Sheikha Hoor Al Qasimi appointed Artistic Director of 2026 Sydney Biennale - GulfToday

Sheikha Hoor Al Qasimi appointed Artistic Director of 2026 Sydney Biennale

Sheikha Hoor 1

Sheikha Hoor Al Qasimi.

Sheikha Hoor Al Qasimi has been appointed as the Artistic Director of the Biennale of Sydney, scheduled to take place from 7 March to 8 June 2026. Sheikha Hoor will collaborate with local communities, artists and academics, whilst drawing on her own international network, to develop and realise the concept for the 25th edition of the Biennale.

As a curator, she focuses on the histories of each place she works in, creating multidisciplinary programming with a collaborative approach and emphasis on supporting experimentation and innovation in the arts. For more than 20 years, she has worked extensively with various mediums including film, music, performance, publications, to bring together all forms of art in conversation.

‘Sydney has a multicultural community at its core, with people from different cultures from across the world choosing and calling this vibrant city as their home,’ says Sheikha Hoor. ‘I’m interested in exploring the multifaceted cultures and perspectives within this city, working with local artists and communities as well as bringing new voices to the Biennale. It is an honour and privilege to be nominated and then selected to be Artistic Director of the 25th Biennale of Sydney, which I have been visiting for over a decade now. I have seen the developments over the years, including the amplification of Indigenous voices both local and global, which has made it an essential platform for rewriting art history.’

Sheikha Hoor is the President and Director Sharjah Art Foundation, an organisation she founded in 2009 as a catalyst and advocate for the arts around the world. She has been the Director of Sharjah Biennial since 2002, an internationally recognised platform for contemporary artists, curators and cultural producers, and curated Sharjah Biennial 15 in 2023.

She was appointed as the President of the International Biennial Association (IBA) in 2017 and serves as the President of The Africa Institute, Global Studies University, Sharjah and President and Director of the Sharjah Architecture Triennial. Sheikha Hoor was appointed as the Artistic Director of the sixth Aichi Triennale (2025) last July, becoming the first person to be chosen for the role from outside of Japan. She has also co-curated exhibitions at leading organisations around the world, including the Serpentine Gallery in London and the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago.

The Biennale of Sydney is a leading international contemporary art event. It plays an indispensable role in Australia’s engagement with the world, and a meaningful role in the life of the nation. For almost 50 years, the Biennale has been a unifying force in the Australian arts sector, embedding boldly creative art exhibitions and experiences in the everyday life of Sydney and putting the artistic excellence of Australia front and centre on the world stage. The Biennale of Sydney has commissioned and presented exceptional works of art by more than 1,900 national and international artists from more than 130 countries. With free admission to its exhibitions, the Biennale of Sydney is committed to free access for all.


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