Dhaka Art Summit begins

Dhaka Art Summit begins

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Dhaka, Feb 2 – The 4th edition of the Dhaka Art Summit (DAS) began at Bangladesh Shilapkala Academy (BSA) on Friday.
Samdani Art Foundation arranged the event highlighting the dynamic evolution of art in contemporary South Asia and reviving historical inter-Asian modes of exchange.Finance Minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith was present as the chief guest while Cultural Affairs Minister Asaduzzaman Noor and Information Minister Hasanul Haque Inu were present as special guests.
Chairman of organising committee of Dhaka Art Summit Farooq Sobhan, BSA Director General Liakat Ali Laki, Samdani Art Foundation Co-Founder Rajeeb Samdani and Director Nadia Samdani were present at the opening ceremony.
“There are many ancient and traditional history of painting in our country. This history has to be put forward in front of everyone. The history of South Asia exhibition will also be highlighted. As a result, this Summit will open new horizons of South Asian art,” the Finance Minister said while addressing the inauguration of Dhaka Art Summit.
The opening performance of ‘A Utopian Stage: Below the Levels Where Differences Appear’ was held from 10:00am to 11:30am at the entrance of festival’s building by Reetu Sattar (Lost Tune) co-commissioned by Samdani Art Foundation and Liverpool Biennial in association with Archaeology of the Final Decade A Utopian Stage.
The stage was the presentation of a series of contemporary live performances and film screenings that respond to the transcendental spirit of exchange between Asian and European/American expressions at the festival of Arts, Shiraz-Persepolis between 1967 and 1977. A project of Archaeology of the Final Decade is curated by Iranian Vali Mahlouji.
The performance with 30 musicians and 30 harmoniums enthralled the visitors and art lovers.
The DAS 2018 will feature both an opening celebration weekend (February 2–4) and a closing Scholars’ Weekend (February 8–10) for the first time with several tiers of new programmes slated for both.
The organiser said that DAS is unique in its ability to be a true hub for art and architecture related to South Asia. Following the success of past editions, DAS 2018 will extend its duration of exhibitions and programmes by nine days, and will, for the first time, widen its focus to create new connections between South, Southeast Asia, and the Indian Ocean belt.
They also informed that over 300 artists from 35 countries will be featured in 10 curated exhibitions and will be led by chief curator Diana Campbell Betancourt who is also the artistic director of Samdani Art Foundation joined by guest curators. Over 120 speakers will participate in 16-panel discussions and two symposiums that will strive to ground future developments of art in South Asia within the region’s rich, yet lesser-known, past.
For this fourth edition, the programme looks at Bangladesh in relation to both South and Southeast Asia and providing an unprecedented focus on lesser-known art histories of Sri Lanka and cultures flattened out by nation-building activities in the region, an in-depth examination of exhibition histories in South Asia, and for the first time an engagement with Iran and Turkey.
Organisers also informed, “This edition’s attractions include the participation of almost 100 Bangladeshi artists, 12 Bangladeshi artistes led organisation´s participation. Internationals guests-curators, artists, writers and speakers from around the world have already started to arrive, and it is expected that this edition of the Summit will have over 1,200 international visitors.”
Director of Samdhani Art Foundation Nadia Samdani said, “One of the main purposes of the Dhaka Art Summit is to create an international platform for Bangladeshi artists. As a part of this, the fourth edition of the Summit includes an exhibition of one of the oldest biennales in the region, the Asian Art Biennale.
She added that focusing on Dhaka as a longstanding place of innovation within the arts, DAS 2018 will feature an exhibition exploring the history of the Asian Art Biennale, drawing from the collection of the Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy and the archive of the Fukuoka Asian Art Museum, Japan – Artists Shahabuddin, Shafiuddin Ahmed, S M Sultan and many others. The legacy of this exhibition and inter-Asia exchange will be addressed across DAS’s programme of talks and symposiums.”
Mentioning Dhaka Art Summit as the world’s largest platform for South Asian art and architecture, Samdani Art Foundation co-founder Rajeeb Samdani said, “ The summit not only features paintings and sculptures but also new media installations, video art, and a rich and diverse performance programme, one of the main attractions, being the stage cladding the entrance of the Shilpakala Academy.”
This time 55 international organisations are partnering in the Dhaka Art Summit 2018 along with the Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy, the country’s National Academy of Fine and Performing Arts, with the support of the Cultural Affairs and Information Ministries, the National Tourism Board, the Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (BIDA), and the Bangladesh National Museum.
This is the third Summit led by Samdani Art Foundation Artistic Director, Diana Campbell Betancourt, who returns as the Chief Curator of DAS 2018.
The Summit is free to the public and ticketless. – UNB

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