One Foundation

two biennales

The Diriyah Contemporary Art Biennale is an international showcase and celebration of Saudi Arabia’s contemporary art scene in dialogue with global artists, as well as Saudi Arabia’s evolving position as a major global art hub.

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The Venue

Taking place every two years since 2021, the Diriyah Contemporary Art Biennale takes place in JAX District, an industrial area with over 100 warehouses in the historic city of Diriyah.

JAX is an industrial area repurposed into a creative hub and has gained recognition as a revitalized hive of creativity, with exhibition spaces, artists’ studios, art galleries and platforms all supporting a dynamic and growing arts ecosystem in Saudi Arabia.

20th February - 24th May 2024

The 2024 edition of the Diriyah Contemporary Art Biennale

Takes place in the JAX District in Diriyah, a town adjacent to the capital city of Riyadh and home to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of At-Turaif. The curatorial team of the 2024 Diriyah Contemporary Art Biennale is led by globally renowned curator Ute Meta Bauer as Artistic Director and comprised of DBF curator Wejdan Reda(SA) and curators Rahul Gudipudi(IN), Rose Lejeune(UK), and Anca Rujoiu(RO). Together, they bring experiences and insights from diverse geographic backgrounds, extending the Biennale exhibition with artistic formats such as performance, sound, research-based practices, and digital forms.


The title, After Rain, opens up a moment of revitalization and renewal, introducing the 2024 Diriyah Contemporary Art Biennale as a nurturing entity, filled with life, while acknowledging the necessity of water for all forms of life that dwell and seek shelter on our planet. Unfolding as a combination of practices such as inhabiting, cultivating, harvesting, searching, and sharing, this Biennale presents works that engage with the human-nature continuum, examine the built environment, observe the state of our surrounding landscapes, recount histories, and encourage us to listen more closely. Conceived as a vital entity rather than a static framework, the Biennale welcomes processes, dialogues, performances, and communal meals. The Biennale is a process shaped by first-time meetings and collaborations

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Artistic Director
Ute Meta Bauer

The role of a biennial goes beyond the presentation of contemporary art, as it feeds off and nurtures the cultural ecosystem in which it is embedded. This multifaceted and multi-format Biennale can be seen as a journey, becoming a place for both interaction and contemplation, as each work becomes a storyteller, a protagonist, or an actor in a play. It brings together artists from different parts of the world with artists from Saudi Arabia and the wider region. Presented through various artistic languages, these works are engaged in shared issues around land, water, food, and healing practices.

Full Bio
About-DFB Courtesy of Alessandro Brasile
Co-Curator Anca Rujoiu full bio
Co-Curator Wejdan Reda full bio
Co-Curator Rose Lejeune full bio
Adjunct Curator Rahul Gudipudi full bio
Co-Curator Ana Salazar Herrera full bio

The Artists

The Artists


After Rain convenes multiple generations of artists who are engaged with investigating the complex history of the region, sustaining the human-nature continuum, examining the built environment, observing the state of the surrounding landscapes, and encouraging us tolisten more closely. Some of these artistic explorations involve writers and poets, botanists, architects, scientists, planners, and chefs.

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The Learning Garden

learning Garden Courtesy of Singapore West Coast Mangroves

The Learning Garden is a digital platform for learning with and about the physical exhibition of After Rain and the Biennale Encounters program of events and performances. Exploring the themes and questions running throughout the Diriyah Contemporary Art Biennale 2024, the online format acts as a companion to the exhibition and its programs. It focuses on research-based practices, including a selection of works commissioned exclusively for the platform by Tara Aldughaither & Joe Namy, Circle d’Art des Travailleurs de Plantation Congolese (CATPC), Hiba Ismail, Nidhi Mahajan & Moad Musbahi, Robin Meier Wiratunga, and Feifei Zhou.

It also includes content from artists participating in the Biennale, which has been adapted for The Learning Garden in close dialogue with the curatorial team and the artists. This digital content is often closely related to the works presented in the exhibition or follows a thread of related investigations. These contributions extend the in-person experience of the Biennale to allow for additional modes of access. The website incentivizes visitors to craft their own learning journeys through the content on the platform. It enables the rigorous creative work of numerous participating artists to be introduced to a multitude of publics in Saudi Arabia and across the world.

The Learning Garden

Biennale Encounters

Biennale encounters

Biennale Encounters is a yearlong series of events—talks, workshops, performances, collective walks, storytelling sessions, and musical intervals. It is a meeting point for the artists and audiences of After Rain. Starting in April 2023, before the Biennale exhibition opened its doors, twenty-six talks, workshops, and sharing sessions gradually introduced Biennale artists to the local community. Planting the seeds for this 2024 edition, Biennale Encounters has prompted discussions, introduced artist practices, and hosted a range of workshop and activities around key themes, from the politics of water and food to interdependencies of all life forms and sonic fieldwork.

Moving into the period of the exhibition, Biennale Encounters has continued to unfold and evolve. During this period, the series has been expanded to include a program of live activations and performances, storytelling sessions, and musical events. Artists create sonic, theatrical, and social interventions that complement the exhibition with time-based formats. Taking place across the exhibition site and in different locations in the city, the program is an exploration of live interaction, ephemeral physical and durational experiences. It explores diverse ways of gathering and engaging with the world as a means of creating shared memories and maintaining communities and collective experience.

BROWSE biennale encounters

Biennale encounters Archive








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