D’LAB is a platform for all sorts of Live Art: performances, experimental actions, and activities. D’LAB aims to introduce unique interdisciplinary performative activity to the local art scene and the public. We believe D’LAB is important, especially for the Bangladeshi art scene and society in general, because its aim is exploring sightlines of common struggle … turning art into a social practice, thereby ensuring a narrowing down of the gap between art and public, local and global artist communities. In addition, diversity and multiculturalism are aspects that D’LAB seeks to address. Back ART believes that D’LAB will be a platform allowing artists from all background and countries of origin to explore all Live Art mediums, including living artistic traditions. We’re aiming to establish a magnificent event with global as well as local narratives of diversity, social harmony and peaceful coexistence of communities and religions, as well as promoting artistic innovation.Read More
Since it was founded in 2012, the Samdani Art Award has steadily developed to become an internationally recognised platform, highlighting the most innovative work being produced by young Bangladeshi artists. Created to honour one talented emerging Bangladeshi artist, the award does not issue the winner with a monetary prize, and instead funds the winner to undertake an all-expenses paid, six-week residency at the Delfina Foundation in London: a career-defining moment for the artist to further their professional development.
The award’s latest winner, Mizanur Rahman Chowdhury, travelled to London earlier this year in July to undertake his residency. Providing him with the time and space to revisit old ideas, and explore new, while expanding his networks. We caught up with Chowdhury while he was in residence to discuss his ongoing practice and how winning the award has impacted his career to date.Read More
by Salma Jamal Moushum, Gidree Bawlee
It was on the afternoon of July 4, when our group of four reached Athens on the first leg of our research trip to documenta14 and Skulptur Projekte Münster. Organised by the Samdani Art Foundation with the support of the Goethe Institute, the mission of our trip was to learn (or perhaps unlearn) from documenta14 and Münster. Accompanied by three other members of the Samdani Artist-Led Initiatives Forum, our first lesson was sadly nothing art related, and was a harsh reminder that you should always be vigilant with your possessions. Having all my money stolen on the first day on the way to the hotel from the airport was the last thing I expected to ‘experience’ during my trip, but nevertheless, our packed schedule and the overwhelming dose of art we were about to experience over just seven days (excluding travel), left little space for me to brood over the traumatic experience.
By Sadya Mizan, Founder and Project Director, URONTO Artist Community
Back in July, I was selected, as a member of one of the organisations involved in the Samdani Artist-Led Initiatives Forum, to go on a professional development trip to experience documenta14, in both Athens and Kassel, and Skulptur Projekte Münster: an opportunity for me to improve my practice and knowledge and develop professionally.
I always find it difficult to write about experiences I have had or places I have visited. I never know where to start especially when I have so many memories and thought lines in my mind: how do I align everything to properly express my experience? Having been asked to submit a written account of my research trip to documenta14 and the Skulptur Projekte Münster, I feel it best to surrender myself with a pre-apology to my readers in case this account does not fully express my experience.Read More
by BACK Art's Jewel A. Rob
Monday 3 July 2017: Athens International Airport, Greece
After a long flight, we have arrived in the city of Athens - finally - but it will take another 40 minutes by metro to reach our hotel and begin to explore what documenta14 has to offer. Since being founded in 1955 by Arnold Bode, every five years, Documenta provides a unique space for contemplation, discussion, reinterpretation and transcendence of modern and contemporary art, and the way we look at it. However, under the curatorial direction of Artistic Director, Adam Szymczyk, this fourteenth edition of the festival is a little different, its exhibition offer being both in Kassel, Germany (its traditional home), and for the first time, in Athens, Greece.
Embracing photography as a medium through which he can capture life, light and darkness, Samdani Art Award 2012 winner, Khaled Hasan (b. 1981), turned his enthusiasm for the camera into a career as a photographer in 2001. Telling the narratives of the land that shaped him, Bangladesh, Hasan’s photographs cover a wide range of subjects; including stories about people and their interaction with nature, about healing and surviving, about fight for rights and toils for food, and about taking a stand against injustice.
A force that makes him think and feel more intricately, Hasan sees photography as an intrinsic part of his identity, helping him gain a much deeper understanding of human beings and life in general. Strongly believing that the work he makes should benefit others, Hasan is careful to ensure he makes a positive contribution to his own community ...Read More
by Ruxmini Choudhury, Assistant Curator, Samdani Art Foundation
Recently re-hung, Golpo’s exhibitions have a new focus on works from Bangladesh’s East Pakistan and modern period, including some important recent acquisitions by Bangladeshi artists Novera Ahmed, Murtaza Bashir and Mohammad Kibria. After partition in 1947, Pakistan’s cultural hub became Lahore in West Pakistan, and attracted artists from East Pakistan who became influential on the scene, attracting the attention of West Pakistani collectors who found their work more interesting that of the West Pakistani artists.Read More
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.Read More
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.Read More
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.Read More
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.Read More
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.Read More
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.Read More
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”.Read More
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 craftsRead More
A Behind the scenes look at "Prisoners of Shothik Itihash" at Kunsthalle Basel with artist Naeem MohaiemenRead More
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.Read More