Samdani Art Foundation
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INTERVIEW: Samdani Art Award 2016 Winner - Rasel Chowdhury

Samdani Art Award 2016 winner Rasel Chowdhury (b. 1988) is an artist whose passion is rooted in his examination of environmental issues, which he documents using a camera. Born in Jamalpur—a district 140 km north of Dhaka which borders with India—Chowdhury first started taking photographs at 9 years of age without a conscious plan, and, as he began documenting spaces in and around Bangladesh,

slowly became addicted to the process, and later studied photography at Pathshala, South Asian Media Institute, from where he graduated in 2012. During his study and since graduating, Chowdhury has developed his own visual expression as a photographer, addressing his subjects with a distinctive look.

SAF Around the World: Marzia Farhana at Khōj International Workshop 2017

A not-for-profit, contemporary arts organisation based in New Delhi, Khōj International Artists’ Association, has, for the last 20 years, provided artists across South Asia and beyond, financial, physical and intellectual space through a variety of programmes including the South Asia Network for the Arts national workshop, and residency in Goa.  

Each bi-annual 15-day residential workshop is organised by artists for artists, with the support of Khōj. 

SAF AROUND THE WORLD: Shumon Ahmed’s Work Travels to 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art Sydney

The artworks in Familiar Stranger examine the space between memory and reality, and express the internal struggle between what is and what was.  For those who have left their “home” for work, study or other reasons, the idea of returning becomes embedded in their identity—sadly the reality can often be a disappointing and unpredictable process.  Included in the exhibition is Bangladeshi artist Shumon Ahmed’s sound installation What I Have Forgotten Could Fill An Ocean, What is Not Real Never Lived (2014), on loan from the Samdani Art Foundation’s Collection.

SAF AROUND THE WORLD: “Speak, Lokal” at Kunsthalle Zürich

The Samdani Art Foundation is pleased to be supporting the exhibition Speak, Lokal at Kunsthalle Zürich. The exhibition, curated by Daniel Baumann, Director, Kunsthalle Zürich, focuses on how artists worldwide investigate and broach local conditions and includes the work of Bangladeshi artists, Samsul Alam Helal and Rafiqul Shuvo, who were both nominees for the Samdani Art Award 2016.

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PHOTO ESSAY: Samdani Seminar – Pawel Althamer and the Neighbours

Polish artist Paweł Althamer, along with members of his community (neighbours) from Bródno, Poland—Maciej Karbowiak, Brian Halloran, Marcin Althamer and Michal Parnas—travelled to Bangladesh to engage alternative communities in an eight-day-long creative and collaborative Sculptural Congress workshop as part of the Samdani Art Foundation's continued Seminar programme.  Paweł and his neighbours engaged with patients of Protisruti (the Promise) drug rehabilitation centre in Sylhet, creating the communal work of art, Rokeya, with the aim of bridging understanding across social and cultural divides through the power of creativity.

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PARTNERSHIP: An Interview with Munem Wasif – Co-Curator of Chobi Mela IX

For the past 18-years, the bi-annual Chobi Mela International Festival of Photography has brought the work of many internationally renowned photographers to Dhaka, exhibiting their work alongside national and regional talent.  With photography having so often been excluded from the South Asian region’s visual art exhibitions and art history, Chobi Mela has helped to transform the medium’s value as an art form within the region. 


A forgotten box of old photos, the lost memories from the past, and Naeem’s search to know the untold stories by his father evoked the idea of ‘Rankin Street, 1953’.  Taken from his father’s old negatives, the photos reveal the life that almost is surreal to our modern life. It is his approach to the quest to find out the hidden stories of the photographs that somehow forgotten by his father. he negative moulding of the images carry a whole different story. Natasha Ginwala in Art-Agenda described his moulds perfectly - “…anthills, the steps of an agora, and a forest’s edge”.


The Samdani Art Foundation is pleased to be lending Huma Mulji's (b.1970) Lost and Found to this year's Gwanju Biennale, South Jeola province, South Korea.  Born and raised in Karachi, Mulji's work explores the possibilities of “making” in Pakistan, embracing low-tech methods of fabrication, together with exquisite traditional crafts


The Samdani Art Award winner for the year 2014, Ayesha Sultana is a young artist from Bangladesh who started her career in 2007. As a part of the award she will be going to Delfina foundation for a three-month residency. Ayesha received her post graduation diploma in Arts Education from Beacon house National University, Lahore in the year 2008.