Alia Zaal - Biography

Alia Zaal obtained a BA in Fine Arts from the College of Fine Arts and Design at the University of Sharjah and an MA in Art History and Museum Studies from the Sorbonne University, Abu Dhabi. As a visiting lecturer to the College of Fine Arts and Design at the University of Sharjah in 2012–2013, she delivered classes on painting, photography and personal and professional development to fine arts students.

Alia Zaal’s artwork has appeared in exhibitions across the world, from the UAE to Bangladesh, Germany, Spain, Venice, New York, Bethlehem and beyond. Her paintings have been acquired by the Embassy of the UAE in Washington DC and the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and form part of private collections such as that of the Barjeel Art Foundation.

In 2010 she won 2nd Prize at the Bangladesh 14th Asian Art Biennale, and in 2012, her series, 'Outside my Windows' – an exploration of formal values inspired by the land and cityscapes of Dubai and Abu Dhabi – debuted in a touring exhibition organized and funded by the Salama bint Hamdan Al Nahyan Foundation.

In 2015, she presented a series of more than 10 paintings at Emirati Expressions, an exhibition organized biannually by the Department of Culture and Tourism in Abu Dhabi. The paintings mimicked historic photographs, allowing her to explore the transformation of images from one medium to another to represent the perceptions and lenses through which memories pass. This focus on the relationship between photography and painting runs throughout her current work and research, and serves as a means to question and explore concepts of truth, perception, dream and memory.

Alia Zaal’s sculptural piece, 300 – composed of 300 meticulously hand- painted wooden cubes that transform 2-dimensional digital images into a 3-dimensional assembled volume – was featured in 2017 at the ADMAF/MACBA exhibition, “From Barcelona to Abu Dhabi”.

In 2020, she collaborated with Louis Vuitton and, in 2021, she started her residency in Maison Oscar-Claude Monet (France). In January 2022, Alia Zaal was one of the four artists represented by Hunna Art selected for the group exhibition 'Pathways' at Raffles The Palm Dubai.

Noor Riyadh 2023


Four artists -Aidha Badr, Amna AlBaker, Mashael Alsaie and Talin Hazbar- have been selected for 'Refracted Identities, Shared Futures', the exhibition accompanying the 2023 of Noor Riyadh.

Held at the Riyadh art space in JAX District, this exhibition is curated by Neville Wakefield, formerly of MoMA PS1, Frieze Projects, and Desert X, alongside Maya Al Athel, who served as artistic manager of the festival in 2022.

Last year, the exhibition considered light as a signal of change, tracing the role light plays in shaping our perception of the world. For 2023, the show celebrates light as a flux, where artists as cartographers of light comprehend the dynamic nature of human and cultural identity amidst the shifting sands of time.