top of page

The fourth edition of the Dhaka Art Summit (DAS) took place from 2 to 10 February 2018, featuring both an Opening Celebration Weekend (February 2–4) and a closing Scholars’ Weekend (February 8–10), and several tiers of new programming. Produced and primarily funded by the Samdani Art Foundation, DAS 2018 was held in a public-private partnership with the Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy, the country’s National Academy of Fine and Performing Arts, with support from the Ministry of Cultural Affairs and Ministry of Information of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh, the National Tourism Board, the Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (BIDA), and in association with the Bangladesh National Museum.

DAS 2018 puts Bangladesh at the centre of its own cartography rather than at the periphery of someone else’s, recalibrating how we think about art in South Asia by focusing on the increased inclusion of minority positions and conflicted terrains. This allowed visitors to reconsider the diversity found in the region beyond national narratives, and to begin to navigate South Asia as a long-standing zone of global contact. The Solo Projects section of the Dhaka Art Summit was replaced with Bearing Points. This new initiative comprised large-scale thematic presentations from artists and architects, orienting the viewer towards lesser explored transcultural histories of the region, curated by DAS Chief Curator Diana Campbell, and weaving together strands of thought from the nine other guest curated exhibitions in the Summit.

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 is unique in its ability to be a true hub for art and architecture related to South Asia. Expanding on the success of past editions, DAS 2018 extended its duration of exhibitions and programming to nine-days, and for the first time, widened its focus to create new connections between South, Southeast Asia, and the Indian Ocean belt, highlighting the dynamic evolution of art in contemporary South Asia and reviving historical inter-Asian modes of exchange. Over three hundred artists were exhibited across ten curated exhibitions, and over one hundred and twenty speakers from all over the world participated in sixteen panel discussions and two symposiums that grounded future developments of art in South Asia within the region’s rich, yet lesser-known, past. 

This was the third Summit led by Samdani Art Foundation Artistic Director, Diana Campbell, who returned as the Chief Curator of DAS 2018.

Exhibitions & Programmes