- 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. Growing up fascinated with the landscape around her, Zhumpa began to explore her relationship with her surrounding through the series, Where is the Artist. Using Indigo on dry leaves, branches and trees, these works are a continuation from her earthworks series which transform the environment in what the Zhumpa describes as an ‘almost Yves Klein Nouveau Realism manner’; indigo having resonance on 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 begun 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. The artist is a founding member and trustee of the Britto Art Trust, Dhaka’s first non-profit artist led organisation. Rhythm and variegated expression is seen in works including, Rhymes of Sea, (2009) a land art installation with sound inspired by Fibonacci which brings fresh perspective using hymns and rhythms, showcasing nature in its greatness. 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.
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) was trained as a painter. Nevertheless, the use of diverse material has played a pivotal role in his artistic practice. The artist often incorporates other media such as painting, sculpture, video, image manipulation, photography, and installation in his work. With his works, the artist 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. The artist incorporates himself in some of his video and digital works. 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 sculpture series Pulak uses small flowers made from ‘shola’ that is one of the oldest craft material in Indian subcontinent. His sculptures represent 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 Samdani art award in 2012 and 2014 and also nominated 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 Chakraborty’s art, which includes painting, installation, land art and performance is that all are created with one colour, red.
The artist first started using red in 2007 while he was attending an artist residency in Guwahati, the capital of the Indian province Assam. His work centered on political atrocities such as the Bombay Blasts of 2006, the ethnic riots of Guwahati, as well as the religious riots in his home country Bangladesh, and the colour red played a central role in these works. 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”. Currently, Chakraborty is teaching 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 timelessness 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 symbolize 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 Organized 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) was inspired by the urgent ecological and community/public aspects of life and inclined to incorporate those elements in her work. She has worked closely with people from communities who were deprived from social benefits which lead her to explore prevailing social values of her region. Her video installation, I Am Walking on Borderlines, Being Together, at the Venice Biennale was a substantially deep political piece that generated a lot of interest. Although Nupur completed her MFA in paintings from Chittagong University, like many other contemporary artists, Nupur concentrates on installations. Nupur’s work Crossing Paths, another politically charged work, received an Honourable Mention at the 15th Asian Art Biennale in December 2012 because of its portrayal of the lasting repercussions of the 1971 for the whole South Asian region, not just Bangladesh. The artist believes in the liberty and equal rights for all citizens regardless of gender, race, colour, creed or political belief. As recognition of her artistic endeavours, Yasmin Jahan Nupur has also been awarded the International Arts Residency by the Commonwealth Foundation of United Kingdom.