Appointed as one of the 100 most influential people in the art world (BLOUIN Art + Auction magazine, December 2011) and one of the most powerful art patrons and collectors in the Middle East (Canvas Magazine), Basma Al Sulaiman dedicates her time and energy in building her Contemporary art collection combining Western and Middle Eastern art. Supporting and promoting emerging Contemporary Saudi artists,Keen on establishing intellectual and artistic links between her home country and the West, Basma is considered as a Saudi Art Patron and she is the founder of BASMOCA (Basma Al Sulaiman Museum of Contemporary Art). Basma was born to parents from the Qasim province, central Saudi Arabia and was raised in Jeddah.
Basma gained a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature in Jeddah and, some years later, took the diploma course in Modern and Contemporary Art at Christie’s.
A love of international travel brought Basma into contact with contemporary art and she began to collect by instinct, her first acquisition, a David Hockney, was bought in New York before she even really knew the identity of the artist.
She relished the challenge and began to collect in earnest, bringing home to Saudi works by Frank Stella, David Mack, Renier Fetting and Luciano Castelli.
“I started to look into exhibitions and museums, and the first contemporary show to blow my mind was Charles Saatchi’s Sensation (1997) at the Royal Academy, London.”
In 2004, Basma started looking into Chinese contemporary art.
“It was different, full of contradictions; they had a story to tell.”
Travelling all over China, visiting artists’ studios and young galleries, Basma bought from artists such as Yue Minjun, Zhang Xiaogang, Zeng Fanzhi and Zhang Huan.
In 2011, Basma Al Sulaiman launched BASMOCA (Basma Al Sulaiman Museum of Contemporary Art); BASMOCA is the first virtual museum to present an actual private collection to a limitless global audience of visitors.
It allows its visitors to create avatars and interact with each other as they are walking through the museum filled with Basma’s collection with a range of Western, Middle Eastern art and a large number of Contemporary Chinese artworks.
“I want to share my vision with other people. By embracing technology, we can make the collection available, all over the world, to as many people as possible. To be able to show an international collection in a global forum, this is the future”
Basma’s main focus is to promote works of art globally through a new global technology form such as an online Museum allowing any individual from anywhere in the world to have constant access to her curated show.
Basma supports Saudi art and artists and enables their international promotion through her online platform.
Aside from BASMOCA, Basma is one of the founding members of the Saudi Art Council and the brain behind Jeddah Sculpture Park. In 2014, she received an award from the Saudi Government, being the first Saudi woman to be honored for her contribution to Saudi’s Art and Culture.
After the passing of her beloved young son Mohammed Juffali in 2012, Basma has dedicated her art collection and museum loans in his loving memory. She is also a member of many charities, both locally and internationally.