Italian exhibition sheds light on water scarcity issues

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Officials tour the Trame d’Acqua (The Shapes of Water) exhibition after its official launch at the Italian Embassy in Riyadh.

Saudi Gazette

RIYADH —
The Italian Embassy in Riyadh, in collaboration with Prince Sultan University, organized “The Shapes of Water” (Trame d’Acqua) exhibition by La Triennale di Milano.

The exhibition was inaugurated jointly by Italian Ambassador Luca Ferrari and Rector of Prince Sultan University Dr. Ahmed Bin Saleh Al-Yamani. Dr. Marco Sammicheli, international relations chief officer at La Triennale di Milano, delivered the keynote speech.

Ferrari said to Saudi Gazette: “The exhibition concludes a year-long cultural program that included various activities such as the Italian cuisine week, which hosted a nutritionist who spoke in Riyadh and Jeddah about nutrition, obesity and Mediterranean diet, Italian movies, a jazz concert and this exhibition. I think it is also the beginning of a new cultural relationship with Saudi Arabia because we are starting to bring culture to the big public. Saudi people are culturally educated and active in all cultural fields.”

Speaking to Saudi Gazette Dr. Al-Yamani said: “Prince Sultan University is collaborating with La Triennale museum where they have the exhibition that moves around in the region and we thought it would be very helpful for the university as community service to focus on awareness of water. Since Saudi Arabia has the challenges of water scarcity, we thought it would be very appropriate to bring it to the community through our students and faculties and open the exhibition to the public. We call for all our students to come and visit the exhibition, which will be helpful especially for architecture students’ projects as it gives them the opportunity to think of ways on how to conserve water. (It is important) to think about the use and the misuse of water as the government spends 25 percent of oil and gas revenues on water desalination, which is expected to reach 50 percent by 2030. It is very important for Saudis to be aware of the importance of water and what the government has to go through to get them fresh water. ”

The exhibition continues till Jan. 31 and aims to address the issue of water scarcity and the sustainable use of water, both themes being of particular relevance nowadays. It features social design and product design items by international designers, as well as artists from the wider Mediterranean region, related to different uses of water.

Renowned Saudi artist and designer Noura Bouzo contributed to the exhibition by creating an original item inspired by the traditional Islamic water filters in use many centuries ago across the Arab region. These water filters, which were beautifully decorated, were used to filter water, keep it cool, and prevent insects from falling in.

“The Shapes of Water” is an example of the thriving cultural partnership between Italy and Saudi Arabia and concludes the year-long cultural program promoted by the Italian Embassy in Riyadh within the framework of the “Italy, Cultures and the Mediterranean”, a project aimed at fostering dialogue between Italy and the wider Mediterranean region in the cultural sector.

La Triennale di Milano is a prestigious Italian cultural institution founded almost a century ago with the aim of promoting art and design applied to everyday life. La Triennale di Milano will host its XXII international design exhibition, under the title Broken Nature: Design Takes on Human Survival, from March to September 2019 in Milan, Italy.


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