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“Have you ever seen a sound?”


On the occasion of the 20th Week of the Italian language in the world 2020, the Embassy of Italy in Riyadh, in collaboration with the Diplomatic Quarter, presents the photo exhibition “MUSICA” by Italian artist Michele Ardu.

Consisting of eight artworks made by the artist exclusively for this occasion, MUSICA exhibition accompanies the audience through a “musical walk” within part of the musical heritage of Italy and Saudi Arabia.


“MUSICA is a collection of sound portraits which invites us to overcome the limits of our nature and our imagination” says Michele Ardu. “Each artwork uses photography to immortalize the shape that Music creates by itself, while resounding on a linear stream of flowing smoke. Like a sculpturer who works on a column of marble, the sound waves play with and fluctuate in the air. When they meet with the smoke, they display their energy to create an evanescent image.”


And it is by the nature of this encounter between music and the thread of flowing smoke that the movement of swords in the Saudi dance “Ardha” or the love poems sung by Mohammed Abdu and Italian singer Mia Martini, the list of tricks performed by Figaro in the Barber of Serville by Gioacchino Rossini and the melancholic sunset in the Gulf of Sorrento depicted by singer Mina in “Caruso” – that all the music pieces chosen for this exhibition can take shape in front of the artist and its audience, and reveal their true soul.

Ardu challenges our fantasy, plays with our memories and pushes us to overcome our limits and to reach over the obstacles of human nature, by inviting us to perceive music with our eyes rather than our ears, and by allowing us to experiment music in a radical new way.

The artistic journey of Michele Ardu is rooted in this continuous quest for answers to the big questions of life, in the desire that makes us go beyond our limits, to set our hearts free above all obstacles and reach for the sky, breaking all ceilings – in a journey that makes us human.


Through a conceptual approach to photography, Ardu presents MUSICA like a perfect metaphor of our lives. When we are in the midst of events beyond our control, and feel sometimes overwhelmed by them – in the same way that the linear stream of flowing smoke is carried away and shaped by sound waves, Michele Ardu shows us that life is a constant journey of discovery and self-improvement. Not mere existence, but Life.


“What shape would your voice, sound or dearest song take?”




Michele Ardu (1986) is a London-based Italian artist who uses photography to connect with the World. His first artistic photography research is “In Re Quieta”, a collection of photographs focused on the relationship between Man and Horses. MUSICA is his second portfolio.
Michele’s artwork has been published and exhibited internationally (including multiple editions of National Geographic).