Samdani Art Foundation
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OUR TEAM

 
 

NADIA SAMDANI | CO-FOUNDER AND President

Nadia Samdani is the Co-Founder and President of the Samdani Art Foundation and Director of the Dhaka Art Summit. 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 to increase their international exposure. As part of this initiative, she founded the Dhaka Art Summit, which has since completed four successful editions, between 2012 and 2018, under her leadership. Nadia is a member of Tate’s South Asia Acquisitions Committee, Tate's International Council, Art Dubai’s Advisory Council, Alserkal Avenue’s Programming Committee, Parasol Unit’s International Committee and one of the founding members of The Harvard University Lakshmi Mittal South Asia Institute’s Arts Advisory Council.  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.

A second-generation collector, Nadia 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, leading business and financial daily Live Mint, and has spoken about collecting at many international art fairs. Along with her husband, Nadia has been named in Artnews Top 200 Collectors list in 2015, 2016 and 2017, included in ArtReview’s Power 100 in 2015, 2016 and 2017, and ArtNet News World's Top 100 Art Collectors in 2016. Their collection is regularly lent to institutions and festivals around the globe, including:  documenta14 (2017); Shanghai Biennale (2017); Office for Contemporary Art, Norway (2016); Centre Pompidou, Paris (2015); Kunstsammlung Nordhrhein, Düsseldorf (2015); Gwangju Biennale, South Korea (2014); Kochi-Muziris Biennale, India (2014).  In 2018, works will be lent to Parasite, Hong Kong; the Museum of Modern Art, Warsaw; and in 2019, the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago.

 
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RAJEEB SAMDANI | CO-FOUNDER AND TRustee

Rajeeb Samdani is the Co-Founder and Trustee of the Samdani Art Foundation, Chairman of Gulf International Finance Limited, UAE, and Managing Director of Golden Harvest Group—one of the leading diversified conglomerates in Bangladesh, involved in several sectors including: food processing, dairy, commodities, logistics, information technology, real estate, aviation, insurance and banking. In addition to his philanthropy with art, Rajeeb is the Secretary General of the Bangladesh Human Rights Foundation (one of the largest Human Rights organisations in the country), Founder of the Taher Ahmed Chowdhury Charitable Hospital in Sylhet, and the Alvina Samdani Trust.

An ardent collector of contemporary art, Rajeeb first began collecting with his wife Nadia Samdani, with whom he established the Samdani Art Foundation in 2011. Along with his wife, Rajeeb has been named in Artnews Top 200 Collectors list in 2015, 2016 and 2017, included in ArtReview’s Power 100 in 2015, 2016 and 2017, and ArtNet News World's Top 100 Art Collectors in 2016. Their collection is regularly lent to institutions and festivals around the globe, including:  documenta14 (2017); Shanghai Biennale (2017); Office for Contemporary Art, Norway (2016); Centre Pompidou, Paris (2015); Kunstsammlung Nordhrhein, Düsseldorf (2015); Gwangju Biennale, South Korea (2014); Kochi-Muziris Biennale, India (2014); and has been featured in many leading international publications. In 2018, works will be lent to Parasite, Hong Kong; the Museum of Modern Art, Warsaw; and in 2019, the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago. Rajeeb is a founding member and Co-Chair of Tate’s South Asian Acquisitions Committee, a member of Tate's International Council, Art Dubai’s Advisory Council, Alserkal Avenue’s Programming Committee, and one of the founding members of The Harvard University Lakshmi Mittal South Asia Institute’s Arts Advisory 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.

 
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DIANA CAMPBELL BETANCOURT | ARTISTIC DIRECTOR / CHIEF CURATOR

Diana Campbell Betancourt is a Princeton educated American curator who has been working in South and Southeast Asia since 2010, primarily in India, Bangladesh, and the Philippines. 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 critically acclaimed 2014, 2016, and 2018 editions. 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 from across South Asia through a largely commission based model where new work and exhibitions are born in Bangladesh, and has realized significant projects with artists such as Raqib Shaw (co-curated with Maria Balshaw), Tino Seghal, Lynda Benglis, Raqs Media Collective, Shahzia Sikander, Shilpa Gupta, Haroon Mirza, and many others through this unique platform. In addition to her exhibitions making practice, Campbell is responsible for developing the Samdani Art Foundation collection and drives its interna- tional collaborations ahead of opening the foundation’s permanent home, Srihatta, the Samdani Art Centre and Sculpture Park, opening in Sylhet in early 2019.

Concurrent to her work in Bangladesh from June 2016-June 2018, Campbell Betancourt was also the Founding Artistic Director of Bellas Artes Projects in the Philippines, a non-profit international residency and exhibition programme with sites in Manila and Bataan where she curated Bruce Conner’s first major solo exhibition in Asia as well exhibitions of new work by artists such as Pawel Althamer, Cian Dayrit, Isabel and Alfredo Aquilizan, among others. She remains an advisor to Bellas Artes Projects, and she chairs the board of the Mumbai Art Room, one of India’s leading non-profit spaces. In 2018, she was appointed curator of Frieze Projects in London. Her writing has been published by Mousse, Frieze, Art in America, the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) among others.

 
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EMMA SUMNER
HEAD OF PUBLICATIONS 

Emma Sumner is the Head of Publications, an independent writer, researcher and lecturer. Originally trained as a visual artist, in 2010 Emma was awarded an Arts and Humanities Research Council Studentship to study Art History and Curating.  During her study and since graduating Emma has worked with numerous institutions and independent platforms , including Tate Liverpool, National Museums Liverpool and the Liverpool Biennale, she has lectured at Liverpool John Moores University, The University of Salford and Wirral Metropolitan and contributes regularly to numerous international platforms including, Art Agenda, ArtReview Asia, Monopol Magazin and e-flux Conversations.  

First travelling to South Asia in 2014, with support from Arts Council England, Emma began researching the region’s art scene, visiting the studios of emerging and mid-career artists and independent led spaces. Emma has since developed the online archive portal, ArtHive South Asia, as a space to share her ongoing research and that of other independent researchers.

MOHAMMAD SAZZAD HOSSAIN
HEAD OF ADMINISTRATION

Mohammad Sazzad Hossian 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 4th 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 Shahzia Sikander, Rashid Rana and Haroon Mirza to name a few. Sazzad Hossain completed his M.A. and B.A. from Stamford University Bangladesh majoring in English Literature.

 
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RUXMINI Reckvana qCHOUDHURY
ASSISTANT Curator

Ruxmini Reckvana Q Choudhury is a Bangladesh based Assistant Curator for the Samdani Art Foundation. She works directly under Diana Campbell Betancourt to arrange seminars and international exhibitions. As part of the Dhaka Art Summit team, she worked as a research assistant to Daniel Baumann for the Samdani Art Award 2016 show, Diana Campbell Betancourt for the group show Mining Warm Data and worked under Nada Raza in her group show The Missing One. Her work comprises of research on local artists, archiving and monitoring the Samdani Art Foundation Collection among others. She is also responsible for the Samdani Artist Led-Initiatives Forum. Ruxmini also works as a freelance art writer, researcher and bilingual translator. She completed her BFA in Art History from University of Dhaka in 2014 and previously interned at the Dhaka Art Center. Her research on the crafts of Kushtia, Jhenaidah and Magura district 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.

Nawreen Ahmed
COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER

Nawreen Ahmed is working as Communications Manager for Samdani Art Foundation. She has worked as Junior Operations Officer for ME SOLshare Limited and taught Strategic Management and Business English while she worked as a Lecturer for BiMS. She has completed her BBA from Heriot Watt University and MBA from Eastern University.