Muhannad Shono

Saudi Arabia’s Ithra hosts ‘Amakin’ art exhibit, straight from Jeddah

July 6, 2022 - Jasmine Bager - Arab News

DHAHRAN: A popular Arabic song by a legendary Saudi singer inadvertently became the inspiration for an entire art exhibition that debuted last year in Jeddah. For the first time, that exhibit is now housed in Dhahran, where original works of art serve as personalized portals of nostalgia that allow viewers to take a trip down memory lane to real or imagined destinations.

The 19 artists from Saudi Arabia are: Abdullah Al-Othman, Abdulhalim Radwi, legendary artist Safeya Binzagr, Reem Al-Faisal, Bashaer Hawsawi, Emy Kat, Mohammed Hammad, Obadah Al-Jefri, Sara Abdu, Badr Ali, Asma Bahmim, Hussein Al-Mohasen, Muhannad Shono, Lujain Faqerah and Shadia Alem.


First edition of AlUla Art Residency closes with artists premiering contemporary works

January 14, 2022 - Saudi Gazette

During the three days celebrating the closing of the AlUla Art Residency, a dynamic public programming featured six prominent artists' works, through their creation and research, to the AlUla residents and community of experts, giving a fresh look on how to give a new lease of life to the oasis.

As a ritualistic catafalque, Muhannad Shono's On this Sacred Day represents the cycle of death and renewal unfolding among the living oasis. From the smoke that rises are stories of comings and goings, loss, and remembrance.



Artists will explore ideas of mirage and oasis in Desert X AlUla

January 1, 2022 - Saudi Gazette

Desert X AlUla aims to contribute to and continue the artistic heritage of the local community and region: works from the 2020 edition by Lita Albuquerque, Manal AlDowayan, Sherin Guirguis, Mohammed Ahmed Ibrahim, Nadim Karam and Superflex remain in place in AlUla for public view, while Rashed AlShashai and Muhannad Shono are currently working as part of AlUla’s first art residency program, an 11-week program until Jan. 14, 2022.

Likewise, the ongoing collaboration provides an international platform for Saudi artists: Zahrah Alghamdi, whose work Glimpses of the Past was presented in the inaugural Desert X AlUla, went on to exhibit her work What Lies Behind the Walls to critical acclaim at Desert X 2021 in California.


Bienalsur Makes A Return To Saudi Arabia

December 10, 2021 - Abot Her by Roula Allam

The notion of the relativisation of space is a recurring theme in the works of artists Joël Andrianomearisoa, Cécile Bart, Daniel Canogar, Anaïs Lelièvre, Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, Muhannad Shono and Carola Zech. Meanwhile, Darren Almond and Hugo Aveta attempt to relativise time, helping their works create the perfect counterpoint.

Visitors will be invited to analyse thoughts from memory, history, and the inclusion of past and present imaginaries in video installations by artists Tanja Deman, Gabriela Golder, Chris Larson, Matilde Marin, Angelika Markul and Sujin Lim. Guests can also do this through Valérie Jouve’s photographs and the interactive objects of Sève Favre. Art lovers have the opportunity of examining the works of Daniah Alsaleh Lina Gazzaz, and Tony Oursler to contemplate the state of the individual too.


BIENALSUR…Echoes: A World Between the Analogue and the Virtual

December 8, 2021 - by Bienalsur

In its third edition, BIENALSUR, the International Biennial of Contemporary Art of the South, will once again travel to Saudi Arabia, where it is hosted by the Saudi Ministry of Culture, to present BIENALSUR…Echoes: A World Between the Analogue and the Virtual at Qasr Khuzam, a historic palace transformed into a museum in the port city of Jeddah.

Curated by the Artistic Director of BIENALSUR, Diana Wechsler, the exhibition includes more than 20 artists from 13 countries, including Ahaad Alamoudi, Darren Almond, Dania Alsaleh, Joël Andrianomearisoa, Hugo Aveta, Cécile Bart, Daniel Canogar, Tanja Deman, Sève Favre, Lina Gazzaz, Gabriela Golder, Chris Larson, Anaïs Lelièvre, Sujin Lim, Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, Valérie Jouve, Angelika Markul, Marín Matilde, Filwa Nazer, Tony Oursler, and Muhannad Shono.


AlUla Oasis: six artists to visually transform the cultural site in Saudi Arabia

December 2, 2021 - The National News by Melissa Gronlund

The artists will work in collaboration with the developers, archaeologists, anthropologists and agricultural experts already working in the space.

The cohort is likewise relatively diverse. The artists involved are Rashed AlShashai and Muhannad Shono from Saudi Arabia; French artists Sara Favriau and Laura Sellies; and two artists who live in the UAE – Syrian artist Talin Hazbar and Si Merabet. 

AlUla's artists' residency programme is likely to grow in the future, and will be determined by an international selection panel. For this pilot scheme, the three stakeholders are planning an exhibition of the artists’ work for later in the spring.



Beyond Words With Artist Muhannad Shono

July 25, 2021 - Rebecca Anne Proctor - Harper's Bazaar Arabia

Through the use of pigment and vibration, the artist studies what he deems “the crisis of the word.” In each work Muhannad grinds hardened charcoal words to dust and then employs vibrations from inaudible spectrums of sound to result in the new “words” – undefined black pigment forms – on paper.

Muhannad’s depictions on paper are the result of the artist’s inquiry into the shifting states of storytelling that occupy contemporary society. He believes that human beings have a tendency to place faith in stories and myths, drawing us to the construction of our present, past and future worlds. Such exploration stems from the artist’s “imagined state of being.” It’s a state that is devoid of time and place and that simply exists. In many ways, it also frees the artist from his own sense of displacement.




10 must-see pieces at Noor Riyadh: the installations lighting up Saudi Arabia's capital city

March 25, 2021 - Melissa Gronlund - The National

The Noor Riyadh festival of light and art is running until April 3, held at sites across Saudi Arabia's capital city.

An exhibition of historical artworks that use light, from international explorations in the 1960s and 1970s to more recent works from the kingdom, is also on until June 12 at the King Abdullah Financial Centre.

4. 'Diwans of the Unknown' by Dana Awartani (2021). Location: Light Upon Light, King Abdullah Financial Centre

Arranged like a miniature screen, in Diwans of the Unknown the Palestinian-Saudi artist Dana Awartani projects lines of poetry from female poets of the pre-Islamic age to the 12th century. The phrases are stitched into gauzy sheets of silk that are lit from the side, so that the words float like ghosts from another age. The work is a continuation of Awartani’s 2018 large-scale sound installation, in which the whispers of these poems swirled around gravestone-like silk cloths, embroidered in complex geometry.


Light in a time of darkness

March 24, 2021 - By AFP - Global Times

As the world slowly begins to emerge from the global COVID-19 pandemic, the kingdom of Saudi Arabia seeks to reengage its population with cultural activities. Noor Riyadh - which translates from Arabic to "Light of Riyadh" - is a citywide light and art festival illuminating the Saudi capital of Riyadh for the next three months.

Due to the global pandemic, 2020 was hardly characterized by cultural events or communal gatherings. But globally, society has gradually begun to emerge from a state of self-preservation, lockdowns and solitude, and begun a return to normalcy. As the Saudi public re-integrates into post-pandemic society, the Noor Riyadh festival aims to transform urban spaces into art that immerses and engages the community.

The second half of the festival, which takes the theme "Light Upon Light," is a retrospective exhibition tracking light art from the 1960s to the present. It runs until June 12 in the King Abdullah Financial District Conference Center.

Saudis are eager to leave the challenges of 2020 behind and look to a "brighter future," according to Director of Riyadh Art Khaled Al-Hazani. The festival, "a celebration of light and art on an unparalleled scale," has already proven popular with Saudis, who have flocked to see the exhibitions on display. Lulwah Al Homoud, one of the Saudi artists exhibiting her work, considers the inaugural festival as the beginning of a "golden age of Saudi art," she says.


Noor Riyadh references Saudi Arabia’s past and rapidly changing present

March 23, 2021 - Rebecca Anne Proctor _ Arab News

The artworks, which encompass a range of media, including music, sculpture and performance, can be found in two main areas: The King Abdul Aziz Historical Center and the King Abdullah Financial District, where visitors can also view “Light Upon Light,” an exhibition of light art from the 1960s to the present, which is on view until June 12.
While the global art community will have to view the artworks virtually, Saudis have already been flocking to the venues in record numbers.
“One of the most critical aspects of Vision 2030 is the flourishing of the Saudi creative economy, which we are trying to foster, and this is one of the main highlights of Noor Riyadh as a program,” Anas Najmi, adviser to the Royal Commission for Riyadh City, told Arab News. “Despite all of the challenges of the pandemic, we managed to give the experience to 15,000 visitors in just one day. Secondly, over 1,200 jobs were created as part of the Noor Riyadh festival, half of which are for Saudis.”


"نور الرياض"..السعودية تشهد انطلاق احتفالية تبرز إبداع فن الضوء

March 19, 2021 - CNN Arabic

دبي، الإمارات العربية المتحدة (CNN) -- شهدت المملكة العربية السعودية، مساء الخميس، انطلاق احتفالية "نور الرياض" والتي تضمنت عرض أعمال فنية تفاعلية تعتمد على الإضاءة في مواقع متعددة بأنحاء مدينة الرياض

وتضمنت الاحتفالية مشاركة 60 من كبار الفنانين في مجال فنون الإضاءة، ينتمون لأكثر من 20 دولة حول العالم، منهم 23 من الفنانين السعوديين، وفقاً لوكالة الأنباء السعودية "واس"


وتشتمل احتفالية "نور الرياض" على 60 عملاً فنياً، تضم جميع أشكال فنون الضوء، من بينها أعمال تاريخية وهندسية وضوئية، ومنحوتات، وعروض للإضاءة، وعروض تفاعلية، وقطع حركية، وتركيبات وأعمال خارجية، ومجموعة من أشكال الفن الخفيف، يتاح لسكان وزوار مدينة الرياض الاستمتاع بها عن قرب في مختلف أرجاء المدينة، مع تخصيص مركزين رئيسين للاحتفالية في كلٍ من مركز الملك عبدالله المالي ومركز الملك عبدالعزيز التاريخي بالمربع


Saudi Arabia: Magic light festival to illuminate Riyadh

March 4, 2021 - Samir Salama, Associate Editor

The festival, dubbed Noor Riyadh, will also feature workshops, discussions, tours, presentations, volunteer programmes, cinematic and musical events, and recreational and educational activities.

“It aims to improve the city’s quality of life in line with the goals of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030, and to enhance the cultural and artistic aspects of the city, by transforming Riyadh into an open art gallery that blends the traditional with the contemporary,” said Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Farhan, Minister of Culture.

Prince Bin Farhan said the festival sought to enhance community interaction, spread art and beauty throughout the city, and enrich the daily life of its residents and its visitors, by promoting art in public places and the local art movement, and encouraging more creativity and innovation.



أسبوع «مسك» للفنون... من الرياض إلى العالم وبالعكس

December 7, 2020 - Abeer Mishkas _ AlSharaq Alawsat عبير مشخص ـ الشرق الاوسط

لندن: عبير مشخص

في دورته الرابعة واجه أسبوع «مسك» للفنون جائحة كورونا، واحتمالات مختلفة، منها المضي قدماً أو الإلغاء، لكن «كورونا» لم تستطع تأجيل موعد عشاق الفن والثقافة مع الحدث الفني البارز على روزنامة الفن والثقافة في السعودية. في حوار مع ريم السلطان، الرئيسة التنفيذية لمعهد «مسك» للفنون، عبّرت عن الإصرار والتفاؤل في آن واحد. قالت لـ«الشرق الأوسط» إن الجائحة فرضت على المنظمين صيغة رقمية للوصول للجمهور، لكنها لم تمنع من إقامة بعض الفعاليات على الأرض. تحدثت معنا حول فعاليات الأسبوع، وأيضاً ألقت بنظرها على ما سيقدمه المستقبل.

السلطان تتحدث بحماسة جميلة، تتوجها بابتسامة لطيفة لم تفقد تأثيرها عبر شاشة الكومبيوتر، تعود معي لمرحلة الإعداد للأسبوع الفني. تقول: «كنا ننظر بقليل من القلق إلى مدى التفاعل مع الصيغة الافتراضية، لكن التفاعل كان أكثر من جيد، والمشاركات بشكل عام كانت كلها إيجابية». ترى في الموضوع العام الذي يغلف فعاليات الأسبوع، وهو «صياغة الثقافة»، عنصراً جاذباً، فهو «يلمس كل الفئات، ولهذا كانت هناك مشاركات وقبول من أطراف مختلفة».

تشير إلى المشاركين في الفعاليات: «شارك معنا أكثر من 65 مختصاً وخبيراً في الفنون والثقافة، تقريباً من أكثر من 10 دول»، ترى أن الموضوع (صياغة الثقافة) وأهميته وتوقيته كانت عناصر جذب للمشاركين.


Grants scheme for Saudi artists aims to ease coronavirus pressures

May 26, 2020 - Hala Tashkandi _ Arab News

RIYADH: A Saudi art gallery has launched an initiative to provide financial grants to help support the work of artists in the Kingdom during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

Athr Gallery in Jeddah recently announced its Maan (Arabic for together) project in a bid to cushion the impact of the virus outbreak on the local art scene. As part of its mission to keep the arts sustained and accessible to a wider audience, Athr has collaborated with seven artists, whose limited-edition works will be sold to fund the grants.

The artists contributing their pieces are Ahmed Mater, Ayman Yossri Daydban, Dana Awartani, Manal Al-Dowayan, Muhannad Shono, Nasser Al-Salem, and Sultan bin Fahad.


From California to Saudi Arabia: Desert X lands in Al Ula

February 10, 2020 - Stephanie D'Arc Taylor_ Evening Standard

Much of the work is exuberant and visually spectacular, from a giant swing set by the Danish collective Superflex (which first appeared in Tate Modern in 2017) to a 25ft-tall silver fuselage-type installation by American artist Gisela Colon that calls to mind a sex object outlawed in the kingdom.

Saudi artist and storyteller Muhannad Shono showed his The Lost Path installation, which binds together 65,000 black plastic pipes to wind hundreds of feet through the dunes and cliffs. The work, he says, is meant to invoke a treasure map as well as a reminder of the oil that the tubes once contained and the far-reaching effects of that modern-day treasure.


“I asked artists to think about three core ideas,” El Khalil says. “The first was biomimicry – a connection with nature, learning from nature, from 3.8 billion years of evolution. The second was adaptability: decisions might need to be amended ver

February 9, 2020 - Melissa Gronlund_ The National_ Art & Culture

I Love You, Urgently looks to natural forms, communities, connections, and a level-­playing field between humans and the natural world – ideas such as camel herders singing lullabies to their animals. Its ostensible focus is the continuing climate emergency, though the artists involved in the exhibition were inspired not just by climate change, but by the strategies and shifts in mind-sets that will be necessary to improve or adapt to a changed planet.

“I asked artists to think about three core ideas,” El Khalil says. “The first was biomimicry – a connection with nature, learning from nature, from 3.8 billion years of evolution. The second was adaptability: decisions might need to be amended very quickly, and the needs themselves might need to be amended very quickly. And the third was specificity: to look at our environment and to think, what are the specific needs?” Each of the works on show were commissioned, and the 21, 39 organisers worked with the artists from research phase to final result.


من كاليفورنيا إلى صحراء العلا... الفن المعاصر في حوار مع الطبيعة

February 5, 2020 - العلا (السعودية): عبير مشخص

في الصحراء نتواضع ونشعر بحجمنا الحقيقي في هذا الكون، يراودني الشعور أثناء رحلة نحو العلا السعودية لمعاينة معرض فني ضخم بعنوان «ديزيرت إكس». ويمثل معرض «ديزرت إكس العلا» أول تعاون دولي لـ«ديزرت إكس» الذي يقام في «كونشيلا فالي» بكاليفورنيا الأميركية وتأسس لربط المجتمعات والثقافات الصحراوية من خلال الفن المعاصر. وينظم المعرض بالتعاون مع المخرج الفني في «ديزيرت إكس» نيفيل ويكفيلد والقيّمتين والمختصتين في الفن المعاصر من المملكة رنيم فارسي وآية علي رضا.

الحافلة التي تقلنا نحو العلا محملة بجمع كثيف ومتنوع الجنسيات واللغات، كل فرد في انتظار المفاجأة المعدة لنا، وعدنا بمعر ض فني كبير وعرفنا بعض الأسماء المشاركة، وها نحن نقترب من ذلك العرض، نشغل الوقت بالأحاديث الجانبية وبالنظر من نوافذ الحافلة لتصافح أعيننا التشكيلات الصخرية الشهيرة في العلا... ولكن لنا حديث آخر مع تلك الإبداعات الصخرية، نحن الآن في الموقع حيث تبدأ عناصر المفاجأة في الظهور شيئاً فشيئاً... على مسافات تكاد تكون متساوية نرى تشكيلات فنية بعضها مكون من قطعة واحدة فقط، وبعضها الآخر من أكثر من قطعة، كل منها يبدو متواضعاً في ظلال الجبال الصخرية، لن يبزها جلالا ولكن يكتفي بأن يكون وجوده هنا نوعاً من الحوار البصري، بين الإنسان والطبيعة، بين ما شكلته الرياح والمياه على مدى قرون لا تعد من أخاديد وأحافير وفجوات في الصخور الممتدة على مدى البصر، وبين ما شكلته يد إنسانية تقدم التساؤلات والتأملات في الحياة ومعانيها.


14 فناناً يبحرون في حضارة العلا عبر «ديزرت إكس»

February 3, 2020 - جدة: عائشة جعفري _ aawsat

وينظّم معرض «ديزرت إكس» العلا للمرة الأولى بالتعاون مع المخرج الفني نيفيل ويكفيلد والمختصتين في الفن المعاصر رنيم فارسي وآية علي رضا من السعودية، ويعرض 14 عملا لفنانين محليين وعالميين مصممة لتحاكي طبيعة العلا.
وقدّم الفنان راشد الشعشعي عمله «ممر مختصر» الذي يصور فيه إبل وخيول الرحالة وقوافل التجارة التي كانت تجد من مغارات وشعاب العلا الفريدة ملجأ من اللصوص وقطاع الطرق ويستمدون من عيونها ماء ما ساعد في تنامي حضارات العلا عبر العصور وصنع منها محطة لحضارات متعاقبة.
بينما يعرض الفنان مهند شونو في عمله «المسار المفقود» فكرة البحث عن معنى للحياة عن طريق المسارات والخرائط التي يتبعها الإنسان. وذكر شونو أن خرائط الكنز غالباً ما تؤدي إلى صناديق فارغة ويؤكد أن الرحلة بحق أكثر أهمية من الوجهة.
وتابع: «هذا العمل يعطينا اتجاها نحو مساراتنا الشخصية المدفونة، إذ ينمو المسار المستمد من سطر واحد ليصبح تحفة نحتية تنتظر الزوار لاكتشافها».


An Extraordinary Exhibition Launches In Saudi Arabia’s AlUla Region

February 2, 2020 - Ayesha Sohail Shehmir Shaikh_ Harper Bazaar Arabia

On show now until 7 March 2020 in the extraordinary landscape of AlUla in Saudi Arabia, the Desert X AlUla exhibition, the first major contemporary art exhibition in the area, explores desert culture through cross-cultural dialogue between artists. Participating artists include Riyadh-based Muhannad Shono, Beirut-based Rayyane Tabet and Jeddah-based Rashed AlShashai, to name a few.

The exhibition has been co-curated by Saudi curators Raneem Farsi and Aya Alireza and Desert X’s artistic director Neville Wakefield and has been organised by Desert X and the Royal Commission of AlUla (RCU). “Artists are at the centre of this exhibition conceived to foster artistic exchange and dialogue across continents,” says Farsi.


desert X AlUla sets art across the heart of historic saudi arabian trade route

January 31, 2020 - bryan shim I_Designboom

From now through march 7, 2020 desert X AlUla is taking place in saudi arabia. featuring interactive installations by 14 artists, the site-specific art exhibition brings together a plurality of voices to speak on the environmental conditions, historic context and the surrounding communities of the ancient oasis. co-curated by saudi curators raneem farsi and aya alireza with neville wakefield — the artistic director of desert X — the public exhibition is the first of its kind in saudi arabia.

Nasser alsalem — ‘amma qabel’ is a sculpture with both interior and exterior landscapes, which embraces the idea of time as a continuum that connects all cultures and civilizations. the simple gesture of the installation mimics a passage-way with circumference shaped by calligraphic letters that read ‘amma qabl’, which means ‘what precedes’.


Desert X Al Ula puts Saudi Arabia's historic site on international arts map

January 31, 2020 - Melissa Gronlund_The National

It’s an extreme meeting of the old and new: Desert X Al Ula has opened to the public, a six-week-specific installation of artworks made in the awesome setting of the Al Ula in north western Saudi Arabia.

Desert X began as a biennial in southern California, bringing visitors through the Coachella Valley in search installations, sculptures, and performances. Now, for the Royal Commission for Al Ula (RCU)’s first major contemporary art project for the heritage site, Desert X Al Ula commissions 14 Saudi and international artists to make artworks in the sand.

“Al Ula is the power of heritage crossing through multiple civilisations,” says Amr Al Madani, chief executive of the RCU. “This is a living museum interacting with nature.”


‘I Am Not Part of Some Propaganda Machine’: Artists and Curators Defend Their Participation in the Saudi-Backed Show Desert X AlUla

January 29, 2020 - Rebecca Anne Proctor_ Artnet

“I wish Ed [Ruscha] could have come to AlUla, attended the show, gotten to know us and seen our work,” Muhannad Shono, one of the participating artists, told Artnet News. “Many Saudi artists are fed up with having to deal and respond to the bad headlines. None of the western media outlets have asked me about my work. All people want to do is talk about the controversy and not the art.”

The perception, Shono continues, is that “what I am doing and what other Saudi artists are doing is part of some propaganda agenda. I am working on concepts and ideas that are in no way scrutinized or censored. I am not part of some propaganda machine. I am an individual artist that is excited to be part of all the changes happening here. We want people to come and reach out to us and see what the people are doing.”


The 2020 edition of 21,39 opens in Jeddah

January 28, 2020 - Melissa Gronlund_The National

The seventh 21,39, the Jeddah Arts Week, has opened in the Red Sea city today. Curated by Maya El Khalil and titled I Love You, Urgently, the week consists of talks and a central exhibition. It concentrates on ecology and sustainability, inspired by the work of German architect Frei Otto, who built a number of projects in Saudi Arabia.

Community and the environment permeate the exhibition’s projects. They range from an analysis of the unique ecosystem formed by the Al Manakh concrete factory outside of Riyadh, in a project by Fahad bin Naif and Alaa Tarabzouni, to interventions in Jeddah’s Al Balad, or Old Town, neighbourhood. As El Khalil noted at the press conference, Al Balad is itself a unique ecosystem, with its Unesco-protected carved wooden doors and traditional houses.


بدعم من وزارة الثقافة.. المجلس الفني السعودي يدشن معرض 21،39 فن جدة بعنوان “أيتها الأرض”

January 28, 2020 - Anhaa News Report

بدعم من ووزارة الثقافة السعودية، دشن المجلس الفني السعودي النسخة السابعة من معرض 21،39 فن جدة تحت عنوان “أيتها الأرض” والذي يحوي اعمالاً تتناول مواضيع الاستدامة البيئية واستكشاف طرق بديلة للتعايش والحياة على كوكبنا من خلال برنامج فني وثقافي وتعليمي يشمل معارض وورش عمل وحوارات نقاشات، وبرنامج تعليمي عام واسع النطاق.

ويضم معرض ” أيتها الأرض” الذي يقام من 28 يناير الى 18 أبريل في كل من مقر المجلس الفني السعودي والمنطقة التاريخية بجدة القديمة أعمالاً لأكثر من 60 فنان ومهندس معماري ومصمم ومفكر محلي ودولي تبحث عن التحديات الناجمة عن تدمير البيئة الطبيعية وتعتبر مبادرة هذا العام استمرارا لرسالة المجلس الفني السعودي والتي تهدف إلى تنمية مشهد الفن المحلي وبناء الجسور مع عالم الفن الدولي.



Creative thinkers to tackle climate crisis at 21,39 Jeddah Arts event

January 18, 2020 - report by ARAB NEWS

This year, the Saudi Art Council event has been given the title “I Love You, Urgently,” as a call to action in response to the global environmental emergency. With Saudi society undergoing a rapid transformation, the council asked local and international figures from the worlds of art, architecture and design to seek tangible solutions to the crisis and come up with alternative and symbiotic ways of living on our planet.

A wide range of Saudi, Arab and European artists and creators are taking part. They include Ayman Zedani, Aziz Jamal, Cristiana De Marchi, Daniah Al-Saleh, Duran Lantink, Fahad bin Naif & Alaa Tarabzouni, Farah K. Behbehani, Filwa Nazer, Maha Nasrallah, Manal Al-Dowayan, Marwah Al-Mugait, Mohammad Al-Faraj, Mohammed Kazem, Muhannad Shono, Obadah Aljefri, Omar Abduljawad, Nasser Al-Salem, Nojoud Al-Sudairi, Raja’a Khalid, Sultan Bin Fahd and Zahrah Al-Ghamdi.


Beyond Words: Saudi Artist Muhannad Shono Creates New Language Through His Conceptual Art

October 11, 2019 - Rebecca Anne Proctor _ Harper Bazaar Arabia

The work of Riyadh-based artist Muhannad Shono is made from an imagined state of being, one devoid of a particular time and place. Through the use of pigment and vibration the exhibition studies what the artist deems “the crisis of the word.” In each work Shono grinds hardened charcoal words to dust and then employs vibrations from inaudible spectrums of sound to result in the new “words”—undefined black pigment forms—on paper. Their meaning cannot be read or heard and must be felt and experienced by gazing at the multitude of smudged chaotic lines.


‘We Have Our Own Individual Voices’: Saudi Artists Debate Their Place in the Kingdom as the West Becomes Wary of Its Commitment to Progress

September 12, 2019 - Rebecca Anne Proctor_ Artnet

The resulting video, Sarab (2016), was included in “Naphtha,” a summer exhibition curated by artist Moath Alofi at the Khuzam Palace in Jeddah and organized by the Saudi ministry of culture. It stands as a provocative representation of the changes taking place in the country, and a potent symbol of its attempted break with the past as it enters new terrain under 33-year-old crown prince Mohammed bin Salman, known as MbS, who has promised modernizing reforms.

 “When things move fast and you are in the middle of them, you cannot comprehend the speed,” says Mohammed Hafiz, an art collector and co-founder of Athr Gallery, a contemporary art space established in Jeddah in 2009.


An Exhibition Of Saudi Contemporary Art Explores The Universal Elements Of Time And Space

August 6, 2019 - Rebecca Anne Proctor_Harper Bazaar Arabia

The exhibition, which takes place at Ithra, the King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture, displays the work of some of Saudi Arabia’s most pivotal contemporary artists


Three old wooden doors are inexplicably alluring. The first one is colored in a vibrant shade of turquoise yet numerous scratchings on its surface tell of years of use. The central one, unpainted and found in a light tan hue, is the most intact of all three and has a silver door handle while the third is the most battered, scratched and beaten—time has worn its originally soft surface into a battlefield of a wear and tear.

It’s become battered, discarded and devoured by the harsh desert and beaming with one last purpose through Saudi artist Moath Alofi’s work, The Doors of Thad (2019), part of the ongoing project The Last Tashahhud.


The Rise of the Saudi Art Scene: Athr Gallery

July 22, 2019 - Huda AlShair

A recent project of the world renowned curator, Rahul Gudipudi, is The Silence Is Still Talking, a solo exhibition by Muhanned Shono. A showcase that consists of charcoal on blank paper seems uninspired, derivative, or even tedious. However, that is the point Shono is trying to make. Shono believes that people have the unfortunate tendency to restrain their words and verbal expressions; there is a lack of creativity and imagination with words. Through using the restricted tools of charcoal and paper, Shono has proven that word expression is a limitless endeavor. It can be explored in a plethora of different ways and angles.


The Clock are Striking Thirteen

February 8, 2018

Opening on Thursday, February 8th, at 7:30pm, Athr presents “The Clocks Are Striking Thirteen”, a group exhibition, as part of 21,39 Jeddah Arts. The participating artists are Aya Haidar, Ayman Yossri, Dana Awartani, Larissa Sansour, Maha Nasrallah, Moath Alofi, Mohammed Abdelrasoul, Mohammed Al Faraj, Mohammed Monaiseer, Muhannad Shono, Nasser Al Salem, Reem Al Nasser, Sara Abdu, Tamara Al Samerai, Wael Shawky and Zahra Al Ghamdi. The exhibition is curated by Maya El Khalil.

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