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PARTNERSHIPS: Dhaka to documenta14 - A Samdani Artist-Led Initiatives Forum Research Trip (part 3)

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.

 

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PARTNERSHIPS: Dhaka to documenta14 - A Samdani Artist-Led Initiatives Forum Research Trip (part 2)

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. 

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PARTNERSHIPS: Dhaka to documenta14 - A Samdani Artist-Led Initiatives Forum Research Trip

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. 

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INTERVIEW: Samdani Art Award 2012 Winner – Khaled Hasan

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 ...

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COLLECTION: Samdani Art Foundation Collection Golpo Re-Hang

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.

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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.

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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. 

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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.

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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. 

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‘RANKIN STREET, 1953’ AT SIGNATURE ART PRIZE 2014

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”.

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SAF AROUND THE WORLD: HUMA MULJI'S LOST AND FOUND AT GWANGJU BIENNALE

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

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AYESHA SULTANA OPENS HER FIRST SOLO SHOW IN INDIA

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.

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