Muhannad Shono
Muhannad Shono
Muhannad Shono. From "The Lost Path" project. 2020
Muhannad Shono. The teaching tree. The National Pavilion of Saudi Arabia, Venice Biennale

Born in Saudi Arabia in 1977, Muhannad Shono is a multidisciplinary visual artist based in Riyadh. He graduated with a degree in Architecture from King Fahad University of Petroleum and Minerals, Dhahran. Muhannad Shono’s multidisciplinary practice explores what lies beneath the surface of our existence. Highly conceptual in form and content, Shono uses a mixture of technology, symbols, and various objects to probe personal, collective, and historical truths.


Children of Yam. 2017

Video. Edition 4 of 5 + 2 AP

The Mother Seed. 2020

Ink on paper. Framed
30 x 42

35.1655°N , 45.9896 °E. I’m Sorry from Above series. 2016

Ink on paper. Framed
57 x 57



Artist Biography

Muhannad Shono

Muhannad Shono

A visual artist who feels no limitation to work in a particular medium or scale, Shono’s multidisciplinary practice is catalyzed and structured by story, harnessing the power of narrative by creating and contesting personal, collective, and historical truths. Impacted by childhood memories, throughout his early career and until today the aim and expression of Shono’s work is rooted in exploring both the existent and non-existent boundaries which have characterized his life. Taking a singular approach, his work amplifies the moment where impact, transmission, and change occur. This results in the creation of relics and symbols which belong to a world all his own and are defined by a constant need and curiosity to challenge the imagination. Deeply impacted by restrictions of expression he experienced as a child; his work began to respond to these strict conditions and from there developed into endlessly imagined worlds inspired by the adoption of new ways of thinking, how to spark thought, calls for self-discovery, and meaning. Most recently, he represented Saudi Arabia at the 59th Venice Biennale with his exhibition “The Teaching Tree”, presenting a large-scale installation covered in dried and painted fronds and animated by pneumatics.

Shono obtained his BA in Architecture in 2000 from King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals. His work has been the subject of several solo exhibitions, including “The Silence is Still Talking” at Athr Gallery in Jeddah (2019); “Ala: Ritual Machine” at Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin (2018); “Children of Yam” at Athr Gallery in Jeddah (2016) and “Silence Still Inhabits Us” at MUNTREF Sede Hotel de Inmigrantes in Buenos Aires, Argentina during Bienalsur (2021). Shono has shown his work at group exhibitions in Saudi Arabia and internationally, including at “In the Open or in Stealth” curated by Raqs Media Collective at the MACBA, Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona, Spain (2018); Desert X AlUla (2020); “I Love You Urgently” 21,39, Jeddah, curated by Maya El Khalil (2019); Albukhary Foundation Gallery opening exhibition at the British Museum, London, curated by Venetia Porter (2018); “UNPUBLISHED – artistic observations”, Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology, Zurich (2017); “After the Wildly Improbable”, HKW Haus der Kulturen der welt, Berlin (2017); and “Safar”, 21,39, Jeddah, curated by Sam Bardaouil & Till Fellrath (2017).

Shono’s work has been acquired by notable regional and international institutions, including The British Museum and Art Jameel Foundation.