This is “The Fifth Sun,” a textile mural projection with sound created in 2017 by Saudi artist Mohannad Shono. According to the artist, it explores self-fulfilling prophecies — and “self-inflicted wounds” — regarding destruction and rebirth. It is one of the works that Shono — one of Saudi Arabia’s most promising contemporary artists — is showing at BIENALSUR (the International Biennial of Contemporary Art of the South) in Buenos Aires, through the Saudi Ministry of Culture.
The Riyadh-born artist’s trajectory is as inspiring as it is unconventional. He started creating his own comic books as a child — a sideline he kept up even when studying architecture in Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Province. Eventually, he decided to dedicate himself to his art on a full-time basis, and proceeded to publish one of Saudi Arabia’s first comic books through a small independent publishing house.
He left the Kingdom in 2004 to pursue a career in advertising in Dubai and Sydney, but kept working on his art on the side. When he returned to Riyadh in 2015, he found the country greatly changed and began participating in underground art exhibitions, establishing himself as a rising name in the local Saudi art movement.
His work has since been exhibited at home and abroad (including South Korea and Germany) and he has participated in artist residencies in Austria, Switzerland, and Germany.