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What Lies Within

AlUla  |  Saudi Arabia  | 

What Lies Within

Displayed in Maraya – one of the world’s architectural wonders, with 9,460 square meters of mirrors covering its exterior walls – this temporary exhibition welcomes visitors who seek to discover the artistic energy and visionary inspiration present in Saudi Arabia.

What Lies Within brings together works from the past two decades by some of the most significant artists of Saudi Arabia and its diaspora from the private collection of Saudi patron and collector Basma AlSulaiman. The exhibition is the first in a series in AlUla celebrating pioneering collectors and patrons in Saudi Arabia, who have sparked and steered the country’s relationship with the arts, paving the way for a flourishing cultural sector today.

Alongside building a collection of both Saudi and international artists, a decade ago AlSulaiman founded BASMOCA, the first virtual museum in the world to use cutting edge gaming technologies allowing wide audiences to view works and engage as avatars within its museum space. Curated by artist Lulwah AlHomoud, an influential figure in the Saudi Arabian art scene, the exhibition links AlSulaiman’s work in the digital space to the physical world and is a tribute to her invaluable support for Saudi artistic production and talent. The collection preserves a remarkable visual record of Saudi heritage and reflects a journey in the public response to art. AlHomoud’s sensitive curation has shaped a multi-layered exhibition which conveys the artists’ and collector’s connection to both local and global contemporary culture. The show documents personal histories and acts as a tool for wider connectivity and education. 

What Lies Within marks the first time that these important works have been shown together in Saudi Arabia. The dynamic group of seventeen participating artists constitutes a prominent generation in the development of Saudi contemporary art and its reception internationally. The seminal pieces on display crucially represent pivotal moments in shaping the artists’ varied practices – for which AlSulaiman has a discerning eye. As evoked by the exhibition’s title, prevalent themes are the expansiveness of Saudi identity, spirituality, and culture, and how these have evolved from the past to the present day, across a diversity of media. The show seeks to present Saudi art on its own terms, exploring the vibrant breadth of output from artists working in the Kingdom and its diaspora. 

Basma AlSulaiman is one of the most relevant collectors and art patrons in the Middle East. She is the founder of BASMOCA (Basma AlSulaiman Museum of Contemporary Art), the first virtual museum in the world relying on cutting edge visual technologies to share her collection with a wider audience.

To find out more about the BASMOCA, read more in this post by Independent Collectors.

 

Install view from What Lies Within, AlUla, 2022, Shadia Alem, The Black Arch, 2011 / 2022. Flat solid black ellipse, reflected mirrors, sound, light, and stainless steel. 3.5 x 7 x 3.5m (dimensions variable). Courtesy of the artist and the Basma AlSulaiman Collection. Photo: Zaki Ghawas.
Install view from What Lies Within, AlUla, 2022, Shadia Alem, The Black Arch, 2011 / 2022. Flat solid black ellipse, reflected mirrors, sound, light, and stainless steel. 3.5 x 7 x 3.5m (dimensions variable). Courtesy of the artist and the Basma AlSulaiman Collection. Photo: Zaki Ghawas.
Detail view from What Lies Within, AlUla, 2022, Abdulnasser Gharem, Concrete Wall, 2010. Rubber stamps and industrial lacquer paint on 9mm plywood board. 280 x 153 x 63cm. Courtesy of the artist and the Basma AlSulaiman Collection. Photo: Zaki Ghawas.
Detail view from What Lies Within, AlUla, 2022, Abdulnasser Gharem, Concrete Wall, 2010. Rubber stamps and industrial lacquer paint on 9mm plywood board. 280 x 153 x 63cm. Courtesy of the artist and the Basma AlSulaiman Collection. Photo: Zaki Ghawas.
Basma AlSulaiman. Photo: Mark Luscombe-Whyte
Basma AlSulaiman. Photo: Mark Luscombe-Whyte
Install view from What Lies Within, AlUla, 2022, Rashed AlShashai, Brand 2, 2019. Lightbox and plastic cases of products. 260 x 254cm. Courtesy of the artist and the Basma AlSulaiman Collection. Photo: Zaki Ghawas.
Install view from What Lies Within, AlUla, 2022, Rashed AlShashai, Brand 2, 2019. Lightbox and plastic cases of products. 260 x 254cm. Courtesy of the artist and the Basma AlSulaiman Collection. Photo: Zaki Ghawas.
Manal Al Dowayan, I am Series, 2005. Silver Gelatin Fibre Print, 12 pieces, I am a Computer Scientist. 41 x 56 cm. Photo: MAD Studio. Courtesy of the artist and Basma AlSulaiman
Manal Al Dowayan, I am Series, 2005. Silver Gelatin Fibre Print, 12 pieces, I am a Computer Scientist. 41 x 56 cm. Photo: MAD Studio. Courtesy of the artist and Basma AlSulaiman
Install view from What Lies Within, AlUla, 2022, Adel AlQuraishi, The Guardians, 2013. 'BA' (group of 8). Pigmented ink-jet print on matt paper. Edition No.2 of 6 + 3A/P. 8 pieces, each 164.5x111cm. Courtesy of the artist and the Basma AlSulaiman Collection. Photo: Zaki Ghawas.
Install view from What Lies Within, AlUla, 2022, Adel AlQuraishi, The Guardians, 2013. 'BA' (group of 8). Pigmented ink-jet print on matt paper. Edition No.2 of 6 + 3A/P. 8 pieces, each 164.5x111cm. Courtesy of the artist and the Basma AlSulaiman Collection. Photo: Zaki Ghawas.
Ahmed Mater, Magnetism, 2009. Installation on iron filings and magnets on white cabinet within a glass case. Cabinet Base: 120x90x90 cm, Glass Case: 73x90x90 cm. Artwork Size: 200x90x90 cm. Photo: Christie's Images Limited. Courtesy of the artist and Basma AlSulaiman.
Ahmed Mater, Magnetism, 2009. Installation on iron filings and magnets on white cabinet within a glass case. Cabinet Base: 120x90x90 cm, Glass Case: 73x90x90 cm. Artwork Size: 200x90x90 cm. Photo: Christie's Images Limited. Courtesy of the artist and Basma AlSulaiman.
Maraya, AlUla, the world’s largest mirrored building. Courtesy the Royal Commission for AlUla.
Maraya, AlUla, the world’s largest mirrored building. Courtesy the Royal Commission for AlUla.
Install view from What Lies Within, AlUla, 2022, two works by Ayman Yossri Daydban: The Opening, 2010. RC Print Diasec mounted on Dibond. 8 pieces, each 26 x 46cm; and Ameen, 2011. 70 words in Zinkro steel with white coated powder paint. 450 x 129 x 5cm. Courtesy of the artist and the Basma AlSulaiman Collection. Photo: Zaki Ghawas.
Install view from What Lies Within, AlUla, 2022, two works by Ayman Yossri Daydban: The Opening, 2010. RC Print Diasec mounted on Dibond. 8 pieces, each 26 x 46cm; and Ameen, 2011. 70 words in Zinkro steel with white coated powder paint. 450 x 129 x 5cm. Courtesy of the artist and the Basma AlSulaiman Collection. Photo: Zaki Ghawas.
Install view from What Lies Within, AlUla, 2022, Mohammed AlGhamdi, Memories, 2009. Recycled wood, branches and found objects. 160 x 122cm. Courtesy of the artist and the Basma AlSulaiman Collection. Photo: Zaki Ghawas.
Install view from What Lies Within, AlUla, 2022, Mohammed AlGhamdi, Memories, 2009. Recycled wood, branches and found objects. 160 x 122cm. Courtesy of the artist and the Basma AlSulaiman Collection. Photo: Zaki Ghawas.
Install view of the exhibition What Lies Within, AlUla, 2022. Works by Musaed AlHulis, Maha Malluh, and Rashed AlShashai. Courtesy of the artist and the Basma AlSulaiman Collection. Photo: Zaki Ghawas.
Install view of the exhibition What Lies Within, AlUla, 2022. Works by Musaed AlHulis, Maha Malluh, and Rashed AlShashai. Courtesy of the artist and the Basma AlSulaiman Collection. Photo: Zaki Ghawas.
Install view of the exhibition What Lies Within, AlUla, 2022. Works by Maha Malluh, Manal AlDowayan, and Zahrah AlGhamdi. Courtesy of the artist and the Basma AlSulaiman Collection. Photo: Zaki Ghawas.
Install view of the exhibition What Lies Within, AlUla, 2022. Works by Maha Malluh, Manal AlDowayan, and Zahrah AlGhamdi. Courtesy of the artist and the Basma AlSulaiman Collection. Photo: Zaki Ghawas.
Install view from What Lies Within, AlUla, 2022, Abdulnasser Gharem, Concrete Wall, 2010. Rubber stamps and industrial lacquer paint on 9mm plywood board. 280 x 153 x 63cm. Courtesy of the artist and the Basma AlSulaiman Collection. Photo: Zaki Ghawas.
Install view from What Lies Within, AlUla, 2022, Abdulnasser Gharem, Concrete Wall, 2010. Rubber stamps and industrial lacquer paint on 9mm plywood board. 280 x 153 x 63cm. Courtesy of the artist and the Basma AlSulaiman Collection. Photo: Zaki Ghawas.
Adel Al Quraishi, The Guardians, 2013. Pigmented ink-jet print on matt paper, 8 pieces, 164.5x111cm. Courtesy of the artist and Basma AlSulaiman.
Adel Al Quraishi, The Guardians, 2013. Pigmented ink-jet print on matt paper, 8 pieces, 164.5x111cm. Courtesy of the artist and Basma AlSulaiman.
Works by Dana Awartani, Adel AlQuraishi, and Lulwah AlHomoud. Courtesy of the artist and the Basma AlSulaiman Collection. Photo: Zaki Ghawas.
Works by Dana Awartani, Adel AlQuraishi, and Lulwah AlHomoud. Courtesy of the artist and the Basma AlSulaiman Collection. Photo: Zaki Ghawas.
Install view from What Lies Within, AlUla, 2022, Noha AlSharif, Humbly and Devout, 2008. Fiberglass and graphite finish. 6 figures: 155x35cm (2); 130x30cm (2); 110x25cm (2). Courtesy of the artist and the Basma AlSulaiman Collection. Photo: Zaki Ghawas.
Install view from What Lies Within, AlUla, 2022, Noha AlSharif, Humbly and Devout, 2008. Fiberglass and graphite finish. 6 figures: 155x35cm (2); 130x30cm (2); 110x25cm (2). Courtesy of the artist and the Basma AlSulaiman Collection. Photo: Zaki Ghawas.
Curator of What Lies Within, Lulwah AlHomoud, 2021. Photo: Mohammed Othman
Curator of What Lies Within, Lulwah AlHomoud, 2021. Photo: Mohammed Othman
Install view from What Lies Within, AlUla, 2022, Dana Awartani, Scrolls of The Prophets II, 2015. Gouache and ink on paper. 42 x 681cm. Courtesy of the artist and the Basma AlSulaiman Collection. Photo: Zaki Ghawas.
Install view from What Lies Within, AlUla, 2022, Dana Awartani, Scrolls of The Prophets II, 2015. Gouache and ink on paper. 42 x 681cm. Courtesy of the artist and the Basma AlSulaiman Collection. Photo: Zaki Ghawas.
Install view from What Lies Within, AlUla, 2022, Hussein AlMohasen, Mystic in White (Shadows), 2008-2009. Ink and pencil on watercolour paper. 10 pieces, each 122 x 44cm. Courtesy of the artist and the Basma AlSulaiman Collection. Photo: Zaki Ghawas.
Install view from What Lies Within, AlUla, 2022, Hussein AlMohasen, Mystic in White (Shadows), 2008-2009. Ink and pencil on watercolour paper. 10 pieces, each 122 x 44cm. Courtesy of the artist and the Basma AlSulaiman Collection. Photo: Zaki Ghawas.
Maha Malluh, Food For Thought
Maha Malluh, Food For Thought "Al Muallaqat 5", 2017. Installation of 53 used aluminium small pots, 250 x 165 cm. Photo by Mohammed Al Shebli. Courtesy of the artist and Basma AlSulaiman
Manal Al Dowayan, I am Series, 2005. Silver Gelatin Fibre Print, 12 pieces, I am a Saudi Citizen. 41 x 56 cm. Photo: MAD Studio. Courtesy of the artist and Basma AlSulaiman
Manal Al Dowayan, I am Series, 2005. Silver Gelatin Fibre Print, 12 pieces, I am a Saudi Citizen. 41 x 56 cm. Photo: MAD Studio. Courtesy of the artist and Basma AlSulaiman
Manal Al Dowayan, The Choice, 2005. Silver Gelatin Fibre Print, 6 pieces, 41 x 56 cm each. Photo: MAD Studio. Courtesy of the artist and Basma AlSulaiman
Manal Al Dowayan, The Choice, 2005. Silver Gelatin Fibre Print, 6 pieces, 41 x 56 cm each. Photo: MAD Studio. Courtesy of the artist and Basma AlSulaiman
Install view from What Lies Within, AlUla, 2022, Manal AlDowayan, I Am Series, 2005. Silver Gelatin Fibre Print. Edition of 10+AP. 13 pieces, each 41x56 cm. Courtesy of the artist and the Basma AlSulaiman Collection. Photo: Zaki Ghawas.
Install view from What Lies Within, AlUla, 2022, Manal AlDowayan, I Am Series, 2005. Silver Gelatin Fibre Print. Edition of 10+AP. 13 pieces, each 41x56 cm. Courtesy of the artist and the Basma AlSulaiman Collection. Photo: Zaki Ghawas.
Install view from What Lies Within, AlUla, 2022, Musaed AlHulis, Holy-Wood, 2014. Foam upholstered in fabric. 14-piece installation: 80 x 60 x 30cm (4); 100 x 100 x 40cm (5); 150 x140 x 50cm (5). Courtesy of the artist and the Basma AlSulaiman Collection. Photo: Zaki Ghawas.
Install view from What Lies Within, AlUla, 2022, Musaed AlHulis, Holy-Wood, 2014. Foam upholstered in fabric. 14-piece installation: 80 x 60 x 30cm (4); 100 x 100 x 40cm (5); 150 x140 x 50cm (5). Courtesy of the artist and the Basma AlSulaiman Collection. Photo: Zaki Ghawas.
Install view from What Lies Within, AlUla, 2022, Zahrah AlGhamdi, From Here We Started, 2018. Leather and Cotton. 2m x 2m (made up of 1,500 pieces of various size). Courtesy of the artist and the Basma AlSulaiman Collection. Photo: Zaki Ghawas.
Install view from What Lies Within, AlUla, 2022, Zahrah AlGhamdi, From Here We Started, 2018. Leather and Cotton. 2m x 2m (made up of 1,500 pieces of various size). Courtesy of the artist and the Basma AlSulaiman Collection. Photo: Zaki Ghawas.
Install view from What Lies Within, AlUla, 2022, Saddek Wasil, Neglected Faces, 2011. Tin cans on wood. 7-piece installation: 250x50cm; 75x140cm; 50x140cm; 75x270cm; 175x45cm; 175x95cm; 250x50cm. Courtesy of the artist and the Basma AlSulaiman Collection. Photo: Zaki Ghawas.
Install view from What Lies Within, AlUla, 2022, Saddek Wasil, Neglected Faces, 2011. Tin cans on wood. 7-piece installation: 250x50cm; 75x140cm; 50x140cm; 75x270cm; 175x45cm; 175x95cm; 250x50cm. Courtesy of the artist and the Basma AlSulaiman Collection. Photo: Zaki Ghawas.
Adel Al Quraishi, The Guardians, 2013. Pigmented ink-jet print on matt paper, 8 pieces, 164.5x111cm. Courtesy of the artist and Basma AlSulaiman.
Adel Al Quraishi, The Guardians, 2013. Pigmented ink-jet print on matt paper, 8 pieces, 164.5x111cm. Courtesy of the artist and Basma AlSulaiman.
Install view from What Lies Within, AlUla, 2022, Filwa Nazer, The Skin I Live In, 2019. Muslin cotton and green polyethylene. 210 x 70cm. Courtesy of the artist and the Basma AlSulaiman Collection. Photo: Zaki Ghawas.
Install view from What Lies Within, AlUla, 2022, Filwa Nazer, The Skin I Live In, 2019. Muslin cotton and green polyethylene. 210 x 70cm. Courtesy of the artist and the Basma AlSulaiman Collection. Photo: Zaki Ghawas.

All images courtesy of Basma AlSulaiman