Ahmed Mater

(b. 1979) Since co-founding the Edge of Arabia collective in 2008, Ahmed Mater has stood at the forefront of Saudi contemporary art. Hailing from Abha, he began working at the al-Meftaha Arts Village — patronized by Prince Khaled al-Faisal — while studying medicine so as to better understand anatomy. His work investigates the presentation and representation of the Kingdom’s history. It spans film, installation and photography. His Desert of Pharan photograph series charts Saudi Arabia’s redevelopment and commercialization; the Yellow Cow project saw him infuse a cow with saffron and produce dairy products from its milk. Several of his works, such as the early Illuminations series and the Evolution of Man, use X-rays prints, which both penetrate into the nature of man and bypass Quranic proscriptions on human representation.