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‘The Ground Day Breaks’ Exhibit Explores Destruction & Renewal

Acclaimed Saudi artist Muhannad Shono’s first solo exhibit since 2019 is showing at ATHR Gallery until May 20th.

Scene Now Saudi

‘The Ground Day Breaks’ Exhibit Explores Destruction & Renewal

In ‘The Ground Day Breaks’, Mohannad Shono’s first solo show since 2019, the Saudi artist explores the renewal and tension between built environments and the natural world through a commentary on ecological, political and social concerns.

Over 50,000 kilograms of reclaimed black foundry sand are used to create the nearly 2,000 hand-crafted sculptures that make up this exhibit. The foundry sand, Shono’s primary material, is a discarded industrial byproduct. This carbonised sand is used by foundries, which are factories that create metal products, to craft moulds and give shape to objects; over time, it develops its black colour because of its exposure to residue from these processes.

Shono’s exploration of working with this material has spanned two years, and has given him the skill to transform and manipulate this product in a practice that creates designs that are both material and conceptual. For Shono, this discarded natural-product-turned-waste-product exists in the liminal space between existence and non-existence.

Mohannad Shono is the recipient of Saudi Arabia’s 2021–2022 National Cultural Award in Visual Arts, and has an upcoming monograph titled ‘Mohannad Shono. Works [2014–2024]’ that will soon be published by Kehree Verlag.

‘The Ground Day Breaks’, curated by Nat Muller, is being held at the ATHR Gallery in Diriyah’s Jax District. The exhibit will be open from 7 PM to 11 PM, from Saturday to Wednesday, until May 20th.


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