Ahmed Mater was born in 1979 in Tabuk in the north west of Saudi Arabia on the Jordanian border. He is the first child of Mater Ahmed Al-Ziad, a sergeant in the Saudi Arabian Army, and Fatimah Hassan Abdullah Aseeri, a calligrapher and painter of traditional Aseeri houses. Ahmed has two brothers, Bandar and Mohamed, and four sisters, Aicha, Jawaher, Jamila and Reem.
In the 1990s Mater was given a studio space in Abha at the al-Meftaha artists' village.
He splits his time between the Saudi Arabian cities of Abha, Jeddah and Makkah.
Mater's wife, Arwa Alneami, is also an artist. Together they run pharan.studio – a salon, artists' studios and "cultural mining project" in Jeddah.
Mater's work has been exhibited internationally and acquired by major international museums. Illuminations, acquired by The British Museum, is a series that combines explicit notes from his medical education with images of the Kaaba and a mosque, distributed as a collage around blue and black x-ray images. The work seems to ask the viewer if humanity is more than just the structure of the body.
In 2006, Mater mounted an installation titled The Yellow Cow products, a work that address ecological challenges of modern urbanized society. According to the artist, "The cow with the yellow color was used as an expression of religious heritage."
His Desert of Pharan series features photographs and films gathered over five-years, documenting the changes taking place in Islam's holiest city. Mater considers the unprecedented redevelopment of the Masjid Al-Haram, including a multibillion-dollar complex of luxury hotels, malls and apartments.
Magnetism is a black cuboid magnet surrounded by iron filings to represent Hajj, Muslim's annual pilgrimage which includes the circumambulation of the Kaaba.Selected Solo Shows
2001 Landing on the Earth's Surface, Al-Maseef Culture Club, Abha, KSA
2003 X-Ray Project - 6th Saudi Malwan Contest Tour, Jeddah, Beirut, Sidon and Manama (Jun10-sept25)
2004 Standing in Front of You, King Khaled University, Abha, KSA.
2004 Chewing (Mudgah), Almiftaha Arts Village, Abha, KSA.
2004 The End - Al Meftaha Arts Village, Abha (Dec15-Dec30)
2006 Ahmed Mater Al Ziad Aseeri -Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia, London (May 12)
2006 Son of Aseer- Al Meftaha Arts Village, Abha (Oct10- Oct30)
2009 Illumination, Art Space, Dubai (Mar15-Apr 15)
2010 Ahmed Mater, The Vinyl Factory Gallery, London (Oct11-Oct31)
2013 100 Found Objects, Sharjah Art Foundation, Sharjah, UAE
2016 Symbolic Cities: The Work of Ahmed Mater, Smithsonian, Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Washington, USA
2016 Evolution of Man at Standing Rock, North Dakota
2006 Word into Art: Artists of the Modern Middle East, British Museum Press
2009 ADACH Platform for Visual Arts in Venice, Catherine David
2009 New Vision: Arab Contemporary Art in the 21st Century, Thames & Hudson
2010 Art of the Middle East: Modern and Contemporary Art of the Arab World and Iran, Merrell Publishing
2010 Ahmed Mater (Monograph), Booth Clibborn Editions
2012 Edge of Arabia, Contemporary Art from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Booth-Clibborn Editions
2012 Hajj: Journey to the Heart of Islam, British Museum Press
2016 Desert of Pharan: Unofficial Histories Behind the Mass Expansion of Mecca, Lars Müller Publishing