01 Nov 2023 - 31 Dec 2023

Bienalsur 2023

Saudi Arabia Museum of Contemporary Art & Fenaa Alawwal


The Saudi Ministry of Culture inaugurated the third edition of the International Biennial of Contemporary Art of the South – “Bienalsur”, at the Saudi Arabia Museum of Contemporary Art at Jax (SAMoCA). The exhibition titled “Imagine: Fantasies, Dreams, Utopias”, presents the artworks of twenty-six renowned artists from Saudi Arabia and the world. Displayed in SAMoCA’s interior as well as external spaces the exhibition extends its reach to the JAX District with a surprising presence that modify the perception of space to reveal new and unexpected aspects that shed light on fantasy and creativity. Each of the artworks leaves their mark on the territory where they are exhibited, offering visitors a journey that oscillates between reality and utopia, truth and dream.  

This year’s edition of Bienalsur in Riyadh showcases the artworks of artists from Saudi Arabia and the world: Daniel Buren (France), Leila Tschopp (Argentina), Joaquin Fargas (Argentina), Marie Orensanz (Argentina/France), Saad Alhowede, Julio Le Parc (Argentina/France), Ugo Schiavi (France), Leandro Elrich (Argentina), Charly Nijensohn (Argentina), Bernardi Roig (Spain), Shahd Youssef (Saudi Arabia), Sara Abdu (Saudi Arabia/Yemen), Nelo Akamatsu (Japan), Hatem Al Ahmad (Saudi Arabia/Syria), Saeed Gebaan (Saudi Arabia), Meshal Al-Obaidallah (Saudi Arabia), Ali Kazma (Türkiye), Barabara Sanchez Barroso (Spain), Cristina Lucas (Spain), Marc Vilanova (Spain), Moath Alofi (Saudi Arabia), Tasneem Alsultan (Saudi Arabia), Nicolás Janowski (Argentina), Laura Glusman (Argentina), Sebastien Arrighi (France), Laetizia Debain (France).

Part of the exhibition is showcased at Fenaa Alawwal’s cultural center in the Diplomatic Quarter in Riyadh: titled “Blur the borders”, this part of the exhibition displays artworks that are the product of the cross-residencies of six photographers from Saudi Arabia, France and Argentina. Through their artworks, Moath Alofi, Tasneem Alsultan, Nicolás Janowski, Laura Glusman, Laetizia Debian, and Sebastien Arrighi “erase borders”, engaging in an inspiring cross-cultural dialogue and encounter.

This is the third time the Kingdom has hosted Bienalsur. In 2019, Saudi Arabia made history as the first Middle Eastern country to host the exhibition at the National Museum in Riyadh. In 2021, Bienalsur returned to Saudi Arabia with installations at Jax District in Riyadh and Khuzam Palace in Jeddah, welcoming over 20 artists from five continents, including five artists from Saudi Arabia.

SAMoCA’s hosting of Bienalsur in its third edition reflects its commitment to promote cultural exchange and elevate the local cultural and artistic scene, in line with the Ministry of Culture’s mission to promote culture as a way of life.

The exhibition will be open until the 31 December 2023 to the public for free, but registration is required:

Bienalsur at SAMoCA : https://dc.moc.gov.sa/home/event-tickets/51/bienalsur/

Bienalsur at Fenaa Alawwal: https://dc.moc.gov.sa/home/event-tickets/108/bienalsur-photography-exhibition

Press release from Saudi Ministry of Culture