Digital art is one of the contemporary arts that occurred with the technical development in the last half of the twentieth century, and digital art depends in its basic material for production on the computer and the devices attached to it through drawing and modification with drawing programs.
The production of digital works appeared in Saudi Arabia as a start in art exhibitions with the participation Plastic artist Khaled Al-Amir with a group of digital works in 1998 in a group exhibition of the Darb al-Naja group, followed ten years later by a personal exhibition by the artist Manal Al-Ruwaished in 2008 AD and a group exhibition for the digital art group in 2009 AD.
The beginnings of digital art in Saudi Arabia faced many obstacles. The matter led to a refusal to recognize it from within the arts department, but today, with Saudi Arabia’s openness to everything new in various fields, digital art has become a future bet and enjoys a lot of attention. The Ministry of Culture announced a few days ago the launch of the construction work to implement and prepare the “Diriyah Oasis for Arts”.
Before its scheduled opening in 2022, the Ministry of Culture, in partnership with the Diriyah Gate Development Authority, is creating the first global platform that celebrates arts and innovation in the fields of digital art.
The oasis is located on an area of 10 thousand square meters, and includes six artistic studios, workspaces for artists, modern facilities for young people, workshops and classes for education and training in the fields of arts and technology, in addition to a library and an art store, which constitute an integrated creative platform that aims to support and promote digital arts, provide production opportunities and tools for artists, in addition to providing the best means for teaching and practicing modern arts and technology, and creating a common space between the public and the creators of modern digital art. The Diriyah Art Oasis is the first specialized center in digital arts in the world, with its programs and training paths for modern arts and technologies.
Digital art is a type of amalgamation between artistic creativity and scientific creativity, in which the artist relies on the use of digital media such as the computer as an artistic tool to convey a specific message whose language is sense and creativity, which is a broad term that includes artistic works and practices by using digital technology in professional ways, and making it an important element to develop a concept of creativity.
Since the seventies, digital art has become a prominent method of modern media, and with the development of technology and the availability of various digital design programs, digital art has become one of the latest types of visual art.
Examples of this are the pictures taken by the scanner or the digital camera or the pictures drawn by the different drawing programs, whether using the mouse or the light pen and the drawing board, but all this went beyond the presence in all types and fields of contemporary art that cannot be mentioned here, and it has a clear mark in contemporary artworks.
This art has emerged simultaneously with the development of technology, and the history of digital art shows the extent of the overlap between technology and art, and this is a natural thing. Art throughout the ages proceeds in sync with the developments of the times and is affected by its data, and what we see now of the interest and direction of our wise government, may God preserve it represented by the Ministry of Culture, with this kind of arts, its support, encouragement, and the creation of a suitable environment for it is nothing but evidence of its eagerness to keep pace with the times and advance thought to the highest international levels if it does not go beyond that.
– The artist Khaled Al Amir.
Digital art is an endless story
Within its 2030 vision, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia attaches an exceptional interest in Saudi culture with all the features that distinguish it from language, arts, sciences and social organizations, and in its belief in the main role that modern culture plays in building bridges of communication between societies and nations, and because the elements of any culture differ and change with the development of societies and the development of their sciences. Digital art is one of the most important features of culture in the world today.
It is the most prominent outcome of the technological revolution that has swept the world in various fields. Locally, the technical and technological progress in our country on the cultural level has been linked to the production of various digital arts that reflect a deeply rooted culture of a special character.
To talk about digital arts in The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia brings us back to the memory of years gone by, specifically the year 2009, which witnessed a cultural movement of a number of individuals and art groups to encourage and publish digital art, so the exhibition (Human Problems) was the first digital plastic exhibition to present art in a digital form different from what was presented then as it is a special exhibition of the art group. The digital artifact that was formed by the individual efforts of five plastic artists, obtained graduate degrees in the field of graphic design.
After that, efforts continued, and digital art in its various forms began to invade the local culture and color its paths, so the digital graphic design was distinguished by its visual communication messages that contributed to the support of the concept of communication.
A number of digital arts emerged in the field of film production and two-dimensional and three-dimensional art, so the artists’ tools, specifications, and sciences changed, and the creator of the painting was no longer. The plastic artist is the only person who has the title of artist, as the actor, writer, cover designer, film producer, creator of characters, and many others are artists with their digital art with special characteristics.
At Princess Noura bint Abdulrahman University in the College of Design and Art, full support for all types of digital arts is shown through specialized departments and programs that contribute to supporting the Kingdom’s 2030 vision in building a vibrant society.