One of the world’s greatest sponsors of contemporary art is the Riyadh-based foundation, Misk. Its very first European show took place in Paris at its annual art fair, Art Paris Art Fair. Along with exhibiting works from 9 young Saudi artists in the Grand Palais, this well-heeled Saudi institution was also preparing a special exhibition at the Institut du Monde Arabe and signing agreements with established art organisations across many parts of the world.
But it was its first foray on French soil that caught attention. Although not limited solely to culture, Misk also hopes to enable society to learn, develop and progress in business, literature science and technology. It’s emphasis is on the young people of the country which is hardly surprising since its founder, Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, is himself a youthful 32! Led by Saudi artist, Ahmed Mater, the institute was created to encourage grassroots artistic production in Saudi Arabia and enable international cultural diplomacy and exchange. It seems to have got off to a good start.