South Asian mosaic on Dhaka Art Summit palette

Indo Asian News Service

New Delhi, July 18 (IANS) The second edition of the Dhaka Art Summit will bring together cultural and artistic synergies of over 250 artists from Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Myanmar and Afghanistan.

"In our first edition, the focus was on promoting Bangladeshi artists. Not too many people were familiar with Bangladeshi art, but the summit changed the perception and the overwhelming response reaffirmed that we are heading in the right direction," Nadia Samdani, the founder and director of the summit, told IANS over phone from Dhaka.

The art biennial, organised by the Samdani Art Foundation in collaboration with Bangladesh's National Academy of Fine and Performing Arts, would be held from Feb 7 to 9, 2014.

"This time, we are concentrating more on the South Asian region. The model we follow is different from what is being followed at the art fairs in this region. Our focus is not galleries, we want to promote artists and solo projects," she added.

This is the reason why the 12 solo artists' project, six curated exhibitions, performances and experimental film screenings are an integral part of the itinerary, in which over 30 galleries are participating.

The congregation will include several new commissions by Jitish Kallat, Shilpa Gupta, Rashid Rana, Shahzia Sikander, Mithu Sen, Naeem Mohaiemen, Tayeba Begum Lipi and others.

Under the guidance and ideation of Diana Campbell Betancourt, public art projects and solo projects have been curated.

The public art project through the medium of road signs and billboards will challenge notions of time and space across the city in Dhaka -- an idea conceived by Delhi-based multi-discipline art collective Raqs Media Collective.

The solo projects will present in-depth perspectives of the artists' works while curated exhibitions at the Shilpakala Academy will focus on cutting-edge practices.

Indian artist Jitish Kallat will be using the new medium to exhibit his video titled "Breath".

Samdani also said the event was aimed at encouraging artists and overcoming the notion of art being a wealthy man's possession.

"We want to promote the idea that art doesn't belong to a certain section of the society. Art can be in many forms. We always had a market here, but it hasn't been promoted well. We are trying to do that bit," she concluded.