world.”
Asad, who is newly appointed and attended his first event in the Kingdom, underlined the “great long relationship” between the US and Saudi Arabia, and expressed his desire to boost cooperation further within culture and the arts.
He told Arab News: “This is a perfect example of how art can build bridges between the people of the two countries. What is so incredible about this exhibition is that it shows the kind of similarities and differences at the same time. It is an amazing show and every image has a message.”
Asad is familiar with Saudi culture, having grown up in the 1980s in Tabuk. He said that the Kingdom is “witnessing a booming era in all fields.”
Al-Nahdi, curator of the show, said: “Throughout this gathering, photographers were able to show pictures of some of the amazing landmarks and sites each country has. We are glad to gather those wonderful photographers in one place.”
Saudi painter and photographer Maha Al-Kafi said: “It is nice to see such beautiful photos shared by Saudi and US photographers and I believe we enjoyed seeing these landmarks side by side in one place.”