The third edition of the Dhaka Art Summit, deemed the biggest festival of South Asian Art, begins today at the Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (BSA). Organised by the Samdani Art Foundation in official partnership with BSA and supported by the ministry of Cultural Affairs, this year the festival expands to four days (February 5-8) and has a plethora of activities, including art exhibits, performance pavilions, a film programme, book launches, panel talks and a children's workshop. Here is a glimpse of what is happening. Apart from some presentations and book launches scheduled at the VIP Lounge (at Le Meridien hotel), all other activities are at the BSA, and are open to all from 10am-9pm. Here is a glimpse of all the happenings, while a detailed programme guide can be downloaded from dhakaartsummit.org.
The exhibitions are broadly divided in six sections: “Solo Projects” (curated by Diana Campbell Betancourt) focuses on works reconfigured within the Bangladeshi context, celebrating pluralism. The “Rewind” section (advised by Sabih Ahmed, Amara Antilla, Diana Campbell Betancourt and Beth Citron) highlights 12 artists active before the 1980s. “The Missing One” (curated by Nada Raza) features works by Bangladeshi and foreign artists, inspired by a Bangla sci-fi story by JC Bose and a watercolour by Gaganendranath Tagore. This exhibit will have a suuplementary activity, a Poetry trail, organised by the British Council. “Mining Warm Data” (curated by Diana Campbell Betancourt) features works by South Asian artists and their diaspora, radiating around Mariam Ghani and Chitra Ganesh's chapter of “Index of the Disappeared”. “Architecture in Bangladesh” (curated by Aurlien Lemonier, Centre Pompidou) honours works by visionary architect Muzharul Islam, with works by 19 Bangladeshi architects. The “Performance Pavilion: Shifting Sands Sifting Hands” (curated by Nikhil Chopra, Madhavi Gore and Jana Prepeluh) approaches contemporary critiques of performance art within the institution and an object-oriented art world. “Soul Searching” (curated by Md. Muniruzzaman) looks into the roots of Bangladeshi art, and features works by prominent and promising artists alike.