Dhaka Art Summit endsCulture Desk
The 2nd edition of the Dhaka Art Summit ended on Sunday with the hope of promoting the South Asian artists and art to the international market.
In the three-day programme, over 50,000 local and foreign visitors watched artworks of over 200 artists from South Asian countries including Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, the Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, claimed the organizers.
Samdani Art Foundation in collaboration with Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy organised the grand exhibition at the National Art Gallery of the academy featuring solo projects, curated exhibitions, a public art project, seminars, performance arts, experimental film screenings, and presentations by 33 local and international galleries.
A major attraction of the event was display of 14 internationally acclaimed South Asian artists including Rashid Rana, Shahzia Sikander, Shilpa Gupta, Jitish Kallat, Runa Islam, Rana Begum and Mahbubur Rahman.
In addition, 33 leading international artists’ organisations and galleries displayed their collections of the South Asian contemporary art in the respective pavilions.
There were also five curated shows featuring works of the leading Bangladeshi artists, top local photographers and three separate displays of emerging artists’ from Bangladesh, India and Pakistan.
Experimental film and performance art were presented.
The summit was also attended by the representatives from The British Museum, Tate Modern, Centre Pompidou and Solomon R Guggenheim Museum, among others.
In addition, three panel discussion sessions were held.
Young artist Ayesha Sultana won the second Samdani Art Award 2014, which will give her chance to attend at a three-month residency at the Delfina Foundation in London.
So, it can be said that the summit featuring displays and events as found in any international standard art exposition could attract attention of the wider range of visitors: from local art lovers to the representatives of the world famous art collectors and galleries.
‘I saw some amazing works in the summit. It’s brilliant. It should have continued for a longer period of time,’ Nusrat Jahan, a visitor who came with her husband at the exhibition, told New Age on Sunday.
The local artists considered the event as a platform for getting the international exposure. ‘Within just two years, Dhaka Art Summit has become an effective platform for the artists ’, said artist Tayeba Begum Lipi, who displayed her solo project in the summit.
‘I strongly believe that Dhaka Art Summit will help revive the contemporary art scenario of the south Asian region’, says Khaled Hasan, the winner of the First Samdani Art Award in 2012.
‘I’m happy that it has included all genres of fine arts’, said artist-filmmaker Khalid Mahamood Mithu.
Artist Prayut Kumar Das, whose work has been displayed by a local gallery, observed, ‘It’s a well organised event. But, the participation of the local artists could be included through a selection process.’
The foreign participants also expressed satisfaction. ‘[It is a] beautifully curated event and a chance for research for the artists and curators in the region,’ Lauren Cornell, curator of 2015 Triennial of the New York based New Museum, told New Age.
‘The summit, I hope, will introduce Bangladesh prominently in the contemporary global art scene ’, said Dr Ziba Ardalan, director of Parasol Unit, a London based art gallery.
The adjunct curator of Solomon R Guggenheim Museum andhini Poddar said, ‘The summit has flourished a lot only in the second edition, and I hope it will flourish more in the coming years.’
The representatives of the local and foreign galleries were also happy to be a part of the Dhaka Art Summit. ‘It was pleasant experience for me to take part in such a great art conference,’ said Priya Jhaveri, curator of the Mumbai based art gallery Jhaveri Contemporary that displayed works of three expatriate Bangladeshi artists.
The curator of the photography section of the 2nd Dhaka Art Summit Rosa Maria Falvo said, ‘It gave me a chance to display my curatorial work to the renowned artists and art collectors.’
‘The exhibition was a great success. It was such a jam-packed event that sometimes even the foreign delegates did not get room to watch the displays,’ said curator of the Dhaka Art Summit Diana Campbell Betancourt, who is also the artistic director of Samdani Art Foundation.
Diana Campbell Betancourt hopes to organise even a greater event in the upcoming third edition of the Dhaka Art Summit.
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