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  • Breathe In Breathe Out: Susan Philipsz

    ALL PROJECTS Breathe In Breathe Out: Susan Philipsz Pathshala South Asian Media Institute & Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy, 10 - 11 April 2017 As part of the Samdani Seminars 2017, Susan Philipsz conducted an open seminar for everyone to learn about her practice using sound and architecture at the Pathshala South Asian Media Institute. She then ran a half-day closed-door workshop along with her partner Eoghan James Mctigue at the Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy. The project was a collaboration between the Samdani Art Foundation and Goethe Institut, Dhaka. Through the seminar and workshop, Susan Philipsz explored acoustic properties of sounds and the relationship between sound and architecture. The workshop concentrated on sounds we make with our own bodies with a particular focus on breath as a metaphor for life and mortality. Breathing is a fundamental part of living, and it is something that unites us all. In classical music, wind instruments require the human breath to activate them. Philipsz wanted to develop a workshop where we use everyday objects to produce sound with our own breath. The workshop was conducted in two parts: PART I: BREATHE IN: INTERNAL SPACE, INTIMATE, CLOSENESS, DARK, QUIET, SOFT, LUNGS, THE BODY. During the workshop, the participants began by focusing on their own breath: how their diaphragm shifts as they expel air from the lungs, making each aware of his/her inner body space. The physicality of producing sound is particularly emphasised when people sing, and Philipsz chose to focus on sound as a sculptural experience. When sound is projected out into the room, the participants defined the space with sound, drawing attention to the architecture while heightening their sense of self within the space. PART II: BREATHE OUT: EXTERNAL SPACE, PUBLIC, OPEN, LIGHT, ARCHITECTURE, DISTANCE, IMMENSITY. The participants explored potential locations in their near-by surroundings with temporary play-back devices. They chose sites that have interesting architecture and acoustics such as corridors and stairwells. Everyone discussed each other's work in-situ and developed the workshop as a group. PARTNERS: Samdani Art FoundationGoethe Institut, Dhaka VENUE PARTNERS: Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy Pathshala South Asian Media Institute SUSAN PHILIPSZ Susan Philipsz has explored the psychological and sculptural potential of sound. She uses recordings, predominantly with her own voice. Creating immersive environments of architecture and song that intensify the audience’s interaction with their surroundings while allowing for insightful introspection. Philipsz often selects music ranging from sixteenth century ballads or Irish folk tunes to David Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust . The music is selected and responds to the space where the work is installed. While the works remain unique, all explores familiar themes of loss, longing, hope, and return. This creates a narrative that encourages personal reactions and also bridges gaps between the individual and the collective as well as interior and exterior spaces. Philipsz was born in 1965 in Glasgow and currently lives and works in Berlin. She received a BFA in Sculpture from Duncan of Jordanstone College in Dundee, Scotland in 1993, and an MFA from the University of Ulster in Belfast in 1994. In 2000, she completed a fellowship at MoMA P.S.1. in New York. She was the recipient of the 2010 Turner Prize and was shortlisted for the Glenfiddich Spirit of Scotland Award the same year. Philipsz's work has been exhibited globally at a number of institutions and venues. In 2012, she debuted a major work at dOCUMENTA (13) entitled Study for Strings , which was later featured at the Museum for Modern Art as a part of the group exhibition, Soundings: A Contemporary Score (2013). Philipsz has presented a number of solo exhibitions at institutions to include Museum Ludwig (2009), Cologne, Germany; Wexner Center for the Arts at Ohio State (2009-10) Columbus, OH; Aspen Art Museum (2010-11) in Aspen, Colorado; Museum of Contemporary Art (2011), Chicago; K21 Standehaus Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen (2013), Dusseldorf, Germany; the Carnegie Museum of Art (2013), Pittsburgh; and Hamburger Bahnhof (2014), Berlin. She has separately created installations for the 2007 Skulptur Projekte in Muenster, Germany and for the Carnegie Museum of Art’s 55th Carnegie International in 2008. Major commissions include Turner Prize-winning work for Glasgow International (2010); SURROUND ME: A Song Cycle for the City of London a public project organised by Artangel (2010-11) London; Day is Done , a permanent installation organised by the Trust for Governors Island that opened on Governors Island in New York (2014), and a project for the Grace Farms Foundation (2015) in New Canaan. Philipsz’s work can be found in the collections of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; The Tate, London; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid; Baltimore Museum of Art; Museum Ludwig, Cologne, Germany; Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh; Castello di Rivoli, Italy; and the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis.

  • Weaving Chakma

    ALL PROJECTS Weaving Chakma 2023 Thailand Biennale, Chiang Rai Pablo Bartholomew's ongoing work "Weaving Chakma" (2017-2018) commissioned for the Dhaka Art Summit 2018 is currently shown at the 2023 Thailand Biennale, Chiang Rai 2023 at Chiang Rai International Art Museum (CIAM). The first local curatorial team of Artistic Directors Rirkrit Tiravanija and Gridthiya Gaweewong , with Curators Angkrit Ajchariyasophon and Manuporn Luengaram , will be exploring the theme titled “The Open World” . Inspired by a Buddha statue from 13th century at Pa Sak temple in Chiang Saen, the “Open World” concept embodies wisdom, enlightenment, and the opening up of our perceptions of art and reality, prompting contemplation on envisioning a better future. Through several bodies of work created with indigenous communities in Noetheast India, Pablo Bartholomew has observed that these communities wear their cultural DNA through their clothing, ornamentation, and marking on their bodies; codes that they keep as a form of self-identity. In this work, Bartholomew traces the links between geographically fractured indigenous community/ethnic minority Chakma in Myanmar, India and Bangladesh.

  • The Asian Art Biennale in Context

    ALL PROJECTS The Asian Art Biennale in Context Curated by Diana Campbell Directly after DAS 2016, I spent two months as researcher in residence at the Fukuoka Asian Art Museum, looking to trace Fukuoka’s exhibitions of modern Bangladeshi art in the 1980s. Flipping through the extensive photo albums kept by museum staff from the time, I encountered installation images of Asian Artists Exhibition II—Festival: Contemporary Asian Art Show 1980 (known from here on out as the First Fukuoka Asian Art Show, Part II) from November 1980 which included works of art that were familiar to me from the storage of National Art Gallery Collection at the Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy. The haunting blue geometry of Safiuddin Ahmed’s 1979 painting Fishing Net exhibited not only at the 1 st Fukuoka Asian Art Show, Part II, but also at the First Asian Art Biennale in 1981, and DAS 2016 in Rewind . It became apparent that the exhibition histories between the Fukuoka Asian Art Museum (FAAM), the Asian Art Biennale and the Dhaka Art Summit (both hosted in the Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy) were intimately intertwined in ways not perceptible on the surface. A whole generation of Bangladeshi intellectuals was brutally massacred by the Pakistani military just two days before the country’s independence in 1971, and understandably investing in the regeneration of Bangladeshi culture was high on the national agenda. The Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy was founded by an act of Parliament in 1974, and the visionary and charismatic artist Syed Jahangir joined as its inaugural Director of Visual Arts in 1977, determined for Bangladeshi art to make a mark across the country and also internationally. In 1978, Jahangir quickly organized in Dresden what would be a traveling exhibition of Bangladeshi contemporary art, which inspired him to set up the visual arts department of the Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy as a collecting institution via the National Art Gallery collection. He traveled to India that same year to participate (as an exhibiting artist) in the fourth Triennale-India, where he was impressed by the Lalit Kala Akademi. Nevertheless, he decided to take his own institution in a different direction, looking instead to the East for inspiration, as many artists in previous generations in Bengal had done—from Nandalal Bose (1882–1996) to Abanindranath Tagore (1871–1951) to Mohammad Kibria (1929–2011), to name but a few of those who employed new strategies in their quests to create autonomous spaces for art. Jahangir visited Fukuoka twice in 1980 to prepare for the 1 st Fukuoka Asian Art Show, Part II, where he consulted on the participation of 28 Bangladeshi artists, including himself. It was during his first visit to Fukuoka during the Summer of 1980 were he first had the idea to start the Asian Art Biennale, which is the oldest Biennale of contemporary art to continue to exist in Asia, recently completing its 17 th edition. With strong support from the Bangladesh government and the foreign ministry, assisted by Farooq Sobhan (who is now chair of the board of the Samdani Art Foundation), it seemed the biennale was set to succeed in its January 1981 opening date. However, when Jahangir returned to Fukuoka in November 1980, with only two months to go until the Dhaka opening of the Asian Art Biennale, only three countries had agreed to participate in the platform. Jahangir networked with his fellow artists in Fukuoka, who through a form of radical generosity, agreed to initiate their countries’ participation outside of diplomatic channels. These networks forged in Fukuoka were pivotal to the success of the Asian Art biennale under Jahangir’s leadership; seminal figures from Southeast Asia such as Raymundo Albano (Philippines), Redza Piyadasa (Malaysia), Mochtar Apin (Indonesia), and Lain Singh Bangdel (Nepal) lent their talent as organizers to bring the best of their country’s artists into the fold of the Asian Art Biennale in Bangladesh. This speaks to the energy, drive, and gumption present among artist communities at the time to set up their own alignments outside of traditional and often colonial channels. We are pleased to show photographs reprinted from the archive of the Fukuoka Asian Art Museum chronicling the beginnings of these friendships that forged inter-Asia solidarity extending into Bangladesh. The Asian Art Biennale in Context at DAS 2018 presents all of the 27 works of Bangladeshi art that the Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy collected out of the first four Asian Art Biennales before Jahangir left his post soon after the 5 th edition in 1991. The acquisition committee was made up of a group of senior artists from the Academy, and therefore most of these 27 works were made by artists who were part of this system. With this in mind, the selection of works is not indicative of the spirit of the Bangladeshi participation as a whole at these Asian Art Biennales, with the exception of SM Sultan, Ratan Majumdar, Nurun Nahar Papa, Rasha, and Pramesh Kumar Mondol most of whom led more bohemian existences. Rattan Majumdar’s work stood out among the 28 artists exhibiting at the First Fukuoka Asian Art Show Part II. He was only 26 years old at the time, and also exhibited his melancholic prints at the Whitechapel Gallery that same year, and in Dresden two years earlier in the exhibition previously mentioned in this text. Notably absent from the contemporary art scene of Dhaka today, Majumdar has an incredible archive chronicling his early days as an emerging Bangladeshi artist supported by the Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy which we are pleased to show in this exhibition. In addition to the two bodies of work entitled Divided Society collected by the Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy in 1981 and 1989, we also exhibit his National Award-winning work Pleasure in Nudity from the National Art Exhibition in 1979, a testament to the kind of work the Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy was supporting at the time-- which some might consider radical for the context of today. Piecing together the narratives from the catalog essays of the first four Asian Art Biennales, it became apparent that works by international artists at the early shows were donated to the National Art Gallery collection, including the entire Philippine pavilion of 1983 curated by Raymundo Albano. After over a year of searching for these work in the collection storage, we are pleased to present 5 prints on wood collage by the award-winning Filipino printmaker Romulo Olazo, who also exhibited in the First Fukuoka Asian Art Show Part II in 1980. We also present one panel of a 1980 triptych An Afternoon for Bangladesh painted by Filipino artist Phyllis Zaballero, who met Jahangir in Fukuoka one month before painting this work specifically for the exhibition at the invitation of Raymundo Albano, knowing that it would be a donation. I interviewed Zaballero in her Manila studio and archive, and we present a view into the history behind this work and hope that the other two panels will soon be found. Interestingly, while the work was created in preparation for the first Asian Art Biennale in 1981, the Philippines did not exhibit a pavilion until 1983, and Zaballero’s work did not exhibit until 1986 in the third edition of the biennale organized after Albano’s death via the Cultural Center of the Philippines. The point of this exhibition is to highlight the collection within the Shilpakala Academy building that hosts the Dhaka Art Summit, pointing to a Golden Age of the institution under Jahangir’s leadership in the early stages of Bangladesh’s nation building process. The exhibition presents fragments of continuing strands of inquiry into Bangladesh’s role within a rich network of artists across Asia who were trying to build a space for artistic exchange outside of colonial paradigms and build strong and relevant institutions in their local contexts (such as Jahangir with the Shilpakala Academy, and Albano with the Cultural Centre of the Philippines). Dhaka Art Summit benefits from the incredible legacy of the Asian Art Biennale, and we look forward to continuing this research into its institutional history with other colleagues across Asia at a key moment in time when several of the protagonists of this story are still active. The young artists of Bangladesh today benefit from the international exposure that Jahangir and his collaborators created for them via this special biennale. Traces of the Asian Art Biennale can be found elsewhere in the Summit, and this biennale is certainly among the “gifts of the inferno” alluded to in Bearing Point 2. The inaugural panel in DAS’s auditorium talks program, Another Asia , features Syed Jahangir who will speak about his experience setting up the biennale. Jack Garrity of the Pacita Abad estate will discuss this pioneering Filipino Artist who exhibited in the 3 rd Asian Art Biennale, and Juneer Kibria will discuss his father Mohammad Kibria (also present in Planetary Planning) in a panel about transnational artistic and architectural practices that included Bangladesh. Bearing Point 4, includes the provocative Hostage series of Shahid Sajjad which exhibited in the 6 th Asian Art Biennale in 1993. A workshop on “forensic art history” will give local Bangladeshi art historians tools to further their inquiries into this fascinating period of Bangladeshi art history, and the Asian Art Biennale will also be addressed in the Scholar’s Weekend via the symposium Displays of Internationalism. This presentation would not have been possible without the following individuals and institutions who supported us with time, access, and encouragement: Fukuoka Asian Art Museum Raiji Kuroda Rina Igarashi Syed Jahangir Yasunaga Koichi Patrick Flores Rattanamol Singh Johal Rattan Mojumder Marga Villanueva Storage staffs from Shilpakala Phyllis Zaballero Liaquat Ali Lucky Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy Asian Art Biennale Will Smith, Art in America Md. Muniruzzaman Artists Abdus Sattar (B. 1979, Barisal, Bangladesh, lives and works in Dhaka, Bangladesh) Abdus Sattar is a well-known oriental art practitioner and honorary professor at the Department of Oriental Art, University of Dhaka. In his early artistic life he has been trained by Somnath Hore as a print maker but chose to focus on the unexplored areas of oriental art in this country. Alok Roy The Man – I, (1983) Burnt clay Courtesy of the Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy, Dhaka Alok Roy’s The Man – I presents a study of the human condition in the fragile and difficult medium of burnt clay. Roy’s forms fold and collapse into themselves, seemingly on the verge of disappearance. The central form encompasses a human head, caught mid-scream, alluding to a sense of collective suffering and trauma. Aminul Islam (b. 1931, Tetia, Bengal Presidency, British India, d. 2011, Dhaka, Bangladesh) Reflections and Reality, 1976 Painting and collage (mirror) Courtesy of the Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy, Dhaka Aminul Islam was an active member of leftist political and cultural organizations, which heavily influenced his practice. Reflection and Real uses the language of geometric abstraction to produce social critique, meditating on the perceived versus the reality of a society. The collage presents a shattered surface, that reflects and multiplies itself over and over again, speaking to fractures in society that reproduce themselves in every generation. The artist presented a similar work at the first Fukuoka Asian Art Show, Part II in 1980. Bonizul Huq Love of Tree, 1983 Oil on Canvas Courtesy of the Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy, Dhaka Banizul Huq’s Shadow – I presents an image that is fills one with both a sense of foreboding, and calm. Huq abstracts from the form of a banyan tree around which cattle are huddled; the banyan tree occupies an important position in the vernacular spiritual beliefs of South Asia, where it is seen as both a repository of wisdom, and also the dwelling-place of ghosts. The cows, which are also important symbols in Hindu beliefs, that huddle at its base seem to be ghostly presences, occupying a metaphysical realm, rather than one of reality. Hamiduzzaman Khan (b.1946, Kishoreganj, Bangladesh, lives and works in Dhaka, Bangladesh) Remembrance-III ’71 (1980) Brass Courtesy of the Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy, Dhaka Hamiduzzaman Khan’s Remembrance-III ’71 memorializes all those who lost their lives during the Bangladesh War of Liberation. The sculpture depicts a frail yet resolute figure, clad in only a dhoti, standing a shattered door, riddled with bullet-holes, celebrating the resolve of the freedom fighters in the face of horrific violence. Hashi Chakraborty (b. 1948, Chittagong, Bangladesh- d.2014, Chittagong) Memory – 15, 1983 Courtesy of the Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy, Dhaka Hashi Chakraborty’s work reflects a deep romanticism, drawing on influences from both cubist and folk modes of painting. Chakraborty creates a creates a dream-like space where floating shapes interact with each other to suggest emergent forms. He explores the idea of memory and inspiration found in romantic poetry, as the space where past experiences spontaneously emerge and play themselves out. Kazi Abdul Baset (b. 1935, Dhaka, Bengal Presidency, British India, d. 2002, Dhaka) Painting-I (1980) Courtesy of the Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy, Dhaka Kazi Abdul Baset’s work occurs on the border between abstraction and figuration, drawing equally from his exposure to Abstract Expressionism, which he had encountered while studying at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago from 1963-64, and Bengali folk forms. In Painting-I we find traces of the handling of colour by artists such as Mark Rothko, where abstract fields of pigment are layered to create a sense of depth. Baset’s painting creates an energetic encounter between different coloured fields, interrupted by a smoke-like column which imbues the work with a sense of urgency. Baset’s painting reflects a strong desire to modes of abstraction beyond those already established in the West. Mansur Ul Karim (b. 1950, Rajbari, Bangladesh; lives and works in Chittagong) Open Window and Chair, 1983 Oil painting Courtesy of the Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy, Dhaka Mansur Ul Karim uses both abstract and figurative modes within his paintings, which draw their inspiration from the landscape of Bangladesh. Open Window and Chair presents a vantage point from which to view a rapidly changing world; energetic brushwork and composition creates the impression of a rapidly transforming space. Karim views these changes favourably, even romantically, pointing to the openness with which artists of his generation embraced cross-cultural exchanges. Mohammad Kibria (b. 1929 in Birbhum, British India; d. 2011 in Dhaka) Painting-V (1980) Oil on canvas Courtesy of the Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy, Dhaka Mohammad Kibria was a master of abstraction, whose paintings delve into the realm of pure colour. Painting-V explores the tension between hard and soft forms produced by placing various shades of earth brown side-by-side, and plays with varying levels of luminousity that appear through these juxtapositions. This work, as in most of the paintings he created, references entropy in nature found when moss or other natural materials grow on man-made structures, inspired zen philosophy that he encountered during his time studying in Japan. This painting exhibited both in the first Fukuoka Asian Art Show, Part II in 1980 and two months later at the first Asian Art Biennale in Dhaka in 1981 before entering the collection of the Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy. Nitun Kundu (B. 1935, Dinajpur district, Bengal Presidency, British India- D. 2006, Dhaka) Homage to the Martyrs Bronze Courtesy of the Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy, Dhaka Through this sculpture, Nitin Kundu pays homage to the martyrs of the Bangladesh Liberation War of 1971. He creates an ascendant column, which spirals towards the sky, memorializing the heavy price of freedom paid by those who were killed, and their lofty aspirations. This sculpture exhibited both in the first Fukuoka Asian Art Show, Part II in 1980 and two months later at the first Asian Art Biennale in Dhaka in 1981 before entering the collection of the Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy. Qayyum Chowdhury (B. 1932, Feni, Bengal Presidency, British India- D. 2014, Dhaka) My Village (1977) Oil on canvas Courtesy of the Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy, Dhaka Nature plays a key role in Qayyum Chowdhury’s stylized abstract paintings. His lyrical painting My Village, depicts a romantic vision of village life in harmony with the rhythms of the sun and the tides, referencing strongly the landscape of Bengal whose lush green expanses are riddled with small, snaking bodies of water. Rafiqun Nabi (B. 1943, Chapai Nawabganj, Bengal Presidency, British India, lives and works in Dhaka, Bangladesh) The Poet (1980) Wood-block print Courtesy of the Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy, Dhaka Known as a painter, print-maker and illustrator, Nabi’s work references the vernacular forms of Bengal to create compositions with a strong narrative component. In The Poet, Nabi celebrates the Romantic ideal of the poet finding inspiration in nature, paying tribute to figures such as Rabindranath Tagore and Jibanananda Das whose work served as inspiration during the Language Movement (Bhasha Andolon) which ultimately led to the establishment of the nation of Bangladesh. Rasha Life II, 1983 wood Courtesy of the Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy, Dhaka Akhtar Ahmed Rasha, known as Rasha, uses found pieces of wood to realize his sculptural forms, which often follow the shapes of the wood itself. In this work, Rasha depicts the hardships of a new nation, and the struggles before it: a figure crouches, with an alms bowl before him, and an old man leans heavily on his staff; towering above them, however, we see the face of a man, looking ahead, illustrating the artist’s hope for the future. The work won the Grand Prize of the 3rd Asian Art Biennale in Dhaka, after which it entered the collection of the Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy. S.M. Sultan (b. 1923, Narail District - d. 1994, Jessore) First Plantation (1975) Natural Pigment on canvas Courtesy of the Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy, Dhaka S.M. Sultan is known for his energetic style, weaving together multiple sources of inspiration, and his paintings of Bangladeshi agricultural workers, whose figures he renders with exaggerated musculature. Sultan’s First Plantation, which depicts farmers in the act of sowing seeds, bursts with a sense of anticipation and optimism, reflecting his hopes for the new nation of Bangladesh, which became independent only a few years before this painting was finished. This work marked a shift in his practice as he was previously known as a landscape painter, and this monumental and iconic figure appears in the many works he made post 1975. Safiuddin Ahmed (b. 1922, Calcutta, British India; d. 2012, Dhaka) Fishing Net (1979) Oil on canvas Courtesy of the Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy, Dhaka Safiuddin Ahmed’s work references the strong linearity and bold use of colour found in the indigenous visual practices of the Santhal communities of Santiniketan, among whom he spent many of his early years. Fishing Net speaks to the intimate relationship between man and nature in village life in Bengal, depicting the gleam of the fresh catch as is lies in the fisherman’s net. Water is a recurring theme across the artist’s work as the impact of the 1974 flood was emblazoned into his imagination. This painting exhibited both in the first Fukuoka Asian Art Show, Part II in 1980 and two months later at the first Asian Art Biennale in Dhaka in 1981 before entering the collection of the Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy. Shahabuddin Ahmed (b. 1950, Dhaka, lives and works between Dhaka, Bangladesh and Paris, France) First Step (1986) Oil on canvas Courtesy of the Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy Shahabuddin Ahmed’s work is heavily influenced by the violence he saw first-hand when he served in the Mukti Bahini during the Bangladesh Liberation War. Ahmed’s energetic, almost violent, brushwork in First Step visualizes his exuberant hopes for the future of the new nation of Bangladesh, created during the 15th anniversary of its independence. Sultanul Islam Life Circle (1985) Concrete Courtesy of the Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy Sultanul Islam’s sculpture Life Circle explores the cyclic nature of life and death, and of the pain of existence, drawing from Buddhist beliefs which have become part of vernacular mythology in South Asia. Islam’s crouching figure, which seems simultaneously on the verge of life and death, becomes a representation of the notion of samsara, which binds us to our mortal desires. A similar sculpture is found in the collection of the Bangladesh National Museum. Syed Jahangir (b. 1935, Satkhira, Bengal Presidency, British India, lives and works in Dhaka, Bangladesh) Soul Seeker – II Oil on canvas Courtesy of the Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy Syed Jahangir draws inspiration from the landscape of Bangladesh, and his trips to the Rangamati in the Chittagong Hill Tracts, to produce meditative and metaphysical paintings. Soul Seeker continues this spiritual search for the heart of the country, creating forms that resist easy resolution, but rather seem to keep unfolding before our eyes, pointing to the never-ending nature of the search. Intuition and knowledge that exists outside of reason are another concern of Jahangir’s early works, which is also alluded in the title of this series of works, “Soul Seeker.” Syed Jahangir was instrumental in setting up the first Asian Art Biennale and creating networks across Asia, many of which began during his time spent in Fukuoka preparing for the first Fukuoka Asian Art Show, Part II, 1980.

  • Where Do The Ants Go? at the Horst Arts and Music Festival

    ALL PROJECTS Where Do The Ants Go? at the Horst Arts and Music Festival Brussels Afrah Shafiq collaborated with BC Materials to develop a new outdoor version of her existing work, using earth blocks as the main building material for the Horst Arts and Music Festival in Brussels. The project "Where Do The Ants Go?" is evolving across various geographies and social contexts, involving new participants and bringing fresh cultural perspectives and curatorial insights as it travels from its debut at the 2023 Dhaka Art Summit with curatorial support from Diana Campbell, Fernanda Brenner, Chus Martinez, Daniel Baumann, and Iaroslav Volovod, through the end of 2024 via the To-Gather platform facilitated by the Swiss Arts Council, Pro Helvetia. The anthill changes its form in each iteration, adapting to the unique environment and context of each location. The partnership with Horst was curated by our Artistic Director, Diana Campbell, and is part of the ongoing development of this work. This process began with the original iteration for the Dhaka Art Summit 2023 and continues towards the creation of a permanent outdoor version of the work in Sylhet, our permanent home at Srihatta - the Samdani Art Centre and Sculpture Park in Bangladesh. This pavilion project is co-financed by the VLAIO Living Lab Earth Blocks. Jeremy Waterfield, Bregt Hoppenbrouwers ( @bcmaterials_org ) and Theresa Zschäbitz (BC architects/ Junior Professorship act of building) worked together to translate Shafiq's vision into a structure of compressed earth blocks, reused wood and prefabricated thatch elements in close collaboration with HORST Ateliers, @ vlaio.be and @democogroup . Forty-five students from BC's Junior Professorship act of building have been working on the construction plan since March and built the pavilion together.

  • Let me get you a nice cup of tea

    ALL PROJECTS Let me get you a nice cup of tea Tate, London Yasmin Jahan Nupur’s work "Let me get you a nice cup of tea' 2019-2020 acquired by Tate, is currently on display at the Tate Modern. While she joins a great group of Bangladeshi artists in the collection, she is the first Bangladeshi artist whose work is being displayed at Tate as part of their permanent collection. This is a historic moment we are proud to be a part of - especially when it comes to mediums like performance which are not always the most simple works to collect. SAF worked on this project curatorially to support Yasmin Jahan Nupur from the start of an idea as one of the first DAS 2020 commissions to a presentation in our Artisitc Director Diana Campbell’s Frieze London program for Frieze LIVE in 2019 developed in partnership with a research residency DAS facilitated with Peabody Essex, further working with the artist as her ideas expanded into what was experienced at DAS 2020. Exhibit320 supported the initial presentation in London and so many people from around the world contributed to the development of this live piece through sharing their research knowledge.

  • Stepping Softly on the Earth 

    ALL PROJECTS Stepping Softly on the Earth Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art Gidree Bawlee and Kamruzzaman Shadhin’s ongoing collaborative project ‘Kaal’ explores how we perceive time, our place within its tapestry, and how these rhythms manifest in our narratives and practices. Informed by rituals, beliefs, and mythologies that persist across generations, the community-engaged project ‘Kaal’ is a study of our surroundings where past and present intertwine, and a dialogue between our shared history and the unfolding present. It’s a journey through time’s knotted and unraveled threads, seeking the enduring connections that bind us all. The first iteration of ‘Kaal’ is ‘Pala,’ showcasing at the Stepping Softly on the Earth exhibition curated by Irene Aristizábal and Kinnari Saraiya. Pala seven intricately woven jute figures echoing the ‘Bishahari Pala’ performance, which blurs the lines between human and non-human realities. Woven by the village community in a collaborative spirit, the work captures the collective essence of participation and shared narratives. This exhibition is supported by Pro Helvetia, Jhaveri Contemporary, and Samdani Art Foundation. Stepping Softly on the Earth evolved from Baltic’s Research and Development project Cosmovisions on Land and Entangled Futures . With additional support from the British Council through an International Collaboration Project Grant towards the research and development project titled Cosmovisions on Land and Entangled Futures.

  • Choreographies of the Impossible, 35ª Bienal de São Paulo

    ALL PROJECTS Choreographies of the Impossible, 35ª Bienal de São Paulo 6 September- 10 December 2023, Sao Paulo, Brazil Ellen Gallagher’s work Watery Ecstatic (RA 18h 35m 37.73s D37° 22’ 31.12’), 2017 from the collection of Samdani Art Foundation is being shown at the 35th edition of Sao Paulo Biennial from 6 September to 10 December 2023.

  • Contact | Samdani Art Foundation

    Contact Us Don't hesitate to reach out to us. Use the form below to say hello, ask questions, or share your thoughts. First name Last name Email* Phone Message* Submit Location Tel: +8802 8878784-7 Fax: +8802 887 8204 info@samdani.com.bd Level 5, Suite 501 & 502, Shanta Western Tower, 186 Gulshan – Tejgaon Link Road, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. SAF Office 01 sazzad@samdani.com.bd +8801777763430 Sazzad Hossain Head of Administration Press Contact 02

  • Partners | Samdani Art Foundation

    Partners The Samdani Art Foundation is proud to have partnered with the following organisations and institutions on its various initiatives.

  • Art Award 2016 | Samdani Art Foundation

    Rasel Chowdhury b. 1981, Noakhali WINNER 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 INTERVIEW SELECTION COMMITTEE 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) IN PARTNERSHIP WITH 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. SAMDANI ART AWARD 2016 SHORTLIST 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 2023 2020 2018 2016 2014 2012 Award Archive

  • Art Award 2020 | Samdani Art Foundation

    Soma Surovi Jannat b. 1990 in Dhaka, lives and works in Dhaka, Bangladesh WINNER Soma Surovi Jannat works with illustration, drawing and painting. Her work bridges different stimuli from her surroundings, aiming to depict what often are grim circumstances through an optimistic lens. Jannat transforms her two-dimensional works into installations, developing a visual language that allows the viewer to perceive the presence and correlation of different elements across varied circumstances. Numerous facets with individual storylines are joined to present a dominant narrative, which allows for the experience of a complex visual illusion. Interaction, collaboration and social engagement are characteristic of her working process. Samdani Art Award 2020 The 2020 Samdani Art Award was curated by Philippe Pirotte, supported by Goethe Institut. The winner was selected by a jury chaired by Aaron Cezar of Delfina Foundation with Adrián Villar Rojas, Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev, Julie Mehretu, and Sunjung Kim. The 2020 Samdani Art Award was curated by Philippe Pirrote and the winner was Soma Surovi Jannat. This was also the first time a Jury Award was provided to Promiti Hossain. Promiti Hossain b. 1991 in Dhaka, lives and works between Dhaka, Bangladesh and Shantiniketon, India JURY AWARD WINNER Promiti Hossain’s artistic practice is comprised of drawing, painting and collage. Her work addresses her private experience as well as the subjectivity of gender. The constant news stories of gender-based violence against women and children, which she comes across daily, inspire her to draw attention to the struggles women face in the world. Her anatomic-style ink drawings of insects, flowers, and the female body allow marks and mistakes to represent the challenges women face in society. SAMDANI ART AWARD 2020 SHORTLIST Zihan Karim Zihan Karim, Last Five Minutes of Xiluo Theatre, 2016–2020, video Installation b. 1984 in Chattogram, lives and works in Chattogram, Bangladesh Tahia Farhin Haque ahia Farhin Haque, Shadows of A Wooden House, 2019–ongoing, photography. b. 1996 in Dhaka, lives and works in Dhaka, Bangladesh Sumana Akter Sumana Akhter, Look Back – Part 2, 2018–2020, clay b. 1983 in Narayanganj, lives and works in Narayanganj, Bangladesh Sounak Das Networking Realm, 2018–2020. mixed media installation b. 1993 in Dhaka, lives and works in Dhaka, Bangladesh Palash Bhattacharjee Palash Bhattacharjee, Pass, 2019 Two channel video, installation b. 1983 in Chattogram, lives and works in Chattogram, Bangladesh Najmun Nahar Keya Najmun Nahar Keya, The Spell Song, 2019, handwoven Tangail Sari b. 1980 in Dhaka, lives and works in Dhaka, Bangladesh Habiba Nowrose Habiba Nowrose, Life of Venus, 2019–ongoing, photography b. 1989 in Sirajganj, lives and works in Dhaka, Bangladesh Faiham Ebna Sharif Faiham Ebna Sharif, Cha Chakra: Tea Tales Of Bangladesh, 2016–ongoing, photography b. 1985 in Dhaka, lives and works in Dhaka, Bangladesh Ashfika Rahman Ashfika Rahman, Redeem, 2019, mixed media installation b.1988, Dhaka, lives and works in Dhaka, Bangladesh Ariful Kabir Ariful Kabir, 3.5 seconds, 2020, performance and installation, mixed media b. 1990 in Chattogram, lives and works in Besancon, France 2023 2020 2018 2016 2014 2012 Award Archive

  • 'Introduction to Council'- A Presentation by Sandra Terdjman and Grégory Castéra

    ALL PROJECTS 'Introduction to Council'- A Presentation by Sandra Terdjman and Grégory Castéra The Samdani Residence, and Alliance Francaise De Dhaka, 21 - 22 March 2015 On 21st March 2015, Sandra Terdjman and Grégory Castéra presented Council to the Samdani Seminars participant artists in an informal gathering at Samdani Space, Golpo. On 22nd March, Introduction to Council was held at the Alliance Française de Dhaka. Council explores modes of composition through the arts, scholarly and scientific research, and civil society in order to propose new representations of social issues. The three schemes (inquiries, productions, fellows) bring together networks of concerned artists, researchers, citizens, and institutions.

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