Nadia Samdani is the founder-director of the Dhaka Art Summit and the co- founder and president of Samdani Art Foundation. She is an avid art collector and well-known for her art philanthropy. She was the architect of the 1st edition of the very well received Dhaka Art Summit (2012). She is an articulate observer of Bangladeshi art and the momentous event coming up next year.
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Nadia gives a rundown of what art lovers can expect of the upcoming Dhaka Art Summit. In her words; “Dhaka Art Summit is the first of its kind in the history of Bangladesh. Museums like Guggenheim New York, British Museum and Tate Museum in London have acquired artworks by Bangladeshi contemporary artists. Following the Dhaka Art Summit, a large number of Bangladeshi contemporary artists have also exhibited at international galleries. In fact, until March 2014, four solo and group exhibitions of Bangladeshi artists are scheduled in Istanbul, London, New York and Mumbai.
“The National Art Gallery of Bangladesh at Shilpakala Academy, where Dhaka Art Summit will take place, covers an area of over 120,000 sq.ft. Dhaka Art Summit will utilise the area and convert the entire space into a world class exhibition space.
“The summit this time will focus on the entire South Asian region from its 2nd edition and onwards, and will be the largest South Asian art event. The aim is to have a South Asia-centric event where people from all around the world can visit and discover South Asian contemporary art.
“The Summit will be overseen by a curatorial team, which includes Diana Campbell Betancourt, who is an internationally acclaimed curator. This unique non-commercial event will exhibit works of over 250 artists including celebrated artists like Jitish Kallat, Shilpa Gupta, Rashid Rana, Shahzia Sikander, Mithu Sen, Naeem Mohaiemen, Rana Begum and many more from South Asia.
“The 2nd edition of Dhaka Art Summit will present a series of programmes which will include six curated exhibitions at the venue (Shilpakala Academy). An exhibition of Bangladeshi contemporary art will be curated by Paris-based curator Deepak Ananth. Italian curator Rosa Maria Falvo will present an exhibition of Bangladeshi photography. Mohammad Muniruzzaman, a renowned gallerist and curator and founder of Gallery Chitrak, will curate a show with established Bangladeshi artists. Indian Curator Veerangana Solanki will curate a show with Indian contemporary artists and Pakistani curator Ambereen Karamat will curate a show with Pakistani contemporary artists. The summit will also present performances and experimental film screenings by artists from the South Asian region, curated by Mahbubur Rahman, and Shehzad Chowdhury will curate a show with Bangladeshi mainstream artists to create a dialogue between the art practitioners and aficionados of Bangladesh.
“The summit will also include a panel of talks focused on the development of South Asian art as well as its representation in museums around the world, and presentations by over 30 invited galleries from the region. The foundation will invite speakers from all over the world, while one of the highlighted speaker’s panels would be a Museum Panel with speakers from Tate, British Museum, Pompidou, Guggenheim and MoMA. Five speakers will be invited from European and American museums who have already acquired or are looking into South Asian art. Another attraction of the Summit would be the participation of over 32 local and international galleries by invitation only; out of this, there will be 17 local galleries and 15 leading international galleries, who will exhibit South Asian Art from Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Karachi, Lahore, Colombo, Istanbul and Barcelona,” concludes Nadia.