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Nadia Samdani

CO-FOUNDER AND PRESIDENT

Nadia Samdani MBE is the Co-Founder and President of the Samdani Art Foundation and Director of Dhaka Art Summit (DAS). In 2011, with husband Rajeeb Samdani, she established the Samdani Art Foundation to support the work of Bangladesh and South Asia’s contemporary artists and architects and increase their exposure. As part of this initiative, she founded DAS, which has since completed five successful editions under her leadership. She is a member of Tate’s South Asia Acquisitions Committee, Tate’s International Council and Alserkal Avenue’s Programming Committee, one of the founding members of The Harvard University Lakshmi Mittal South Asia Institute’s Arts Advisory Council and member of Asia Society’s Advisory Committee. In 2017, with her husband Rajeeb, she was the first South Asian arts patron to receive the prestigious Montblanc de la Culture Arts Patronage Award. She was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2022 Birthday Honours for services to global art philanthropy and supporting the arts in South Asia and the United Kingdom. She has also received the Knight of the Order of the Arts and Letters by the Cultural Ministry of France.A second-generation collector, she began her own collection at the age of 22. She collects both Bangladeshi and international art, reflecting her experience as both a proud Bangladeshi and a global citizen. She has written about collecting for Art Asia Pacific and Live Mint and has been a guest speaker at art fairs and institutions including the Royal Ontario Museum, Art Basel, Frieze and Harvard University among other institutions. Works from the Samdanis’ collection have been lent to institutions and festivals including: Kiran Nadar Musem of Art, New Delhi (2023); Hayward Gallery, London (2022); Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (2019); Para Site, Hong Kong (2018); Museum of Modern Art, Warsaw (2018); documenta 14, Kassel and Athens, (2017); Shanghai Biennale (2017); Office for Contemporary Art Norway, Olso (2016); Centre Pompidou, Paris (2015); Kunstsammlung Nordrhein, Düsseldorf (2015); Gwangju Biennale (2014); and Kochi-Muziris Biennale (2014).

Rajeeb Samdani

CO-FOUNDER AND TRUSTEE

Rajeeb Samdani is a Co-Founder and Trustee of the Samdani Art Foundation, and Managing Director of Golden Harvest Group - one of the leading diversified conglomerates in Bangladesh. Together with his wife Nadia Samdani MBE, he established the biannual Dhaka Art Summit, and Srihatta- Samdani Art Centre and Sculpture Park. Rajeeb is also known for his modern and contemporary art collection. He is a member of the Tate International Council Board, a founding member and Co-Chair of Tate’s South Asian Acquisitions Committee, a member of Tate’s International Council and Tate Advisory Board and Alserkal Avenue’s Programming Committee, a founding member of The Harvard University Lakshmi Mittal South Asia Institute’s Arts Advisory Council, Delfina Foundation’s Global Council member, a member of Art SG and a member of Art Basel Global Patrons Council. In 2017, with his wife Nadia, he was the first South Asian arts patron to receive the prestigious Montblanc de la Culture Arts Patronage Award. He has been a guest speaker at art fairs and institutions including the Royal Ontario Museum of Art, UC Berkeley, Harvard University and the Private Museums Summit.

Diana Campbell

ARTISTIC DIRECTOR

Diana Campbell is a Princeton educated American curator and writer working in South and Southeast Asia since 2010, primarily in India, Bangladesh, and the Philippines. She is committed to fostering a transnational art world, and her plural and long-range vision addresses the concerns of underrepresented regions and artists alongside the more established in manifold forums. Since 2013, she has served as the Founding Artistic Director of Dhaka-based Samdani Art Foundation, Bangladesh and Chief Curator of the Dhaka Art Summit, leading the last five editions of the platform with a global team of collaborators. Campbell has developed the Dhaka Art Summit into a leading research and exhibitions platform for art from South Asia, bringing together artists, architects, curators, and writers through a largely commission based model where new work and exhibitions are born in Bangladesh, adding a scholarly element to the platform through collaborations with the Getty Foundation, Asia Art Archive, Cornell University, Harvard University, RAW Material Company, Gudskul, and many other formal and grassroots educational initiatives around the world. Pacific Islands and Bangladesh are at the forefront of climate change; Campbell’s maternal family is indigenous CHamoru from the island of Guam, and her heritage inspires her curatorial practice and the development of DAS as a platform to amplify indigenous practices both in South Asia and internationally. In addition to her exhibition making and writing practice, Campbell is responsible for developing the Samdani Art Foundation collection and drives its international collaborations ahead of opening the foundation’s permanent home and community-based residency program at Srihatta, the Samdani Art Centre and Sculpture Park in Sylhet. Campbell’s practice specializes in building networks. She is part of the facilitation group of AFIELD, a global network of socially engaged initiatives, and leading the international development of EDI Global Forum, a global network of art education departments as an initiative of the Campania Region of Italy developed by the Fondazione Morra Greco in Naples that is convening over 150 global institutions to address needed change in art education. She is currently curating the 2023 edition of DesertX in the Coachella Valley opening in March 2023, linking the climatic challenges of droughts and floods across California and Bangladesh.

Teresa Albor

DIRECTOR OF EXTERNAL AFFAIRS

Teresa Albor, Director of Cultural Affairs of the Samdani Art Foundation, is a cultural producer who has been working internationally in the US, UK, and Eastern Europe, and was based in South and Southeast Asia for over a decade. Her roles have included running a London-based art college, co-founding an international artists’ residency programme and others. She has a practice as an artist, making live art, video and sound work which explores questions of human nature, identity and marginalisation.

Ruxmini Reckvana Q Choudhury

ASSISTANT CURATOR

Ruxmini Choudhury is a curator, art writer, researcher, and bilingual translator based in Dhaka, Bangladesh. She has been working as the Assistant Curator of the Samdani Art Foundation since 2014. Among the many initiatives she has introduced and developed for Dhaka Art Summit are its art mediation program and the Samdani Artist Led Initiatives Forum, part of her ongoing interest in exploring ways to make art more approachable and interactive to the public. Her research has supported the growth of curatorial knowledge about Bangladesh through her collaborations assisting many international curators on shows in Dhaka such as Dhaka Art Summit, but also in Hong Kong, India, Austria, Norway, Dubai, among others. . She founded the 'Singularity Art Movement' in 2021, a platform which acknowledges social stigmas that impact gendered, social, political, religious, cultural, and racial oppression. This platform acts as a safe space for artists and non-artists to discuss and share these issues, which may or may not result in an exhibition. She completed her BFA in Art History from University of Dhaka in 2014 and previously interned at the Dhaka Art Center, a Dhaka based non-profit art centre. Her research on the crafts of Kushtia, Jhenaidah and Magura districts of Bangladesh has been published in Setouchi Catalogue: Bangladesh Crafts, 2014. She is also an alumna of Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study (YES) programme and was previously involved in many social service and youth empowerment activities.

Mohammad Sazzad Hossain

HEAD OF ADMINISTRATION

Mohammad Sazzad Hossain is the Head of Administration of the Samdani Art Foundation. Sazzad has worked for the Samdani Art Foundation since 2012 and has been a key member of the management team from the first edition of the Dhaka Art Summit, now moving into its 6th edition. He is responsible for the artistic production of DAS, along with the management of all teams on site. From the outset, Sazzad has managed the production of major international artist projects, such as Adrián Villar Rojas, Nilima Sheikh, Ellen Ghallagher, Huma Bhabha, Bharti Kher, William Forsythe, Damian Ortega, Antonio Dias, Ramesh Maria, Shahzia Sikander, Rashid Rana, Haroon Mirza to name a few. Sazzad Hossain completed his M.A. and B.A. from Stamford University Bangladesh majoring in English Literature.

Eve Lemesle

PRODUCER

Eve Lemesle is an arts producer based between Europe and South-Asia. She started the arts management agency called ‘What About Art’ in Mumbai in 2010. She has produced many exhibitions and consulted internationally for the Venice Biennale, Qatar Museums, Shanghai Biennale, Dhaka Art Summit, Kochi Biennale, the Asia Now art fair at La Monnaie de Paris, Soho House collection amongst others. She is currently a consultant with Reliance for the upcoming JIO World Centre in Mumbai. She is also a researcher at the Institute of Public Art at the University of Shanghai. Eve has been installing some of the most prestigious private and corporate art collections in South-Asia.

Md. Nasimul Alam

CHIEF OF SECURITY

Md. Nasimul Alam has been involved with DAS since 2016 when he acted as Chief of Security. After completing 26 years of service in the Bangladesh Army, he joined the Golden Harvest Group as Head of Operations at Brain Train Studio Ltd, and now holds the position of Director. Md. Mobinul Haque is a civil engineer working with Samdani Art Foundation since 2011 working with artists to produce ambitious artistic projects. After graduating from the America Bangladesh University, he began to work for leading developer companies in Bangladesh as a project engineer. As a current employee of the Golden Harvest Group he is responsible for supervising all construction work, coordination, and cost estimations. Mohammad Asifur Rahman studied architecture at the University of Asia Pacific and has been the DAS architectural coordinator since the 2016 edition. After graduation, he was assigned to produce the architectural drawings of historical mosques for an academic publication of prof. Dr. Abu Sayeed M. Ahmed published by UNESCO. Recently, two of his pavilion designs won awards from The Dhaka International Trade Fair.

Tanzila Reza

COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER

Tanzila Reza is working as Communications Manager of the Samdani Art Foundation. She is an experienced marketing communication officer who previously worked in the utilities industry.

Adam Ondak

CURATORIAL ASSISTANT

Adam Ondak works as Curatorial Assistant of the Samdani Art Foundation and DAS and is the assistant to Diana Campbell Betancourt. He currently studies Business Management at King’s College London. Ondak participated in an interdisciplinary academic programme ‘Experiencing China 2018’ at Tsinghua University, Beijing. He is part of the organisational team of the annual ‘Central European Conference’ held at London School of Economics.

Lucia Zubalova

CURATORIAL ASSISTANT

Lucia Zubalova works as curatorial assistant of the Samdani Art Foundation and DAS. She is an alumnus of the Courtauld Institute of Art. Zubalova has previously interned at the Slovak National Gallery, worked for the Bratislava-based Linea Collection and was taught by Diana Campbell Betancourt at the Salzburg International Summer Academy of Fine Arts.

Enayet Kabir

COLLECTIVE PLATFORM FELLOW

Enayet Kabir is the Collective Platform Fellow at DAS. He is a Bangladeshi multimedia artist whose work explores speculative Bengali futures and the unreality of Dhaka city. Kabir is a driving force in Brooklyn’s underground electronic music community, as both a live performer and event organizer. He is currently the Creative Director for the musician Yaeji, directing her music videos and conceiving of international stage shows. Fraser Muggeridge and Joe Nava of Fraser Muggeridge studio, London, are the graphic designers responsible for the visual identity and design production of DAS 2020. Throughout a wide range of formats, from artists’ books and exhibition catalogues to posters, marketing material, exhibitions and websites, the studio prioritises artists’ and writers’ content over the imposition of a signature style. Clients include: Artangel, Art on the Underground, Focal Point Gallery, Hauser & Wirth, Sadies Coles, Somerset House, Tate, V&A, The Vanity Press.

Alyesha Choudhury

ARCHITECTURAL INTERN

Alyesha Choudhury works as the Architectural intern for the Samdani Art Foundation and DAS. Living between London, Dhaka and Glasgow, she is a student of architecture and one of the founders of the /other collective. She received her RIBA Part 1 certification from the Mackintosh School of Architecture at the Glasgow School of Art. The /other collective deconstructs colonial discourse in the architectural environment, commissioning installations and hosting a panel for the 2019 ArchiFringe at the Lighthouse Gallery and Transmission Gallery. Her previous experience includes internships with the Delfina Foundation and Rana Begum Studio.

DAS 2020 Team

Kathryn Weir

CURATOR (Collective Body)

Kathryn Weir founded ‘Cosmopolis’ at the Centre Pompidou in 2015 as a platform for research-based and collaborative multidisciplinary art practices. The platform constructs bridges between new forms of creative experimentation and critical vocabularies from contemporary theory, and between reconceived geographies and histories. From 2006 until 2014, she led the international art and cinémathèque curatorial areas at the Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA), Brisbane and was one of the curators of the 5th, 6th and 7th Asia Pacific Triennials of Contemporary Art. From 2020 she has been appointed Director of the MADRE museum in Napes.

Sean Anderson

CURATOR (On Muzharul Islam)

Sean Anderson is Associate Professor and Undergraduate Program Director at Cornell University’s Department of Architecture. Anderson was formerly Associate Curator in the Department of Architecture and Design at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in addition to being a practicing architect and educator in Afghanistan, Australia, India, India, Italy, Morocco, Sri Lanka and the U.A.E. He is a founding Board Member of the African Futures Institute (AFI). Long seeking to uncover overlooked contexts for reappraising the spatial, he has written books on South Asian ritual sculpture, the modern architecture of colonial Eritrea and co-edited a volume dedicated to contemporary architecture and design in Sri Lanka. At MoMA, he organized Insecurities: Tracing Displacement and Shelter (2016-17) and Thinking Machines: Art and Design in the Computer Age, 1959-89 (2017-18) and led four iterations of the Young Architects Program at MoMA PS1. At MoMA, he was co-director of the CMAP Asia and Africa research programs, an editor of post, and established two continuing online educational platforms: “What is Contemporary Art?” and “Reimagining Blackness and Architecture.” Co-organized with Mabel O. Wilson, Reconstructions: Architecture and Blackness in America, the first exhibition and book ever at MoMA to highlight the work of African American and African Diasporic architects, artists and designers, concluded in May 2021.

Bishwajit Goswami

CURATOR (Roots)

Bishwajit Goswami is a Dhaka based curator and art educator. He is an Assistant Professor in the Drawing & Painting Department of the Faculty of Fine Art, University of Dhaka, Bangladesh, and also visiting faculty at the Architecture Department of BUET & BRAC University. Goswami is the co-founder of Brihatta, a research-based, artist-run Platform, with a strong focus on community development, and collaboration. As an art educator he has been part of many conferences and has participated in many national and international exhibitions as a practicing artist. His extensive interest in art and education has led him to extend his practice to exhibition making. In 2020 he curated the exhibition ‘Roots’ at the Dhaka Art Summit which focused on Bangladeshi art educators and the institutions that they built, following this journey across the 20th century until the 1990s, to consider how today’s artistic practices in Bangladesh were shaped. Goswami is passionate about working with students and providing them with opportunities and his practice involves collaborating with young art students and creatives.

Kehkasha Sabah

ASSISTANT CURATOR (Collective Body)

Kehkasha Sabah is an independent curator, visual artist and researcher based in Dhaka, Bangladesh. She is Assistant Curator, Collectives Platform at DAS 2020. She is engaged in contemporary art, new media and curation focusing on socio-political issues such as cultural taboos, identity, body and space. She received the Talent Recognition Award of the Society for Promotion of Bangladesh Art in 2019. She is one of the founding members of Art Lab Dhaka.

Mustafa Zaman

CURATOR (No One Told Me There’d Be Days
Like This)

Mustafa Zaman was trained as a printmaker, however he soon veered into multidisciplinary practice turning his attention to contemporary human conditions often observed in relation to the instruments of power. Zaman held solo shows at the Zainul Gallery, Institute of Fine Arts (2000); at the Bengal Gallery of Fine Arts (2010); and at Alliance Francaise (2010) Zaman is now chief curator at Dwip, a gallery based in Dhaka.

Guest Curators

Others

CHAIRMAN
Farooq Sobhan
GOETHE INSTITUT BANGLADESH
Kirsten Hackenbroch
ALLIANCE FRANCAISE DE DHAKA, BANGLADESH
Mr. Olivier Dintinger
AUSTRALIAN HIGH COMMISSION-BANGLADESH
H. E. Julia Niblett
ART COLLECTOR
Maya Barolo-Rizvi
BANGLADESH NATIONAL MUSEUM
Md. Reaz Ahmed
BANGLADESH SHILPAKALA ACADEMY
Mr. Liaquat Ali Lucky
GREY ADVERTISING BANGLADESH
Syed Gousul Alam Shaon
COMILLA VICTORIANS, BANGLADESH PREMIER LEAGUE
Nafisa Kamal
DHAKA ART SUMMIT, BANGLADESH
Nadia Samdani MBE
SAMDANI ART FOUNDATION, BANGLADESH
Rajeeb Samdani

Organising Comittee Members

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