Mona Hatoum was born in exile in Beirut, Lebanon to Palestinian parents. In 1975 she visited the UK as the civil war broke out in Lebanon. Since then she has lived in London with stints to among others Berlin, the Shaker community Sabbathday Lake in Maine, USA, Thiers in France and San Antonio, USA.
From 1975 to '79 she studied at the Byam School of Art in London and later she attended the Slade School of Art (1979-81). In the mid-1980s Hatoum was a performance artist, chiefly working with political and feminist issues. In the late 1980s she took up sculpture, installation, video and most recently, photography.
Hatoum has exhibited and done performances all over the world, including Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto in 1993, the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris in 1994, the Tate Gallery in 1995, Museum of Modern Art in New York, Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, Musée d'art Contemporain de Montreal, Franklin Furnace in New York, Western Front Art Centre in Vancouver, The Arnolfini Gallery in Bristol, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, The Fabric Workshop in Philadelphia.
In 1997 she had a big solo exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago and at the New Museum for Contemporary Art in New York.
Furthermore Hatoum has participated in large international exhibitions: "Sense and Sensibility", Museum of Modern Art, New York; "Cocido y Crudo" at Centro de Arte Reina Sofia in Madrid, at the Havana Biennial in Cuba (1994), the Venice Biennial in 1995 and ARS 95 in Helsinki.
In 1995 she was nominated for the prestigious British art award the Turner Prize, and in 2004 she received the University of Copenhagen's Sonning Prize and the Swiss art award Roswitha-Haftmann-Preis in Zurïch.
Moreover Hatoum is represented at Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris, Dallas Museum of Art, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Museum of Modern Art in New York, Art Gallery of Ontario, Vancouver Art Gallery, Louisiana in Humlebæk, Hamburger Kunsthalle, Hamburg, Astrup Fearnley Museum in Oslo, Centro de Arte de Salamanca (CASA), Tate Modern and Tate Liverpool.