Countdown to Dhaka Art Summit 2014: programme highlights DHAKA, BANGLADESH │ 7-9 FEBRUARY 2014


The second edition of Dhaka Art Summit, the world’s largest platform for South Asian art, takes place 7-9 February 2014. An initiative of the Samdani Art Foundation, the non-profit event will present over 250 artists from the region aiming to support the development of South Asian art, bring museum-quality exhibitions to Bangladesh and promote international artistic exchange.

Dhaka Art Summit 2014 will present a panoramic survey of artists from South Asian countries including Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, the Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Launched in 2012, the first edition, which focused on artists from Bangladesh, attracted more than 50,000 visitors.

Internationally acclaimed figures such as Jitish Kallat, Runa Islam, Shilpa Gupta, Shahzia Sikander, Rashid Rana and Nikhil Chopra will present major projects alongside some of the most exciting emerging names from the region. Representatives from Tate Modern, The British Museum, Centre Pompidou and Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, among many others, will participate in the talks programme. The free three day art festival will include: solo projects, curated exhibitions, an ambitious public art project, a talks series, performances, experimental film screenings, and presentations by 33 local and international galleries.

Dhaka Art Summit is organized by Samdani Art Foundation and curated by Diana Campbell Betancourt (Artistic Director, Samdani Art Foundation) with Mahbubur Rahman (Artist /Co-Founder, Britto Arts Trust, Bangladesh). The event takes place at the Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy, the country’s national academy of fine and performing arts. The second edition is supported by the British Council, the Goethe Institut, Alliance Française, Swiss Pro Helvetia and the Bangladeshi artist collective Britto Arts Trust.


Solo projects from internationally acclaimed South Asian artists

14 artists of international critical acclaim will present projects responding to Bangladesh including: Lida Abdul, Rana Begum, Rathin Barman, Shilpa Gupta, Runa Islam, Jitish Kallat, Tayeba Begum Lipi, Naeem Mohaiemen, Mahbubur Rahman, Rashid Rana, Mithu Sen, Tsherin Sherpa, Shahzia Sikander and Asim Waqif.

Highlights will include a major new commission from one of India’s most internationally respected conceptual artists, Shipla Gupta. Inspired by travels through the lawless border enclaves between India and Bangladesh known as ‘chitmahals’, where it is estimated around 51,000 people live with no public amenities, Gupta has created a provocative series of works. These include drawings made from a prohibited cough syrup, phantasmic stone engravings and photographs and historical records with incisions, which explore the perpetual statelessness for the inhabitants of these regions.

Leading international museum curators at Summit Sessions

Leading global thinkers will participate in a series of talks about institutional collecting and support for art from South Asia including: Richard Blurton (Head of South Asian Section of the British Museum’s Asia Department), Aurélien Lemonier (Curator, Centre Pompidou), Sandhini Poddar (Adjunct Curator, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum), Jessica Morgan (The Daskalopoulos Curator, International Art, Tate Modern) and Dr Ziba Ardalan (Director/Curator, Parasol Unit).

Further international curators: Beatrice Ruf (Director, Kunsthalle Zurich), Lauren Cornell (Curator 2015 Triennial, New Museum, New York) and Milovan Farronato (Director, Fiorucci Art Trust) will lead a panel on the theme of ‘curatorial innovation’.

Two additional panel discussions will include: a cross-generational panel of Bangladeshi artists reflecting on the country’s contemporary art scene, as well as a group of visionary artists and curators who have developed significant art institutions in South Asia such as Kochi Murziris Biennale, Colombo Biennale and Chobi Mela international festival of photography.

Samdani Art Award 2014 nominees announced

This year, the Samdani Art Foundation has collaborated with the Delfina Foundation (UK) to award an outstanding young Bangladeshi artist the opportunity to attend a three-month residency at the Delfina Foundation in London as part of the bi-annual Samdani Art Award. The international jury for the prize includes Aaron Cezar (Founding Director, The Delfina Foundation), Eungie Joo (Director of Art and Cultural Programmes, Instituto Inhotim, Brazil and Curator 12th Sharjah Biennial), Jessica Morgan (Curator, Tate Modern and Artistic Director of the 2014 Gwangju Biennale), Sandhini Poddar (Adjunct curator, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum) and Pooja Sood (Director, Khoj International Artists’ Association).

The Samdani Art Foundation are delighted to announce the nominees for the Samdani Art Award 2014 are: Shumon Ahmed, Palash Bhattacharjee, Sanjoy Chakraborty, Kabir Ahmed Masum Chisty, Sarker Protick, Promotesh Das Pulak, Ayesha Sultana and Afsana Sharmin Zhumpa.

New public art commission across Dhaka city centre

A ground-breaking public art initiative created by New-Dehli based Raqs Media Collective, and curated by Diana Campbell Betancourt, will take over 160 road signs and billboards across the city of Dhaka as part of the Summit. The piece, entitled Meanwhile Elsewhere, presents a series of clocks where numbers are replaced with Bengali words, registering a subjective experience of time and duration.

Film & Performance

A line-up of experimental film and performance art curated by Mahbubur Rahman will showcase the works of CAMP, Nikhil Chopra, Htein Lin, Bandu Manamperi, Aung Min Min, Sunil Sigdel, Arko Sumon and more.

Highlights will include a major new commission from Nikhil Chopra, Blackening VI. The acclaimed artist’s recent presentations have included performances at Manchester International Festival 2013 and New Museum (New York). In Dhaka, Chopra will explore issues of race and identity as he uses charcoal to blacken himself and his surroundings over the course of an 8 hour performance. Burmese artist, Htein Lin, will draw on his experience as a political prisoner to create a new commission working with former political prisoners from Bangladesh. During his six years of imprisonment, Lin developed printing and painting techniques to secretly create hundreds of works on prison uniforms.

Presentations from South Asia’s leading galleries

33 leading international artist organizations and galleries will support this edition of the Dhaka Art Summit with presentations of South Asian contemporary art. These include Britto Arts Trust (Dhaka, Bangladesh), Drik Gallery (Dhaka, Bangladesh), Experimenter (Kolkata, India), Jhaveri Contemporary (Mumbai, India), Project 88 (Mumbai, India) and Nature Morte (New Dehli, India).

Major exhibition programme

A range of group exhibitions will include: B/Desh, Emerging Bangladeshi Contemporary Art curated by Deepak Ananth (France), Ex-ist, Emerging Pakistani Contemporary Art curated by Ambereen Karamat (Pakistan), Citizens of Time, Emerging Indian Art curated by Veeranganakumari Solanki (India), LifeBlood, Bangladeshi Photography, curated by Rosa Maria Falvo (Italy), Liberty, Bangladeshi Modern and Contemporary Art, curated by Md. Muniruzzaman (Bangladesh).

Diana Campbell Betancourt, Artistic Director, Samdani Art Foundation, commented: “Dhaka Art Summit is the only large scale to focus exclusively on South Asian art. The Samdani Foundation has created a unique platform supporting visionary South Asian artists and creating a place for the world’s best international institutions to engage with art from the region in a non-commercial settting. By making admission to the event free we hope to make Dhaka Art Summit accessible to all.”


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