Delfina Foundation

Delfina Foundation & the Samdani Art Award

for emerging Bangladeshi artists

Delfina Foundation and Samdani Art Foundation has joined forces on the Samdani Art Award, which is the most prestigious art award in Bangladesh for artists aged 20-40.  This Bi-Annual award aims to support, promote and highlight emerging contemporary artists of Bangladesh.  Chaired by Aaron Cezar of Delfina Foundation, the esteemed international jury included curator Eungie Joo (Sharjah Biennial 12), Jessica Morgan (Tate Modern), Pooja Sood (Khoj International Artists' Association) and Sandhini Poddar (Guggenheim Museum).

The recipient of the award in 2014 is Ayesha Sultana for her remarkable body of painting, installation and works on paper that stood out as suggesting a real potential for future development.

The Samdani Art Award 2014 was one of the highlights of the 2nd Dhaka Art Summit, also organised by the Samdani Art Foundation in collaboration with Bangladesh National Academy of Fine and Performing Arts.  This pioneering platform is the first of its kind for Bangladesh and one of the largest platforms for South Asian art globally. The Summit is a non-profit initiative and an alternative to the art fair model, inviting the best artists and galleries from the region to exhibit free to the public. The 1st Edition of the Dhaka Art Summit was a ground-breaking initiative, which showcased more than 240 artists, and provided unprecedented access for international museums and collectors to discover Bangladeshi artists.  

The 2nd edition put an international focus to South Asian contemporary art practices. This unique non-commercial summit brought together over 250 established and emerging South Asian artists. The expanded programme included exciting presentations and several new commissions by artists of international critical acclaim including: Jitish Kallat, Shilpa Gupta, Rashid Rana, Shahzia Sikander, Mithu Sen, Naeem Mohaiemen, Tayeba Begum Lipi, and many more. The programme explored regional and international curatorial perspectives on South Asian art. The three day event this year was visited by over 70,000 people.

Curatorial interventions were also a major part of the 2nd Dhaka Art Summit and 6 curated exhibitions at the Shilpakala Academy focused on cutting edge practices, and showcased artists from the region. An exhibition of Bangladeshi Contemporary art, including some of the most exciting emerging artists, was curated by Deepak Ananth.  A ground breaking public art project using hundreds of road signs and billboards conceived by the globally acclaimed Raqs Media Collective and curated by Diana Campbell Betancourt challenged notions of time and space across the city of Dhaka.  Under Campbell Betancourt’s direction, 12 Solo Projects presented in depth perspectives to the work of some of the most visible artists from Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Myanmar and Afghanistan, most of which were large scale new commissions supported by the Samdani Art Foundation. The Summit presented performances and experimental film screenings by artists from the South Asian region, curated by Mahbubur Rahman, the Founder of Britto Arts Trust. Curator Rosa Maria Falvo presented an exhibition of Bangladeshi photography. Other curated exhibitions included established and emerging artists from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh.  The 2nd edition of Dhaka Art Summit also included a panel of talks focused on the development of South Asian art as well as its representation in museums around the world, presentations by over 30 invited galleries from the region, and a city wide programme of collateral events. More information at www.dhakaartsummit.org.