Dhaka Art Summit, Bangladesh

The Dhaka Art Summit pioneers initiative for South Asian art which brings together artists, curators, galleries and visitors from across Bangladesh and the world. A major non-profit platform, the event was conceived to support museum-quality exhibits in Bangladesh, the development of South Asian art and international artistic exchange.

Launched in 2012, the first edition attracted more than 50,000 visitors, and the second edition will present a panoramic survey of over 250 artists from South Asian countries. The programme will comprise solo projects, curated exhibitions, an ambitious public art project, a talks series, performances, experimental film screenings, and presentations by 32 local and international galleries. An initiative of the Samdani Art Foundation, Dhaka Art Summit is organised in collaboration with 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.

Under the direction of Diana Campbell Betancourt (Artistic Director, Samdani Art Foundation) and Mahbubur Rahman (Artist /Co-Founder, Britto Arts Trust, Bangladesh), the Dhaka Art Summit offers a range of solo projects. Artists of international critical acclaim will present projects responding to Dhaka including Mohaiemen, Mahbubur Rahman, Rashid Rana, Mithu Sen, Tsherin Sherpa, Shahzia Sikander and Asim Waqif. Leading global thinkers will participate in a series of talks about institutional collecting and support for art from the region including Dr. Ziba Ardalan (Director/Curator, Parasol Unit, Foundation for Contemporary Art), Richard Blurton (Head of South Asian Section of the British Museum’s Asia Department), Aurélien Lemonier (Curator, Centre Pompidou) and Sheena Wagstaff (Chairperson, Department of Modern and Contemporary Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art).

The Samdani Art Award exhibition will showcase the works of shortlisted emerging Bangladeshi artistsh. Meanwhile Elsewhere is the title of a public art initiative launched at the Dhaka Art Summit, created by Raqs Media Collective, and curated by Diana Campbell Betancourt, which will transform 160 road signs and billboards across the city of Dhaka using faces of clocks and the Bengali language

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

Diana Campbell Betancourt, Artistic Director, Samdani Art Foundation, commented: “The Samdani Art Foundation has created a unique platform for the region, supporting visionary South Asian artists to share their work with Bangladeshi audiences, creating a place for the world’s best international institutions to engage with art from the region, and providing Bangladeshi artists support and exhibition opportunities, enabling them to achieve local and international recognition and artistic growth”.

Dhaka Art Summit, 7 February until 9 February, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy, 14/3 Segunbagicha, Ramna, Dhaka 1000 Bangladesh. For more information, go to www.dhakaartsummit.org

1. Shahzia Sikander, Parallax (Painting), 2013. Courtesy of the artist.