Entry Points: Charting Bangladeshi Art History via Asia
The Courtauld Institute of Art, Somerset House, Strand, London
Friday 6 October 2017
PLEASE NOTE: This Date Has Passed
6:30 pm - 8:00 pm
Kenneth Clark Lecture Theatre, The Courtauld Institute of Art, Somerset House, Strand, London, WC2R 0RN
- Diana Campbell Betancourt - Chief Curator of the Dhaka Art Summit & Artistic Director of the Samdani Art Foundation, Dhaka
- Professor Deborah Swallow - The Courtauld Institute of Art, London
- Dr Zehra Jumabhoy - The Courtauld Institute of Art, London
The Dhaka Art Summit was born in 2012, out of the collectors Nadia and Rajeeb Samdani’s desire to create a platform where artists from across South Asia could come together in Bangladesh. The Summit aims to showcase Bangladesh’s dynamic art scene as well as to forge conversations between local and international art communities; attempting to re-orientate a previously Indo-centric conversation about South Asia.
Diana Campbell Betancourt, Chief Curator of the Dhaka Art Summit, will trace the evolution of platforms for artists in Bangladesh up till, and including, the establishment of the Summit. She will discuss the establishment of Charukala, by Zainul Abedin in 1948; the founding of the Asian Art Biennale by Syed Jahangir in 1981 (the oldest biennial of Contemporary Art to still exist in Asia) as well as the formation of the Chobi Mela by Shahidul Alam in 2000. Betancourt will argue that all these initiatives sought to give agency to Bangladeshi artists; allowing them to develop aesthetic narratives rooted in the socio-cultural contexts of Bengal and Asia. After all, Bangladesh was born in 1971 – the young and unique nation breaking away from Pakistan because of its desire to speak its own language.
Betancourt’s talk will be followed by a Q & A led by Prof. Sarah Wilson.
Diana Campbell Betancourt is the Artistic Director of the Samdani Art Foundation in Dhaka and the Chief Curator of the Dhaka Art Summit in Bangladesh as well as the founding Artistic Director of Bellas Artes Projects, a non-profit foundation which hosts international residencies in a collection of heritage architecture in Bataan, Philippines. Under her leadership, DAS has become a leading research and exhibitions platform for art from South Asia. She developed and refined DAS into a new philanthropic platform to shift the discourse away from an Indo-centric one, bringing together artists, architects, curators, and writers from across South Asia where new work and exhibitions are born in Bangladesh.