- Aaron Cezar (Director of the Delfina Foundation)
- Eungie Joo (Curator of the Sharjah Biennale 2015)
- Jessica Morgan (The Daskalopoulos Curator, Tate)
- Sandhini Poddar (Curator at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum)
- Pooja Sood (Director of KHOJ International Artists’ Association)
IN PARTNERSHIP WITH:
- Delfina Foundation
The ten shortlisted artists for the 2014 edition of the Samdani Art Award exhibition were selected by the Delfina Foundation's Director, Aaron Cezar. During the Summit, the jury selected Ayesha Sultana as the recipient of the 2014 award. Announced during the DAS 2014 Opening Dinner on the 5 February, Sultana received a three-month residency with the Delfina Foundation in London which she undertook in the Autumn of 2014.
Ayesha Sultana’s practice encompasses drawing, painting, object and sound. The work relies heavily on process as an attempt to translate notions of space, which is inseparably connected with perceptions of time as a way of looking. The artist was born in 1984 in Jessore, Bangladesh. Her drawing series often acts as an enquiry, through the building of spatial structures by tapping in repetition, variation and rhythm. It may appear dissimilar in technique but is essentially one and the same, permeating similar areas of transformation. For the past two years, drawing has often acted as a formal backbone to her practice. She uses it as a verb, of ‘doing’ whether it be cutting, folding, stitching, layering, recording, and tracing. This doing even extends to explorations with photocopy machines, allowing them to alter and distort other works that she experiments with. The illustrated image, Cataract II, 2011, is part of the artist’s ongoing series of drawing with staples, piecing rice paper and creating new patterns and structures that highlight the tension between the strength of the industrial staple and the vulnerability of the translucent organic paper.
Sultana studied under Rashid Rana at Beaconhouse National University in Lahore, and later lectured there for two years. Sultana’s work has been exhibited extensively in India, Italy, the Netherlands, Pakistan and the United Arab Emirates. She is an active member of the Britto Arts Trust and recently completed a residency at Gasworks, in London.
Download Ayesha Sultana's CV here.
Afsana Sharmin Zhumpa (b. 1984) is a sculptor and performance artist whose practice comments on society’s perception of women, and the role they play within it. Her latest work, revolves around Zhumpa’s relationship with her surroundings. Using Indigo on dry leaves, branches and trees, she transforms these mundane organic forms in an arresting and almost Yves Klein Nouveau Réalisme manner. The artist grew up fascinated with the landscape around her and this strand of work is a continuation of her earthworks which transform the environment with indigo colours, a material that has a deep resonance with the land of Bangladesh given its ties to the garment industry, and the country’s colonial past. Expanding on her practice further, Zhumpa has recently began experimenting with the medium of video.
Hope and a heightened sensory appeal are integral to Kabir Ahmed Masum Christy’s (b. 1976, Narayanganj) work, and these characteristics are common across his various art works, ranging from land art to sculpture and animation. Chisty’s artistic journey has been connected to several deep-rooted ideals and the incessant questioning of those ideals, which are an integral part of the human psyche- its complex spirit and emotions. In Chisty’s Quandary (2011) (pictured here), we witness an inward struggle demonstrating that the pursuit of spiritual development remains possible through the balancing of personal conflicting urges and instincts with the pressures, temptations and opportunities presented by family, social and wider networks. The artist is a founding member and trustee of the Britto Art Trust, Dhaka’s first non-profit artist led organisation and an active member of other artist-led initiatives within Dhaka. His work has been exhibited all over the world, including in the inaugural Bangladesh Pavilion at the 54th Venice Biennale.
Palash Bhattacharjee (b. 1983, Chittagong) bridges performance, installation, and video within his practice. His works present aesthetic experimentations derived from personal experience, set in relation to human sensitivities and emotion. These are conscious and unconscious expressions of his everyday behaviours, excitements, and obsessions within the context of a society where narratives of a human’s existential reality seems to lose meaning in the face of larger political, social concerns. His work and performances have been included in numerous group exhibitions throughout Bangladesh as well as South Korea, Argentina, and the United States. Bhattacharjee received a Master in Fine Arts from the University of Chittagong (2006).
Promotesh Das Pulak (b. 1980, Sylhet) originally trained as a painter, but has since expanded his practice to incorporate other media, such as sculpture, video, image manipulation, photography, and installation. With his works, he critically questions the current social and political state of his home country Bangladesh as well as global issues humanity is facing. Self-portraits are a key feature of Pulak’s oeuvre. In the series ‘Echoed Moments in Time’ which was exhibited in the Bangladesh Pavilion 54th Venice Biennale the artist imposes his own face onto archival photographs from 1971. For many of his sculptural works, Oulak chooses to work with 'shola’, one of the oldest craft materials in Indian subcontinent, representing the duality that lies between the organic, natural elements of the flower, in contrast to the manufactured, rigid structures of combat equipment. He was nominated for the Samdani art award in 2012 and as an emerging artist in sculpture at the Prudential Eye Awards in 2016.
Sanjoy Chakraborty (b. 1984) received his art education in India, closely observed Indian contemporary art and the country’s history, tradition, culture, language and politics. These observations continue to have a profound impact on his artistic language. A unifying element in his art, which includes painting, installation, land art and performance is that all are created with one colour, red. Chakraborty first started using red in 2007 while he was attending an artist residency in Guwahati, the capital of the Indian province Assam. More recently he has been using red in his works as part of the universal language of art. The artist reflects that, “man’s crisis in this world is the same for all; their clothing from person to person, their language varies, their food varies, even their skin colour differs; but the colour of our blood is universal. So I think that if I compose my art through this red, then it will become universal”. In addition to his artistic practice, Chakraborty is also currently a faculty member at the University of Dhaka.
Sarker Protick’s (b. 1986, Dhaka) works are grounded around the ideas of time and space. Hovering between corporeal and meta-physical, Protick’s use of light as protagonist, combined with deliberate monochromatic arrangements, creates a truth that is more emotional than factual. It is a document to a suspended reality, where time is perpetually slowed; and we are not just looking, but seeing. Protick’s minimalist colour palette combined with the emptiness of his compositions give the work a timeless feeling and delicate spectrum of emotion. Whether working about family, environment or regional history, Protick's work consistently deals with time and how it transforms matter and life. In 2014, he was named in British Journal of Photography’s annual ‘Ones to Watch’ and fellow of the Joop Swart Masterclass.
Sayed Tareq Rahman’s (b. 1988, Khulna) work encompasses the complicated issues and behavioural patterns of contemporary urban society. Constructed from metal, cement, and fiberglass, and occasionally wood, brass, iron and stone, the intricately chaotic formations and structures Rahman creates symbolise the perfunctory and near-robotic populace of the modern times. With a desire to return to a time of stability, harmony and ethereal beauty, away from the harshness and rigidity of human life, Rahman remains engrossed in deciphering and unravelling the complex human equations that permeate everyone’s daily lives. Rahman has already been credited with five prestigious awards in sculpture, the latest being the Young Artist Award (Grand Award) at 20th Young Artist’s Art Exhibition 2016 organised by The Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy.
Shumon Ahmed (b. 1977, Dhaka) explores the fusion between video, photography and text, creating stories that, while seemingly contradictory, are private yet collective. Ahmed studied photography at the Pathshala Academy and participated in various exhibitions including the 2014 Kochi Muziris Biennale, Whitechapel Art Gallery, Chobi Mela, Fotomuseum, Winterthur, and Dhaka Art Summit 2012 and 2014.
Yasmin Jahan Nupur (b.1977, Chittagong) is a visual and performance artist whose work is influenced by the ecological and community driven aspects of life. Depicting human relationships from various points of view, her work explores class distinctions and the social discrepancies people face—particularly women and migrants of South Asia— in an effort to increase understanding between people of different backgrounds. Her recent work has engaged deeply with architecture, and the idea of physical and social constructs affecting her psyche. She is a member of Britto Arts Trust in Bangladesh, and in 2015 was invited to attend a performance residency at the Delfina Foundation in London. Her work has featured in exhibitions internationally.