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Nadia Samdani MBE

Nadia Samdani MBE is the Co-Founder and President of the Samdani Art Foundation and Director of Dhaka Art Summit (DAS). In 2011, together with her husband Rajeeb Samdani, she established the Samdani Art Foundation to support the work of Bangladesh and South Asia’s contemporary artists and architects and increase their exposure. As part of this initiative, they founded DAS, which has since completed six successful editions under her leadership. She is a member of Tate’s South Asia Acquisitions Committee, Tate’s International Council and Alserkal Avenue’s Programming Committee, one of the founding members of The Harvard University Lakshmi Mittal South Asia Institute’s Arts Advisory Council, a member of Asia Society’s Advisory Committee, a member of Delfina Foundation’s Global Council, a member of Art SG and a member of Art Basel Global Patrons Council . In 2017, with her husband Rajeeb, she was the first South Asian arts patron to receive the prestigious Montblanc de la Culture Arts Patronage Award. She was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2022 Birthday Honours for services to global art philanthropy and supporting the arts in South Asia and the United Kingdom. She has also received the Knight of the Order of the Arts and Letters by the Cultural Ministry of France. Since 2015 she has been on the ArtReview Power 100 list, recognizing her contribution to developing the art scene of Bangladesh and connecting it with the wider world. A second-generation collector, she began her own collection at the age of 22. She collects both Bangladeshi and international art, reflecting her experience as both a proud Bangladeshi and a global citizen. She has written about collecting for Art Asia Pacific and Live Mint and has been a guest speaker at art fairs and institutions including the Royal Ontario Museum, Art Basel, Frieze and Harvard University among other institutions.

Rajeeb Samdani

Rajeeb Samdani is a Co-Founder and Trustee of the Samdani Art Foundation, and Managing Director of Golden Harvest Group - one of the leading diversified conglomerates in Bangladesh. Together with his wife Nadia Samdani MBE, he established the biannual Dhaka Art Summit, and Srihatta- Samdani Art Centre and Sculpture Park. Rajeeb is also known for his modern and contemporary art collection. He is a founding member and Co-Chair of Tate’s South Asian Acquisitions Committee, a member of Tate’s International Council and Tate Advisory Board and Alserkal Avenue’s Programming Committee, a founding member of The Harvard University Lakshmi Mittal South Asia Institute’s Arts Advisory Council, Delfina Foundation’s Global Council member, a member of Art SG and a member of Art Basel Global Patrons Council. In 2017, with his wife Nadia, he was the first South Asian arts patron to receive the prestigious Montblanc de la Culture Arts Patronage Award. He has been a guest speaker at art fairs and institutions including the Royal Ontario Museum of Art, UC Berkeley, Harvard University and the Private Museums Summit.

Diana Campbell

Diana Campbell is a Princeton educated American curator and writer whose work supports artists, architects, and designers from around the world to develop new work that challenges existing dominant geopolitical frameworks. Institution building and creating forums for interdisciplinary cultural convenings are a core part of her curatorial practice, which builds off of her life experiences working in South and Southeast Asia. Since 2013, she has served as the Founding Artistic Director of Dhaka-based Samdani Art Foundation, Bangladesh and Chief Curator of the Dhaka Art Summit, leading the critically acclaimed 2014-2023 editions. Campbell has developed the Dhaka Art Summit into a leading research and exhibitions platform for art from South Asia, bringing together artists, architects, curators, and writers from across South Asia through a largely commission-based model where new work and exhibitions are born in Bangladesh, also adding a scholarly element to the platform as well as laboratories for new methodologies of audience engagement. In addition to her exhibitions making practice, Campbell is responsible for developing the Samdani Art Foundation collection and drives its international collaborations ahead of opening the foundation’s permanent home, Srihatta, the Samdani Art Centre and Sculpture Park in Sylhet, Bangladesh. Campbell’s practice specializes in building and amplifying networks. Concurrent to her work with Samdani Art Foundation and Dhaka Art Summit, she is Head of Global Initiatives of the Hartwig Art Foundation in Amsterdam working on expanded notions of collecting, commissioning and collaborating, and is also part of the facilitation group of AFIELD, a global network of socially engaged artistic initiatives. She has curated exhibitions in Austria, Bangladesh, Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, the Philippines, the United Arab Emirates, and the United States of America, and her writing has been published in Bangla, Chinese, English, German, Portuguese, and Spanish.

Ruxmini Reckvana Q Choudhury

Ruxmini Choudhury is a curator, art writer, researcher, and bilingual translator based in Dhaka, Bangladesh. She has been working as a Curator of the Samdani Art Foundation and has been part of the core curatorial team since 2014. Among the many initiatives she has introduced and developed for Dhaka Art Summit are its art mediation program and the Samdani Artist Led Initiatives Forum, part of her ongoing interest in exploring ways to make art more approachable and interactive to the public. Her research has supported the growth of curatorial knowledge about Bangladesh through her collaborations assisting many international curators on shows in Dhaka such as Dhaka Art Summit, but also in Hong Kong, India, Austria, Norway, Dubai, among others. She was one of the participants of MAHASSA in 2019-20 and a CIMAM Grantee for the 2023 conference. She founded the 'Singularity Art Movement' in 2021, a platform which acknowledges social stigmas that impact gendered, social, political, religious, cultural, and racial oppression. This platform acts as a safe space for artists and non-artists to discuss and share these issues, which may or may not result in an exhibition. She completed her BFA in Art History from University of Dhaka in 2014 and previously interned at the Dhaka Art Center, a Dhaka based non-profit art center. Her research on the crafts of Kushtia, Jhenaidah and Magura districts of Bangladesh has been published in Setouchi Catalogue: Bangladesh Crafts, 2014. She is also an alumna of Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study (YES) programme and was previously involved in many social service and youth empowerment activities.

Mohammad Sazzad Hossain

Mohammad Sazzad Hossain is the Head of Administration of the Samdani Art Foundation. Sazzad has worked for the Samdani Art Foundation since 2012 and has been a key member of the management team from the first edition of the Dhaka Art Summit, now moving into its 7th edition. He is responsible for the artistic production of DAS, along with the management of all the teams on site, as well as the production for Srihatta and its artistic program. From the outset, Sazzad has managed the production of major international artist’s projects, such as Rana Begum, Afrah Shafiq, Antony Gormley, Shilpa Gupta, Ramesh Mario Nithiyendran, Nilima Sheikh, Damian Ortega and Antonio Dias to name a few. He was one of the key members of the Srijan Abartan, a cross-disciplinary sustainable exhibition design research programme introduced in 2020. Sazzad Hossain completed his M.A. and B.A. from Stamford University Bangladesh majoring in English Literature.

Swilin Haque

Swilin Haque is the curatorial assistant of the Samdani Art Foundation, working closely with all of curatorial team on the 2023 edition. She trained as a painter at the University of Dhaka. She received the ICCR scholarship in 2021 to pursue further studies in Art History and Aesthetics at The Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda in India, with a particular interest in political discourses found in art history. She has worked with organizations including the India Art Fair 2022, Artscape’s India, ACCORe - Mexico, Hexydexy Box, Indian Council for Cultural Relations in Kolkata and curated Being and Becoming at Whoyait Art Space in Baroda in 2021.

Iftekhar Noor Shaon

Iftekhar Noor Shaon is the Communications Specialist at the Samdani Art Foundation. Previously, he worked as an art mediator during the Dhaka Art Summit 2023. Iftekhar holds the Excellence scholarship from IFA Paris and is currently pursuing a BA in Fashion Design. With a keen interest in fashion extending beyond mere aesthetics, he aspires to create garments that resonate not only with the body but also with the mind. Known for his multilingual proficiency, Iftekhar effortlessly communicates in Bangla, English, French, Hindi, and his dialect, Sylheti.

Rohit Baidya

Rohit works as an executive at Samdani Art Foundation, to oversee and and manage everything that the artists require for their work. A street photographer with a passion for capturing moments that tell compelling stories. He immerses himself in the art of visual storytelling, seeking to evoke emotions and provoke thought through his lens. Rohit embraces diversity and cultural exchange in Sylhet, enriching his perspective as an artist. In addition to his studies, he actively participates in photography exhibitions and many cultural programs in Sylhet to appreciate more about his hometown and to further hone his craft.

Meet The Team

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