Wael Shawky (Alexandria, 1971) studied at Alexandria University before taking a Master’s Degree in Fine Arts at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia (USA).

Wael Shawky’s work originates in research and journeys undertaken by the artist in his native country and embraces a plethora of techniques and media, ranging from drawing to sculpture, but focusing mainly on film, performance and storytelling.

In the artist’s poetic, these techniques are often combined to create a fairy-tale yet real universe in which elements of traditional Arab culture and images of the contemporary world co-exist: with his gaze firmly focused on current events, the artist embarks on a voyage in order to reinterpret the cultural, religious and artistic features of Middle-Eastern history, creating other fantastic realities that thrive and prosper in imaginary places.

Shawky is renowned for his film trilogy Cabaret CrusadesThe Horror Show File (2010), The Path to Cairo (2012) and The Secrets of Karbala (2015) - in which ancient marionettes and puppets become the main characters of the medieval crusades, recounted by the artist from the perspective of the Arab world and the playful lightness of a fairy-tale for children.

Major solo exhibitions of the artist’s work have been held in international museums and institutions including the ARoS Museum, Aarhus, Denmark; Castello di Rivoli Museo d’Arte Contemporanea, Rivoli, Italy; Kunsthalle Bregenz, Bregenz, Austria; Fondazione Merz, Turin, Italy; Mathaf, Arab Museum of Modern Art, Doha; MoMA PS1, New York, USA; Tate Modern, London; M Leuven, Leuven, Belgium; Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Fort Worth, USA; Louvre Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi, UAE; MACBA, Barcelona, Spain; K20, Beirut, Lebanon; Sharjah Art Foundation, Sharjah, UAE; The Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, USA; Kunst-Werke, Berlin, Germany; Cittadellarte-Fondazione Pistoletto, Biella, Italy; Kunsthalle Winterthur, Switzerland. His works are displayed in the permanent collections of museums such as Tate Modern, MoMA, MACRO, Mart, The Met, APT Dubai, and the François Pinault Collection, Venice.

Wael Shawky represents Egypt in its national pavilion at the 60th International Art Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia.
On this occasion, his solo exhibition I Am Hymns of New Temples is held at Palazzo Grimani, Venice.