Founded in 2012 by the Samdani Art Foundation (SAF)—who produce the festival— 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. In collaboration with the Ministry of Cultural Affairs, People’s Republic of Bangladesh, SAF continue to produce and host DAS every two years at the Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy.
Rejecting the traditional biennale format to create a more generative space for art and exchange, DAS’s interdisciplinary programme concentrates its endeavours towards the advancement and promotion of South Asia’s contemporary and historic creative communities. Led by Chief Curator Diana Campbell Betancourt, local and international guest curators from leading institutions are commissioned to conduct research across South Asia, unlocking new areas of inquiry to build collaborative group exhibitions and experimental writing initiatives, as well as film and talks programmes
Free for all and ticket-less, the fifth edition of the Dhaka Art Summit will be held in early February 2020.
“The Dhaka Summit proved to be an invaluable interface with a number of key artists, discourses, and histories that suggest the increasingly urgent voice South Asia has in the current global cultural discourse....We look forward to developing many of these conversations as we deepen our engagement in the region.”
- Stuart Comer, Chief Curator of Media and Performance, Museum of Modern Art, New York (DAS 2016)
“I have never experienced something as art focused, open and inclusive as I just did at Dhaka Art Summit. The calibre of the conversations was a rare happening in our region.”
- Dayanita Singh, DAS Solo Project Artist, India (DAS 2016)
“I almost gave up reading art writing. I have come to reconsider this through the Summit...”
- Maria Lind, Critic and Artistic Director, Gwanju Biennale 2016 (DAS 2016)
“I thought the Dhaka Art Summit 2016 was a splendid affair of critical clout and great programming. There is literally nothing like it in Asia and I am certain the next one will be an even bigger success.”
- Lucas Huang, The National Gallery, Singapore (DAS 2016)
“The Dhaka Summit has rapidly become an important focus for artists from South Asia and beyond and this year is attracting widespread International attention.”
- Frances Morris, Director of Tate Modern, London, UK, On her second trip to Dhaka, Bangladesh (DAS 2016)
“Dhaka art summit has set the gold standard for the visual arts in South Asia”