Manal AlDowayan

Manal AlDowayan is a Saudi artist, living and working in Dubai, UAE and Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. Born in Dahran, Saudi Arabia in 1973.


Embracing diverse media, Manal AlDowayan’s work encompasses black and white photography, sculpture, video, sound, neon and large-scale participatory installations. Her artistic practice revolves around themes of active forgetting, archives, and collective memory, with a large focus on the state of Saudi women and their representation. 


She has documented social groups like the oil men and women of Saudi Arabia in her project, If I Forget You Don’t Forget Me, and has addressed the impact of mass media on propagating intentional erasing of identities in her project Crash, highlighting the unnamed Saudi teachers dying in car crashes across Saudi Arabia. Her participatory projects have attracted hundreds of women to use art as a new platform to address social injustice like Tree of Guardians, Esmi-My Name, and Suspended Together.


In 2014 she was a recipient of a research Fellowship from NYU AD and was invited in early 2015 to the Robert Rauschenberg Residency in Captiva, Florida. Manal has shown her work in Prospect 3 New Orleans - The American Biennale (2014/15), in collateral shows at the Venice Biennale (2009/11), and at Museums around the world like Gawngju Museum in South Korea, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Denmark, The Victoria and Albert Museum in UK, and Mathaf Museum of Modern Arab Art in Qatar. Her art works are part of public collection at the British Museum, LA County Museum, Louisiana Museum, and Mathaf.


CV – Manal AlDowayan



2003    MSC. Information Systems Analysis and design. London Metropolitan University. London, UK
1999    BSBA. Computer Information Systems. Suffolk University. Boston, USA

Solo shows


2019     The Nobel Museum Comission. The Nobel Museum. Stockholm, Sweden.

2019     Watch Before You Fall. Sabrina Amrani Gallery. Madrid, Spain.

2019    What Is And What Has Been. Sabrina Amrani Gallery. Madrid, Spain.

2018    Suspended Together. British Museum. London, UK.

2018    Suspended Together. The Aga Khan Museum. Toronto, Canada.

2018     TBA. Sabrina Amrani Gallery. Madrid, Spain.

2018     You are from Me and I am from You- Public Comission. Abu Dhabi, UAE.

2017     Letters. Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

2017     100 Masterpieces of Modern and Contemporary Arab Art. Paris, Francia.

2017     Bayn (In Between) UAE Art Unlimited. Abu Dhabi, UAE.

2017    I am here. Rojas + Rubensteen Projects. Miami, USA.

2017    And I, will I forget? Sabrina Amrani Gallery. Madrid, Spain.

2016    And I, will I forget? NYU. New York City, USA.

2015   I had no wings - Alsekal Avenue. Dubai, UAE

2014  Crash - MATHAF Arab Museum of Modern Art. Doha, Qatar

2014  Crash - Cuadro Fine Art Gallery, Dubai, UAE

2013  Journey of Belonging - Athr Gallery, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

2013  The State of Disappereance - Cuadro Fine Art Gallery, Dubai, UAE

2012  Esmi (My Name) - Cuadro Fine Art Gallery. Dubai, UAE

2012  If I forget You Don't Forget Me - Cuadro Fine Art Gallery. Dubai, UAE

2012  The Samawi Collection II - Ayyam Gallery. Dubai, UAE

2012  The Samawi Collection II - Katara Galleries. Doha, Qatar

2010  And We Were Speaking Through Silence - Sultan Gallery. Kuwait City, Kuwait

2010  And We Had No Shared Dreams - Dubai, UAE

2009  Bastakia during Dubai Art Fair

2009  Landscapes of the Mind - Dubai, UAE


Group shows



2019    Your Voice Matters. Museum Arnehm. Curated by Mirjam Westen. Netherlands.

2018     Crude. Jameel Arts Centre. Curated by Murtaza Vali. Dubai, UAE.

2018     Femitopías: Mujeres, feminismo y cultura visual. Curated by Margarita Aizpuru. Centro de Arte Contemporáneo Rafael Botí. Córdoba, Spain.

2018    Tribe: Contemporary Photography From the Arab World. Curated by: Janet Bellotto, Dr. Woodman Taylor. American University Museum, Katzen Arts Centre. Washington DC, USA.

2018     Melancholia. Curated by Louma Salamé. Villa Empain, Boghossian Foundation. Brussels, Belgium.

2017     Letters. Athr Gallery. Jeddah, KSA.

2017     Beatutiful Stranger. Bovenverdieping Museum De Wieger. Deurne, Holland.

2017     Bayn – The in-between. Warehouse 421. Abu Dhabi, UAE.

2017     Safar. Gate 2 Gold Moor Mall. Jeddah, KSA.

2016    Barjeel Art Foundation. Imperfect Chronology - Mapping the Contemporary II. Whitechapel Gallery. London, UK

2016    Homeground Contemporary Art from the Barjeel Art Foundation. Maraya Art Centre. Sharjah, UAE. 

2016    Genera#ion جير. The Minnesota Project. San Francisco, USA. 

2016    Illumination - New contemporary art at Louisiana. Louisiana Museum of Modern Art. Humlebæk, Denmark.

2016    Barjeel Art Foundation. Imperfect Chronology – Mapping the Contemporary II. Whitechapel Gallery. London, UK.

2016    Looking at the World Around You. Contemporary Works from Qatar Museums. - Sala de Arte Santander - Fundación Banco Santander, Madrid, Spain

2016    Do it - Sharjah Art Foundation Art Spaces, Sharjah, UAE

2015    Walls and Margins - Maraya Art Centre - Barjeel Art Foundation, Sharjah, UAE

2015    Home Ground - AGA Khan Museum, Toronto, Canada

2015    What is Home? - Pump House Gallery, London, UK

2015    The Unbearable Lightness of Being - Yay Gallery, Baku, Azerbaijan

2015    FotoFest: View From Inside: Contemporary Arab Photography, Video and Mixed Media Art -Emirates Palace Gallery, Abu Dhabi, UAE

2015    Collacurating: Sculptural Perspectives - Dubai, UAE

2015    Anonymous Was A Woman - Hafez Gallery, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

2015    Islamic Art Now: Contemporary Art Of The Middle East - LA Country Museum, LA, USA

2014    The Other Sky - JAMM Dubai, Dubai, UAE

2014    Prospect.3: Notes for Now - Prospect New Orleans, New Orleans, USA

2014    Songs of Loss and Songs of Love - Gwangju Art Museum, Gwangju, South Korea

2014    The Other and Me - Sharjah International Photography Exhibition, Sharjah Museum, UAE

2014    FotoFest 2014 - View From Inside - FotoFest Biennial, Houston, TX, USA

2014    Arab Contemporary - Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebæk, Denmark

2014    Paintings, Sculptures & Projects Garden, Mathaf - Museum of Modern Arab Art, Doha, Qatar.

2014    Mualgat Exhibition as part of the Jeddah Arts - Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

2014    Now Babylon, architectural exhibition - Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Denmark

2013    Against the Grain - CAP Kuwait, Kuwait City, Kuwait

2013    ICA Film Screening: Qatar UK 2013 Year of Culture. Cinema on the Steps - London, UK

2013    Mind/Body exhibition - Dubai, UAE

2012    A Subtle Perfume - CAN Foundation - Space CAN, Seoul, South Korea

2012    Light from the Middle East: About the Exhibition - Victoria & Albert Museum - V&A, London, UK

2012   I Am. Harnessing 21st Century Challenges: A Focus on Women - Clinton Foundation, Arkansas, USA

2012    #cometogether - Old Truman Brewery, London, UK

2012    Soft Power - AIAan Art Center, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

2012    The Samawi Collection II - Ayyam Gallery - Beirut, Lebanon

2012    Simply Words? - AB Gallery - Lucerne, Switzerland

2012    Domination, Hegemony and The Panopticon - Traffic, Dubai, EAU

2012    Edge of Arabia Jeddah: We Need to Talk - Al Furusiya Marina, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

2012    Edge Of Arabia Jeddah: We Need To Talk - EOA. Projects, Abingdon, Oxfordshire, UK

2011    Metropolis. city life in the urban age 2011 - Noorderlicht Photo Festival, Groningen, Nederlands

2011    Freedom to Create - National Gallery of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sarajevo, Bosnia

2011    The Future of a Promise - Collateral exhibition, Venice Biennale 2011 - Magazzini del Sale, Venice, Italy

2011    The Bravery Of Being Out Of Range - Athr Gallery, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

2011    Freedom to Create - Galerie Mirchandani + Steinruecke, Mumbai, India

2011    Strike Oppose - Maraya Art Centre - Barjeel Art Foundation, Sharjah, UAE

2011    Freedom to Create - Ana Tzarev Gallery, New York, USA

2011    Righ Here Right Now - ​Cuadro Gallery, Dubai, UAE

2011    Edge Of Arabia - ​Termina, Dubai, UAE

2011    Look Beyond - ​Opec Fund for International Development, Vienna, Austria

2010    Peripheral Vision - Maraya Art Centre - Barjeel Art Foundation, Sharjah, UAE

2010    Once Upon A Time - Bait Muzna Gallery, Muscat, Oman

2010    Fluid Form I - Contemporary Art from Arab Countries in Seoul, South Korea

2010    Grey Borders/Grey Frontiers - Saudi Contemporary Art comes to Berlin, Germany

2009    Journey into Art - Khobar, Saudi Arabia

2009    Nawafith (Windows) - Saudi Italian Artist Exchange, Exhibit Rome, Italy

2008    Edge Of Arabia: Contemporary Art From Saudi Arabia - Venice, Italy

2008    Edge Of Arabia: Contemporary Art From Saudi Arabia - London, UK

2008    Reorientations, Exhibit Brussels, Belgium

2008    The Right to Space, Manama, Bahrein

2007    Regards de Femmes (through the Eyes of Women), Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

2007    Self-Representation in the Arabian Gulf: Perspectives in Photography and Video - Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar - VCUQ, Doha, Qatar

2007    Common Ground - Sharjah Art Museum, Sharjah, UAE

2007    British Foreign Trade Office, Khobar, Saudi Arabia

2007    Nawafith (Windows) - Exhibit Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

2007    The City and the Street - Circle 4, Muscat, Oman

2006    National Oil Companies Meeting in Sauidi Arabia, Khobar, Saudi Arabia

2006    Gallery of Social and Political Art, Boston, USA

2006    Saudi Aramco Art Group, Dhahran, Saudi Arabia

2006    StarSight Project, Dubai, UAE

2006    Riwaq Gallery, Manawa, Bahrein

2006    Common Ground Exhibit arabian Gulf region

2005    Thahab - Exhibition Dhahran, Saudi Arabia

2004    International Sudent House Photo Exhibit, London, UK

2003    Looking Through The Glass Exhibit - Burgos, Spain

2003    International Museum of Women, San Francisco, USA


Art Fairs


2018     ARCOmadrid. Sabrina Amrani Gallery. Madrid, Spain.

2017     Art Brussels. Sabrina Amrani Gallery. Brussels, Belgium.

2017     The Armory Show. Sabrina Amrani Gallery,. New York, USA.

2017     ARCOmadrid. Sabrina Amrani Gallery. Madrid, Spain.

2016     ArtBo. Sabrina Amrani Gallery. Bogota, Colombia.




2015    Robert Rauschenberg Foundation. Captiva, USA

2014    The Project Room. Mathaf Museum of Modern Arab Art. Doha, Qatar

2011    The Townhouse Gallery. Cairo, Egypt

2010    Cuadro Gallery Residency Program. Dubai, UAE

2009    Delfina Foundation. London, UK


Awards and grants


2014    Arab Women Award: Artist of the year




Crude by Murtaza Vali- Published by Jameel Art Center, Dubai, UAE, 2018. ISBN 978-9948-38-137-2

Subversive Ceramics by Claudia Clare- Published by Bloomsbury Academic, London, UK, 2016. ISBN 978-1-4725-2854-4

Tribe Magazine Featured Artist, text by Laura Barlow- Issue Q4 2018, Cover and 12 pages Image Spread.

Art Imitates Life by Rania Habib- Architechtural Digest ME, Issue July/August 2018, p. 38

Imperfect Cronology: Arab Art to the Contemporary- Works from  Barjeel Foundation- Edited by Omar Kholeif with Candy Stobbs- Published by Whitechapel Gallery, London, UK. 2015- ISBN 978-3-7913-5485-9

Hitting the Road (driving), by Manal AlDowayan- Forescast Issue: A View Beyond the Horizon, Issue 07, 2018. Publisehd by The Monocle Magazine.

I Am, by Manal AlDowayan. The Visual Research and Social Justice special issue of Studies in Social Justice Journal, December 2017.

Do it (in Arabic)- Edited by Hans Ulrich Obrist y Hoor AlQassimi- Published by the Sharjah Art Foundation 2016- ISBN 978-1-926473-05-5.

Home Ground Contemporary Art from the Barjeel Art Foundation. Published by The Aga Khan Museum. 2015. ISBN: 978-1-926473-05-5
Color and Line - The Naqvi Collection. Published by The Naqvi Collection. 2015. ISBN: 978-9948-18-110-1 

Summer Autumn Winter ... and Spring: Conversations with Artists from the Arab World, by Sam Bardouil and Till Fellrath.  Skira Publishing Group.

Prospect.3: Notes For Now, by Franklin Sirmans and contributions by Christin Y. Kim and Rita Gonzalez. Prestel Publishing. ISBN: 978-37-9135-403-3

View From Inside - Contemporary Arab Photography, Video, and Mixed Media Art. FotoFest Houston. ISBN: 978 - 90-5330-825-7

Arab Contemporary - Architecture and Identity. Louisiana Museum of Modern Art. ISBN: 978-87-92877-24-6

Light from the Middle East: New Photography. V&A Publishing. ISBN: 978-3-86930-557-8

If I Forget You, Don’t Forget Me. Cuadro Publications. ISBN: 978-9948-16-986-4.

Arab Photography Now, edited by Rose Issa and Michket Krifa. ISBN: 978-3-86828-189-7

Metropolis: City Life in the Urban Age Noorderlicht, edited by Wim Melis and Ton Broekhuis. ISBN: 978-90-76703-46-6

Edge of Arabia. Edge of Arabia. ISBN: 978-0-9561146-1-8

Ibn Saud: The Desert Warrior and His Legacy, by Michael Darlow and Barbara Bray. ISBN: 978-0-7043-7181-1

Imagining Ourselves: Global Voices from a New Generation of Women. International Museum of Women. Editor Paula Goldman, March 2006, pages 194-195.

Self-Representation in the Arabian Gulf – Perspectives in Photography and Video. Virginia Commonwealth University Qatar. ISBN: 978-1-934253

Common Ground. Catalogue for Common Ground at Sharjah Art Museum, British Council.


Public collections


King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture. Dhahran, Saudi Arabia

Louisiana Museum of Modern Art. Humlebæk, Denmark

The British Museum. London, UK

Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA). Los Angeles, USA. 

Mathaf Museum of Modern Arab Art. Doha, Qatar

Jordan Gallery of Fine Arts. Amman, Jordan

Abdul Latif Jameel Foundation. London, UK 

Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage (ADACH). Abu Dhabi, UAE

Nadour Foundation. Berlin, Germany

Barjeel Foundation. Sharjah, UAE