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 (b. 1984, Los Angeles) is currently Artistic Director of Samdani Art Foundation and Chief Curator of Dhaka Art Summit, Dhaka, Bangladesh, a major research and exhibition platform for art in South Asia. She is currently developing the Foundation’s forthcoming Srihatta- Samdani Sculpture Park and Art Centre opening in Sylhet at the end of 2018. In addition, Betancourt is Artistic Director of Bellas Artes Projects, Bagac, Philippines and chairs the Mumbai Art Room board. She has collaborated with several sculpture parks across the world on commissions of Indian sculpture and has curated numerous solo projects with artists such as Haroon Mirza, Simryn Gill, Tino Sehgal, Lynda Benglis, Shilpa Gupta, Shahzia Sikander, Naeem Mohaiemen, Runa Islam, Shumon Ahmed, Pawel Althamer, Raqs Media Collective, among others.
Betancourt has consulted with the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, the New Museum, the FRONT Triennial in Cleveland, and Alserkal Avenue in Dubai on their inclusion of South Asia in their exhibitions programs and has presented her research as part of MoMA’s C-MAP initiative. She has recently published a book with Mousse in Milan (co-edited with Katya Garcia Anton and Antonio Cataldo) on the Dhaka Art Summit and its Critical Writing Ensembles.
Director of Operations & External Affairs
Emily Dolan is the Director of Operations and External Affairs . She originally trained as a visual artist and since 2002 has worked in art institutions, including five years at The Fine Art Society, her primary focus being contemporary art. More recently she has taken on production roles in non-profit organisations and has coordinated exhibitions at the Hayward Gallery in London, The 55th Venice Biennale, Garage Centre of Contemporary Art and Culture, Moscow, and the Chalet Society, Paris.
Head of PublicationS
Emma Sumner is the Head of Publications, Samdani Art Foundation and Dhaka Art Summit, and an independent writer, researcher and lecturer. Originally trained as a visual artist, in 2010 Emma was awarded an Arts and Humanities Research Council Studentship to study Art History and Curating. During her study and since graduating Emma has worked with numerous institutions and independent platforms , including Tate Liverpool, National Museums Liverpool and the Liverpool Biennale, she has lectured at Liverpool John Moores University, The University of Salford and Wirral Metropolitan and contributes regularly to numerous international platforms including, Art Agenda, Monopol Magazin and e-flux Conversations.
First travelling to South Asia in 2014, with support from Arts Council England, Emma began researching the region’s art scene, visiting the studios of emerging and mid-career artists and independent led spaces. Emma has since developed the online archive portal, ArtHive South Asia, as a space to share her ongoing research and that of other independent researchers.
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.
Curatorial Assistant to the Artistic Director
Abhijan Gupta studied Art History at the Faculty of Fine Arts, MSU Baroda. He has previously worked with the Majlis Cultural Centre, Mumbai and the Asia Art Archive, New Delhi.
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.
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 act 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.
Aosafur Rahman Asad
Manager of Administration at the Golden Harvest Group
Aosafur Rahman Asad is Manager of Administration at the Golden Harvest Group. He was part of the operation team for the successful completion of the second and third Dhaka Art Summits in 2014 and 2016. Mr. Asad completed his B.Com from Shiddeswari University College, Dhaka.
Mirela Baciak is a researcher, writer, and curator based between Warsaw and Vienna. She was co-curator of the exhibition Prosperous Poison. On the Feminist Appropriation of the Austrian Unconscious, Mumok, Vienna (2015-16); associate editor of the publication I Can’t Work Like This: A Reader on Recent Boycotts and Contemporary Art (2017); assistant curator of the exhibition Everything is getting better. Unknown Knowns of Polish (Post)Colonialism, SAVVY Contemporary Berlin (2017). kültur gemma Fellow at Kunsthalle Wien (2017).
Nivriti Roddam graduated from Parsons the New School for Design, New York in 2012 with a degree in Strategic Design and Management. Her interest and research resides primarily in interdisciplinary practices and cross-cultural exchange within South Asia. She previously spent two years working for the Samdani Art Foundation and the Dhaka Art Summit, liaising with visiting artists, curators and guests from a number of institutions whilst assisting with the production of exhibitions. Roddam designed and contributed to the Dhaka Art Summit 2016 Exhibition Guide and the bilingual didactic material across the Summit. She used her experience to contribute to the Dhaka Art Summit catalogue as well as the Critical Writing Ensemble reader launched by Mousse Publications, Milan and Office for Contemporary Art Norway, which launched in November 2016. Roddam worked closely with Artistic Director and Chief Curator Diana Campbell Betancourt on her independent curatorial activities internationally; which include the critically acclaimed You Cannot Cross the Sea Merely by Staring at the Waves at Krinzinger Projekte, Vienna. The exhibition has been regarded as the first comprehensive showcasing of emerging art from Dhaka, Bangladesh in Europe, as a part of Curated by_Vienna.