Ahmed Mater


Ahmed Mater born 1979, Tabouk, grew up in Abha, the capital of the mountainous Aseer region in the remote South West of Saudi Arabia. While studying medicine in Abha, he became a founding member of the influential of Al Miftaha Arts Village, and remains rooted to his Aseeri identity. In 2006, he co-founded Edge of Arabia and recently established Ibn Aseer (son of Aseer), a collective for young local artists. 

His recent work presents an unofficial history of Saudi sociopolitical life. It is concerned with the representation of traumatic events of collective historical dimensions, and the ways in which films, video, image, performance and text can document physical and psychological violence.

Mater’s work has been widely exhibited across the world including at The Mori Museum of Art (Tokyo), The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art (Kansas City, MO), the Shrajah, Kochi and Venice Biennales, Rijksmuseum Volkenkunde (Leiden Museum of Ethnology), Ashkal Alwan Homeworks 6 (Beirut), and Galleria Continua’s Les Moulins (Paris).
His work is in the collection of the British Museum (London), Victoria & Albert Museum (London), Los Angeles County Museum of Art (Los Angeles, CA), the Museum of Islamic Art (Doha) and Centre Pompidou (Paris).



Selected solo shows

2010 - Ahmed Mater, The Vinyl Factory, London, UK

2009 - Illumination, ArtSpace, Dubai, UAE

2006 - Ahmed Mater Al-Ziad Aseeri, Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia, London, UK

2004 - THE END, Abha & Jeddah, KSA

2004- Chewing (Mudgah), Almiftaha Art Village, Abha, KSA

2004 - Standing in Front of You, King Khalid University, Abha, KSA

2003 - X-Ray Project, 6thSaudi Malwan Contest Tour, Jeddah, Beirut, Sidon, Manama

2001 - Landing on the Earth's Surface, Al-Maseef Cultural Club, Abha, KSA

Selected group shows

2013 – Hajj: The Journey Through Art, Museum of Islamic Art, Doha, Qata, October 2013 – January 2014

2013 – Longing for Mecca: A Pilgrim’s Journey, Rijksmuseum Volken Kunde, Leiden, Netherlands, September 2013 – March 2014

2013 – Calligraffiti, Leila Heller Gallery, New York City, New York, USA, September – October, 2013

2013 – Echoes: Islamic Art & Contemporary Artists, Nelson-Atkins Musuem of Art, Kansas City, Missouri, USA, August 2013 – March 2014

2013 – Home Works 6 by Ashkal Alwan, Beirut, Lebanon

2013 – Video(works), Athr Gallery, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, May – July 2013

2013 – Sharjah Biennale Re:emerge: Towards a New Cultural Cartography, Sharjah, UAE, March – May 2013

2012 - Kochi Muziris Biennale, Kerala, India, December 2012 - March 2013

2012 – Light from the Middle East, Victoria & Albert Museum, London, UK, November 2012 - April 2013

2012 - #COMETOGETHER, Truman Brewery, Brick Lane, London

2012- 25 Years of Arab Creativity, Institute du Monde Arab, Paris, France

2012 - Arab Express, Mori Art Museum, Tokyo, Japan 

2012- Carthage Contemporary, Musee National de Carthage, Tunisia 

2012- Struggles, Maison Particulière, Brussels, Belgium

2012- Hajj, Journey to the Heart of Islam,British Museum, London

2012- Bending History, Katara Galleries, Doha, Qatar

2012- We Need to Talk, Edge of Arabia Jeddah

2011 - Gifts of the Sultan, LA County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, America

2011 - The Future of a Promise, Edge of Arabia, The 54th Venice Biennale, Magazzini Del Sale, Venice, Italy

2011 - The New Middle East, Williem Baars Projects, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

2011 - Westend? The Museum on the Seam: Socio-Political Contemporary Art Museum, Jerusalem, Isreal

2011 - The Art of Writing? Written Art Foundation, Weisbaden, Germany

2011 - Edge of Arabia Terminal, DIFC, Dubai

2011 - The State: Uppers and Downers, Traffic Gallery, Dubai, UAE

2010 - Edge of Arabia TRANSiTiON, Sanat Limani, Istanbul, Turkey

2010 - Grey Borders / Grey Frontiers: Edge of Arabia,Torstrasse 1, Berlin, Germany

2009- ADACH Platform For Visual Arts, The 53rd Venice Biennale, Arsenale, Venice, Italy

2009- Edge of Arabia, Venice Biennale, Palazo Contarini Polignac, Venice, Italy

2008 - The Other, Ciaro Biennale 11, Cairo, Egypt

2008- Edge of Arabia, Contemporary Art from Saudi Arabia– SOAS Brunei Gallery, University of London, London, UK

2007- Word into Art, Artists of the Modern Middle East, The British Museum, DIFC UAE, Dubai

2007- Artists of the Arab World, Arab British Centre, London, UK

2007- Art, Ecology & the Politics of Change, Sharjah Biennial 8, Sharjah, UAE

2006 - Word into Art, Artists of the Modern Middle East, The British Museum, London, UK

2006 - Saudi Photographers Delegation, Tokyo, Japan & Singapore.

2006- Son of Assir, Al Miftaha Arts Village, Abha, KSA

2005- Al Sharjah Calligraphy Biennial, Sharjah, UAE

2005 - Saudi Arts Delegation, Tunis, Tunisia

2004 - Bayna, Ma'ayn exhibition, Dammam, KSA

2004- You are so far from Earth (Shattah) Second Group Exhibition, Al Miftaha Arts Village, Abha, KSA

2004- Shattah (First Group Exhibition), Attileh, Jeddah, KSA


Tate Modern, UK

The British Museum, UK

The Victoria & Albert Museum, UK

Los Angeles County Museum, USA

Mori Art Museum, Japan

Green Box Museum, Netherlands

Sharjah Art Foundation, UAE

Al Jameel Foundation, Saudi Arabia



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