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2010 Shanghai World EXPO

NABATT: a sense of being

Nabatt - Peifen Fine Art

2010 Shanghai World EXPO

NABATT: a sense of being
Contemporary Art Exhibition from Saudi Arabia                          
11 September – 31 October 2010
Shanghai Duolun Museum of Modern Art                                    
No. 27 Duolun Road, Shanghai

Grand Opening: Friday, 10 September 2010, 6pm - 8pm

Participating Artists
Jowhara Al-Saud, Ayman Yossri Daydban, Reem Al-Faisal, Zaman Jassim, Fahad Al-Hajailan, Lulwah Al-Homoud, Mohammad Farea, Noha Al-Sharif, Mustapha Al-Arab, Dia Aziz Dia, Maha Malluh, Nasser Al-Turki, Mohammad Al-Ghamdi, Mohammad Al-Ajlan, Fahad Al-Gethami, Saddiek Mohammad Wasil, Farouk Kondakji, Bakr Shaykhoon, Bandar Al-Rumaih, Abdulaziz Ashour, Shadia & Raja Alem

Poetry by Abdullatif A. Al-Shaikh
Music Produced by Ahmed Al-Mayman

Co-Curators: Lulwah Al-Homoud & JW Stella      
Coordinator: Peifen Sung

Saudi Arabian Pavilion at 2010 Shanghai World Expo is delighted to announce NABATT: a sense of being, an exhibition of contemporary art from Saudi Arabia.

The exhibition is co-curated by Lulwah Al-Homoud and JW Stella and organised by Cube Arts in collaboration with Shanghai Duolun Museum of Modern Art, premiering Saturday 11th September through 31st October 2010. There will be a Grand Opening on Friday 10th September, 6 – 8 pm.

NABATT: a sense of being features over 130 works by 23 Saudi Arabian artists. These works involve visual arts, music and literature, each of them being a catalyst speeding up the creative movement among Saudi artists. The diversity of media creates an intriguing crossover that illustrates the vivid cultural engagement within the Saudi art scene. The artists focus their work on the issue of glocalisation, a word that describes the continuous reciprocal reshaping that the local and the global wield on one another, something which has become a central issue of art and culture in the 21st century.

As the first Comprehensive Saudi contemporary art exhibition, and the largest ever shown in Asia, this exhibition will provide Asian and international audiences with the opportunity to look at Saudi contemporary art from multiple perspectives.

The exhibition is sponsored by The Saudi Arabian Pavilion, Saudi Aramco/King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture and supported by the Ministry of Culture and Information of Saudi Arabia

“The King Abdulaziz Centre for World Culture is pleased to support the Nabatt exhibition as an example of contemporary arts within the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The true wealth of Saudi Arabia is the limitless talent of its young population, who are dynamic, ambitious and possess incredible artistic and creative potential”. Fuad Al-Therman, Director


The word Nabatt has different meanings. Two of them, “extracting water from the ground” and “to obtain the sense of one word from another word”, clearly establish its folkloric and literary values. However, the origin of the word is still debated among scholars. A theory is that it originated from the Nabateans who were the first ancestors of Arabs. Another theory sees it deriving from the 16th Century Nabatti poetry, which is considered the richest form of popular Arabic literature.

Also known as “the people's poetry”, Nabatti Poetry deals with all the themes dear to Arabic classical poetry but is free from any formality and constraint. Nabatti poetry's characteristic traits are the simple style and the combination of poetic artistry with direct communication. It allowed the inhabitants of the Arabian Peninsula to express their creativity and spontaneity, to discuss their sense of place, identity and existence within diverse racial and complex societies, uniting and establishing a nation with Makkah as its centre. In certain eras, this poetry was the only record of historical events. It is a medium that consolidated the Saudi aesthetic genealogy and still practiced nowadays as part of the artistic exploration of contemporary social themes.

The exhibition Nabatt presents different forms of art from Saudi Arabia. It is an interaction between visual art, literature and music created in response to one another, showing the creativity of the artists as their ‘sense of being’.


Lulwah Al-Homoud

Lulwah Al-Homoud is an independent curator, artist and art consultant based in London with extensive international experience of advising high profile organisations, museums and galleries. She organised cultural events since 1999, curated art exhibitions in London since 2001, Worked on an educational project with the British Museum 2006 and recently co-curated the Saudi Arabian contemporary art exhibition titled ‘Edge of Arabia’ at the Brunei Gallery, SOAS, London, 2008.

JW Stella
JW Stella is an independent curator, art consultant, lecturer, and cultural mediator based in London and Seoul.
She is involved in an advisory capacity with a cross-cultural engagement between the nations. She curated and project managed high-profile international contemporary art exhibitions, such as ‘SU:MBISORI, Inaugural International Art Exhibition for Jeju Museum of Art (Korea, 2009) and ‘Fantasy Studio’ - a collateral project with  Liverpool Biennale 2008, (A Foundation, Liverpool, UK).



  • ‘NABATT: a sense of being’ is organised by ‘Cube Arts’, London in collaboration with ‘Shanghai Duolun Museum of

Modern Art’, China

  • Shanghai Duolun Museum of Modern Art is the first professional modern museum of contemporary art in China and a multi-functional and non-profit institution of culture and art, providing services to the development of Chinese contemporary art and a platform for the international exchange of contemporary art.


  • CUBE Arts – IS IT CUBE ART OR CUBE ARTS? It says CUBE Arts above… is a company registered in London for cross-cultural projects, it aims to promote Arab/Islamic culture focusing on Saudi Arabian Art and Culture.
  • The curatorial team and artists will be available for interview.


  • The museum opens from 10am to 6pm from Tuesdays and Sundays.


  • Exhibition sponsors

Saudi Arabian Pavilion
Saudi Aramco/King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture

  • Media Sponsors 

    Canvas Magazine
What’s Up KSA

  • Exhibition support

Charisma Advertising, Saudi Arabia
Hewar Art Gallery, Riyadh
Athr Gallery, Jeddah


For further information, images, or to arrange interviews, please contact:

Elvis Gu (Chinese),
Peifen Sung (English)
Wafa Omer (Arabic)