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Held at the Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy, 5th – 8th February 2016
Curated by Samdani Art Foundation Artistic Director and DAS Chief Curator Diana Campbell, Katya García Antón (Director of the Office for Contemporary Art Norway), Daniel Baumann (Director of the Kunsthalle in Zurich), artist Nikhil Chopra, Beth Citron (Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Rubin Museum of Art), artist Madhavi Gore, curator Shanay Jhaveri (Assistant Curator-Modern and Contem-porary Art, South Asia, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York), Aurelien Lemonier (Architecture Curator at the Centre Pompidou), Nada Raza (assistant curator at Tate Modern), Md. Muniruzzaman and artist Jana Prepeluh with Asia Art Archive Senior Researcher Sabih Ahmed and Amara Antilla (assistant curator at the Guggenheim Museum, New York). 

The Dhaka Art Summit (DAS) is an international, non-commercial research and exhibition platform for art and architecture related to South Asia. With a core focus on Bangladesh, DAS re-examines how we think about these forms of art in both a regional and an international context.

DAS provokes reflections on transnationalism, selfhood and time with invited artists, curators and thinkers who build exhibitions through commissioned research and experience within the region—without being prescrip-tive. Neither a biennial, symposium nor festival but somewhere in between, the unique format of the Summit transforms the Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy into a generative space to reconsider the past and future of art and exchange within South Asia and beyond. DAS 2016 included loans from the Bangladesh National Col-lection; the Museum Folkwang in Essen; the Pinault Collection and many public and private South Asian col-lections as well as partnerships with institutions such as the Centre Pompidou; Asia Art Archive and Harvard South Asia Institute, DAS considers South Asia from the view of doing and becoming rather than cartography, occupying the triplet planes of imagination, will and circumstance.


In addition to new commissions and curated group exhibitions, DAS events included talks, critical writing, performances, films, book launches and the Summit’s first historical exhibition, Rewind. The Samdani Art Award finalists exhibition curated by Daniel Baumann; The Missing One curated by Nada Raza; Architecture in Bangladesh curated by Aurelién Lemonier; The Performance Pavilion, curated by Nikhil Chopra, Madhavi Gore and Jana Prepeluh; Not as far as it seems, a series of conversations and sound pieces curated by Safina Radio Project; a Film Programme curated by Shanay Jhaveri; as well as Critical Writing Ensemble, panel dis-cussions, workshops, and more. 

Exhibitions & Programmes

The Summit is a free and ticketless event and this year welcomed 138,000 visitors in 4 days, of which 800 were international visitors and operated tours for 2,500 students from 30+ schools. Those participating included over 300 emerging and established artists, 100 speakers who attended as part of the Talks Programme, as well as internationally renowned curators and writers, and attracted visitors from over 70 international institutions, who attended the Summit to extend and further their research into the region.