Fast Forward, the 2015 exhibition for 21,39, attempts to compile a historical record of the development of the visual arts ecosystem in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The exhibition, arranged as a timeline, presents initial, non-exhaustive research findings into the development of artists, art professionals, collections, foundations, public art, and other factors that contributed to building the art movement and extending its reach.

As the title suggests, the timeline will skip through known historical gaps, and will therefore not be to scale. These jumps are not lapses in research, nor are they a resignation to the absence of activity, rather an acceptance and awareness of lost or unrecorded historical information. Going beyond the show’s findings to further reverse the lack of documentation, Fast Forward extends an open invitation to the public to contribute their knowledge to the exhibition findings.

The exhibition challenges the common recounting of the story of the Kingdom’s visual arts movement as a singular, recent phenomenon which developed at the accelerated pace of globalization - in Fast Forward. It is important to make the distinction that as it describes the journey of the arts ecosystem, the exhibition will, in essence, focus on influences and events, not artists and artworks. The simple timeline format allows early forms to be not only presented, but also contextualized, through better comprehending the infrastructure that fueled the evolutionary path to contemporary practices. Selected artworks thus serve merely as illustrations of pivotal events, allowing the exhibition to fill in the gaps and recount the evolution in between the works. Towards this end, the timeline is supported by a large amount of collateral material (photographs, letters, news clippings, and so forth).

Critically, Fast Forward is an announcement of the commencement of research into the history of visual art infrastructure and practices in the Kingdom. It is the aim of the exhibition to act as an instigator for the public to come forward with information, images, and collateral materials that can be documented in a much-needed archive.

This first volume of the exhibition catalog will be followed with a more in-depth publication that will include the findings gathered from visitors to the exhibition as well as commissioned texts.

In closing, I would like to extend my thanks to the many individuals without whose contribution this exhibition would not have been possible. Their openness and candor when sharing documents, artworks, information and personal experiences has been instrumental in bolstering the exhibition’s depth. I am encouraged by their example and hope viewers to this exhibition will share their enthusiasm and take part in our efforts to transform stories in an oral history into a documented archive. 



Open Air Museum Visit

Launched in the 1960s, the museum is one of the largest of its kind. The massive display includes sculptures, paintings and fountains that are found throughout the city.

Thursday, January 22nd

"Fast Forward" Opening

An exhibition commissioned by SAC, curated by Bashar Al Sharoogi

Gold Moor mall, gate 2, Al Zahra District

Friday, January 23rd

Hafez Gallery visit

"Section 11" Exhibition

3rd Floor Bougainvillea, King Abdulaziz Road

Tasami Gallery visit

"A Different Show" Opening

Serafi Mega Mall, Tahlia Street, 1st floor

Athr Gallery visit

"Insert Range Here" Opening

Serafi Mega Mall, Tahlia Street, 1st floor

Saturday, January 24th

21,39 Symposium

"Section 11" Exhibition

3rd Floor Bougainvillea, King Abdulaziz Road

Saudi Street Art

Inner Voices

Ammariyya Dist, behind Tamer Building




BY Nasser Al Salem

Day 1

Introduction to Kufic script and its evolution through a historical timeline.

Participants will engage in simple exercises to familiarise themselves with the different tools of Kufic script

Day 2

Phase 1: A brief survey of Islamic calligraphers and scholars mastering Kufic script;  introducing the mathematical rules of the script  and its methods of use.

Phase 2: Each participant will identify a phrase/qoute that he/she would like to use in the creation of an artwork

Day 3

The artist will work with each participant to help develop the artwork using the phrase/quote chosen.

Day 4

Participants will learn how to turn the concept developed on paper into the desired completed artwork.

Learn to Turn Recycled Materials into Artworks

BY Saddik Wasil

The Art of Illumination

BY Dana Awartani

Spill Away- The Art of Creative Journaling

BY Samiah Kashoggi

The Arabesque

BY Effat Fadaag


Pen and Wash

BY Samiah Kashoggi


Stories of a Saudi Film Maker

BY Ahd Kamel


Contemporary Practices in Saudi Art

BY Samiah Kashoggi


Islamic Orientation Structure

BY Effat Fadaag


Discovering the Hidden Wonders of Madinah

BY Moath Alofi

During this talk, Moath Alofi will take us on a journey of discovery of the city of Madinah's wonderful cultural and architectural heritage. He will present stunning images he has captured of this holy city in an effort to document its undiscovered wonders &charms. 

Art Practice from Hobby to Professionalism

BY Rashed Al Shashai

Collecting Middle Eastern Art at the British Museum: Stories of Every Day

BY Venetia Porter

Venetia Porter will discuss the development of the growing collection of Middle Eastern art at the British Museum, the types of work being collected and why, and the contexts in which these works are shown. 

Reflecting Culture Through the Art of Illustration

BY Ola Nassief

This workshop will explore ways of reflecting culture by using the art of illustration, each participant will get the chance to know more about the art and the history of illustration ,how to use pen and ink and watercolor techniques, Moreover, how to reflect culture by using the art of illustration. 

Basic Printmaking

BY Ahaad Alamoudi

Participants will learn the basics of mono-printing in this fun and messy workshop, and go home with a stack of handmade, one-of-a-kind artworks! 

Painting Without a Brush

BY Dina Zameli and Sana Maalouf

The participants will be introduced to the work of Jackson Pollock 'The Dripper', followed by a brief informative talk about Abstract Expressionism. Then they will be initiated to action painting using acrylic paints and marbles whereby they will have the opportunity to experiment with actions and colors for a few trials. Paired with fun and exploration the participants will develop a new skill through painting without a brush and they will learn how their creative interaction with the medium and tools 􏰑􏰃􏰘􏰄􏰃􏰄􏰙􏰃􏰓􏰐􏰁􏰕􏰍􏰈􏰃􏰓􏰄􏰇􏰎􏰎􏰇􏰕􏰐􏰄􏰌􏰂􏰄􏰐􏰑􏰇􏰁􏰓􏰄􏰖􏰂􏰁􏰘􏰑􏰇􏰉􏰄􏰒􏰌􏰓􏰔􏰚 

Creativity with Glass and Enamel

BY Muna Abulfaraj

In this two-day workshop participants will be introduced to working with glass and enamel; covering design, basic techniques (including firing in kilns), and safety tips.

By the end of the two days each attendee will have produced a finished artwork.

Creative Inspiration from Nature

BY Mounirah Mosly

- This workshop seeks to awaken a child’s inner artist and creativity, which exists naturally in each and every one.

- Children will learn how to respect nature and the environment and be taught ways in which to recycle natural materials practically and creatively.

- Natural elements from local surroundings such as tree bark and branches, rocks, seashells and others will be employed to unleash the child’s creativity and produce beautiful artworks. These creations will in turn be used to make benches and other objects of practical use to be enjoyed everyday by visitors to Amira Park.

- By engaging children in this creative and inspiring way, the workshop aims to create awareness of the importance of caring for our cities, keeping them clean and to be mindful of our environment. 

By Hands

BY Nora Al Mazrooa and Nasrin Bakheet 

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A brief introduction to clay; its sources and uses.
Participants will also be briefed on ways of moulding and working with clay that will be put into practice during the workshop.


Complete work on the cup; apply cup handle.
Begin work on the second ceramic piece: a vessel/container 


Begin work on the third ceramic piece: free form

Apply clear glaze on one of the completed artworks.


Apply glazes on all finished works

Keeping a Creative Travel Diary

BY Samiah Kashoggi

Keeping notes of our adventures when travelling can be more than text, it can turn into an interesting visual experience that ties together all our experiences, from the places we visit, the people we meet, the food we taste, the aromas we smell to all 􏰐􏰑􏰇􏰄􏰂􏰇􏰒􏰄􏰃􏰉􏰗􏰇􏰂􏰐􏰍􏰓􏰇􏰘􏰄􏰐􏰑􏰃􏰐􏰄􏰇􏰂􏰞􏰃􏰞􏰇􏰘􏰄􏰌􏰍􏰓􏰄􏰖􏰗􏰇􏰄 senses. This makes it worthy of capturing. 

Islamic and Vernacular Design

BY Salma Damluji




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Educational Partner 

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Family Patrons


HRH Prince Mansour bin Bandar bin Abdulaziz 

Khalid AlJuffali & Ulfat AlMutlaq
Loai R. Hakeem
Manal Suliman Fakih

Mohammed S. Abduljawad 

Mohammed S. Jokhadar 

Mohammed W. AlJuffali 

Mohammed Attar & Jawaher Nazer 

Loai Nazer & Dina AlTayeb

Salam BinLadin
Sama Salem BinLadin
Sami & Ghalia Sendi
Sheikha AlAttas
Talal Youssef Zahid & Brothers
Wid AlHarthy
Waleed Youssef Zahid & Sultana M. Alireza 

Zeid M. AlSudairi
Zaki M.A. Farsi &
Waleed Attia
Malak Attia
Ahmed & Mugai AlSenussi
Sami Attar & Dalal AlSuliman
Hind AlGhanim
Mr & Mrs. Bandar K. AlTurki
Caroline Carey BinLadin
Hawazen Bakhsh
Omnia A. Baksh
Ihab Elsamanoudi
Mr & Mrs. Mohammed Abdullah Sharbatly 

Mr. & Mrs. Saleh Hamza Serafi
Mr & Mrs Abdulaziz AlSuliman
Mr & Mrs Ali Hashim
Mr & Mrs. Faisal Adham
Eyad Abdullah AlMashat
Abdullah M. Alireza & Kowthar T. Meyassar 

Ibrahim & Tania Musallam