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Rasel Chowdhury

b. 1981, Noakhali

Rasel Chowdhury is a Dhaka-based artist whose passion lies in documenting environmental issues using camera. Born in Jamalpur, he started working in photography without a conscious plan, and eventually became addicted and decided to document spaces in and around Bangladesh. He obtained a degree from Pathshala, South Asian Media Institute in 2012. His body of work deals with unplanned desperate urbanization, the dying River Buriganga, the lost city of Sonargaon, the Mega City of Dhaka, and newly transformed spaces around Bangladesh railroads to explore the change of the environment, unplanned urban structures and new form of landscapes.


The Samdani Art Award exhibition included his photography series Railway Longings. This series showed his contemplative approach to the railroad which was once the only way to reach his birthplace of Jamalpur from Dhaka. He walked along the railway line from one station to another, covering the full 181 km long journey by foot, photographing his nostalgic experience, and documenting the changes in the landscape and rail structures along the route.

Samdani Art Award 2016


  • Cosmin Costinas (Director, Para/Site)

  • Catherine David(Deputy Director, Centre Pompidou)

  • Beatrix Ruf (Director, Stedelijk Museum)

  • Aaron Seeto (Director, Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Nusantara (MACAN))

  • Chaired by Aaron Cezar (Director, Delfina Foundation)


  • Pro Helvetia Swiss Arts Council

  • Delfina Foundation

  • Samdani Art Foundation


The 2016 edition of the Samdani Art Award exhibition was guest curated by Daniel Baumann, Director of the Kunsthalle Zurich, assisted by Ruxmini Choudhury, Assistant Curator Samdani Art Foundation, and artist Ayesha Sultana. During the Summit, the jury selected Rasel Chowdhury as the recipient of the 2016 award.  Announced during the DAS 2016 Opening Dinner on the 5 February by Kiran Nadar, Chairperson of the Kiran Nadar Museum of Art and Trustee of the Shiv Nadar Foundation in New Delhi, Chowdhury received a six-week residency with the Delfina Foundation in London which he undertook in the Autumn of 2016.


Zihan Karim

Installation image of Viewers are Present (2016), in the Cheragi Art Show 5 exhibition. Courtesy of the artist.

b. 1986

Shumon Ahmed

Land of the Free (2009). Courtesy of the artist and Project88.

b. 1977, Dhaka

Shimul Shaha

It Seems to be Known (2016), back-lit x-ray plates. Courtesy of the artist.

b. 1983

Samsul Alam Helal

Runaway Lovers (15 September 2016), photography. Courtesy of the artist.

b. 1985

Salma Abedin Prithi

Dear love (2012), photography and text. Courtesy of the artist.

b. 1985, Dhaka

Rupam Roy

Liquidity of Sound (2016), marker pen wall drawing as part of an Open studio at Gyantapash Abdur Razzaq BidyaPeth organised by the Bengal Foundation. Courtesy of the artist.

b. 1983

Palash Bhattacharjee

Palash Bhattacharjee, As a matter of fact, Installation image of the exhibition "Speak" from DAS 2016, Courtesy of the artist

b. 1983, Chittagong

Rafiqul Shuvo

Installation view of Untitled (2014-2017), in the exhibition Speak, Lokal at Kunsthalle Zürich in 2017. Courtesy of the artist and Kunsthalle Zürich. Photo credit: Annik Wetter.

b. 1982, Dhaka

Gazi Nafis Ahmed

Coutesy of the artist.

Farzana Ahmed Urmi

known unknown 2 (2014), mixed media. Courtesy of the artist.

b. 1980, Khulna

Atish Saha (AKA. Ayon Rehal)

Installation view from DAS 2016

b. 1990, Dhaka

Ashit Mitra

Untitled (2015), etching on zinc plate printed on paper. Courtesy of the artist.

b. 1975, Dhaka
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