Nadia Samdani | DIRECTOR
Nadia Samdani is the Co-Founder and President of the Samdani Art Foundation and Director of the Dhaka Art Summit. In 2011, she and her husband Rajeeb began the Samdani Art Foundation to support local artists and promote Bangladeshi and South Asian art in the region and around the world. As part of this initiative, she founded the Dhaka Art Summit, which has since completed three successful editions in 2012 and 2014 under her leadership. Nadia is a member of Tate’s South Asia Acquisitions Committee, Tate's International Council, Art Dubai’s Advisory Council, Alserkal Avenue’s Programming Committee, and is part of Parasol Unit’s International Committee. Most recently she has been named as one of the founding members of Harvard University’s, South Asia Institute Art Council, and awarded the Montblanc de la Culture Arts Patronage Award 2017.
Nadia is a second-generation collector and began her own collection at the age of 22. She collects both Bangladeshi and international art, reflecting her experience as both a proud Bangladeshi and a global citizen. She has written about collecting for Art Asia Pacific, Wall Street Journal ‘Live Mint’, and has been invited to speak about collecting at various international art fairs. Nadia has been named one of the Top 200 Collectors by Artnews, included in Art Review’s Power 100 in 2015 and 2016, and ArtNet News World's Top 100 Art Collectors in 2016. Her collection has been featured in many leading international publications.
Rajeeb Samdani | Co-Founder
Rajeeb Samdani is the Co-Founder and a Trustee of the Samdani Art Foundation and is the Managing Director of Golden Harvest Group, one of the leading diversified conglomerates in Bangladesh. Golden Harvest is involved in several sectors including: food processing, dairy, commodities, logistics, information technology, real estate, aviation and insurance. In addition to his philanthropy with art, Rajeeb is the Secretary General of the Bangladesh Human Rights Foundation, one of the largest Human Rights organisation in the country, and founder of the Taher Ahmed Chowdhury Charitable Hospital in the city of Sylhet, and the Alvina Samdani Trust.
Rajeeb is an ardent collector of contemporary art and began collecting with his wife Nadia Samdani, with whom he founded the Samdani Art Foundation in 2011. Their collection was featured as one of the top 200 collections globally by Artnews in 2015, and named as one of the Top200 Collectors by Artnews, included in Art Review’s Power 100 in 2015 and 2016, and ArtNet News World's Top 100 Art Collectors in 2016, and their collection has been featured in many leading international publications. Mr. Samdani is the Co-Chair and a founding committee member of Tate’s South Asian Acquisitions Committee, a member of Tate's International Council, Art Dubai’s Advisory Council, and Alserkal Avenue’s Programming Committee. Most recently, he has been named as one of the founding members of Harvard University’s, South Asia Institute Art Council, and awarded the Montblanc de la Culture Arts Patronage Award 2017.
Diana Campbell Betancourt | Artistic Director / Chief Curator
Diana Campbell Betancourt is a Princeton educated American curator who has been working in South and Southeast Asia since 2010 - primarily in India, Bangladesh, and the Philippines - and is now based between Brussels and Dhaka. Since 2013, she has served as the Founding Artistic Director of the Samdani Art Foundation and Chief Curator of the Dhaka Art Summit, leading the critically acclaimed 2014, 2016, and 2018 editions. Campbell has developed the Dhaka Art Summit into a leading research and exhibitions platform for art from South Asia, bringing together artists, architects, curators, and writers from across South Asia through a largely commission based model where new work and exhibitions are born in Bangladesh, and has realised significant projects with artists such as Raqib Shaw (co-curated with Maria Balshaw), Tino Seghal, Lynda Benglis, Raqs Media Collective, Shahzia Sikander, Shilpa Gupta, Haroon Mirza, and many others through this unique platform. In addition to her exhibitions making practice, Campbell is responsible for developing the Samdani Art Foundation collection and drives its international collaborations ahead of opening the foundation’s permanent home, Srihatta - Samdani Art Centre and Sculpture Park, opening in Sylhet in early 2019.
Concurrent to her work in Bangladesh from June 2016-June 2018, Campbell Betancourt was also the Founding Artistic Director of Bellas Artes Projects in the Philippines, a non-profit international residency and exhibition programme with sites in Manila and Bataan where she curated Bruce Conner’s first major solo exhibition in Asia as well exhibitions of new work by artists such as Pawel Althamer, Cian Dayrit, Isabel and Alfredo Aquilizan, among others. She remains an advisor to Bellas Artes Projects, and she chairs the board of the Mumbai Art Room, one of India’s leading non-profit spaces. In 2018, she was appointed curator of Frieze Projects in London. Her writing has been published by Mousse, Frieze, Art in America, the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) among others.
Mohammad Sazzad Hossain
Head of Administration
Mohammad Sazzad Hossian is the Head of Administration of the Samdani Art Foundation. Sazzad has worked for the Samdani Art Foundation since 2012 and has been a key member of the management team from the first edition of the Dhaka Art Summit, now moving into its 4th edition. He is responsible for the artistic production of DAS, along with the management of all teams on site. From the outset Sazzad has managed the production of major international artist projects, such as Shahzia Sikander, Rashid Rana and Haroon Mirza to name a few. Sazzad Hossain completed his M.A. and B.A. from Stamford University Bangladesh majoring in English Literature.
Ruxmini reckvana q Choudhury
Ruxmini Choudhury is a Bangladesh based Assistant Curator for the Samdani Art Foundation. She works directly under Diana Campbell Betancourt to arrange seminars and international exhibitions. As part of the Dhaka Art Summit team, she worked as a research assistant to Daniel Baumann for the Samdani Art Award 2016 show, Diana Campbell Betancourt for the group show 'Mining Warm Data' and worked under Nada Raza in her group show ‘The Missing One’. Her work comprises of research on local artists, archiving and monitoring the Samdani Art Foundation Collection among others. She is also responsible for the Samdani Artist Led-Initiatives Forum. Ruxmini also works as a freelance art writer, researcher and bilingual translator. She completed her BFA in Art History from University of Dhaka in 2014 and previously interned at the Dhaka Art Center. Her research on the crafts of Kushtia, Jhenaidah and Magura district of Bangladesh has been published in Setouchi Catalogue: Bangladesh Crafts, 2014. She is also an alumna of Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study (YES) programme and was previously involved in many social service and youth empowerment activities.
Lt. col. md. nasimul alam retd. Director of Brain Train Creative Ltd.
Colonel Nasim has been involved with the Dhaka Art Summit since 2016 when he acted as Chief of Security. For DAS 2018, he will acted as Chief Coordinator. After completing 26 Years of service in the Bangladesh Army, he joined the Golden Harvest Group as Head of Operations at Brain Train Studio Ltd, and now holds the position of Director.
After completing his graduation from Bangladesh Army, Colonel Nasim served in various important Military position including security of VVIPs, both at home, and abroad, and served as Peace-Keeper in Iraq and Kuwait. He later completed his MBA in Human Resource Management from a private university in Bangladesh.
Nawreen Ahmed is working as Communications Manager for Samdani Art Foundation. She has worked as Junior Operations Officer for ME SOLshare Limited and taught Strategic Management and Business English while she worked as a Lecturer for BiMS. She has completed her BBA from Heriot Watt University and MBA from Eastern University.