Dhaka Art Summit



“The Dhaka Art Summit was a revelation. Sharply insightful exhibitions, expansive and generous conversations and panel discussions, and a deeply satisfying experience. I learned a great deal, made unexpected connections, and enjoyed being with so many artists, curators, and scholars whose collective energy animated the Summit.”

-Glenn Lowry, Director, Museum of Modern Art New York (DAS 2018)


"The Dhaka Art Summit 2018 has been an intense, exhilarating and thought provoking experience. The curated exhibitions at DAS 2018 offer opportunities to rethink global histories of contemporary art while remaining anchored in a cogently and sharply expressed South Asian context. I had many wonderful experiences and exchanges and was able to get a clear sense of the energy and enthusiasm of the Bangladeshi Contemporary Art scene. The production values of the entire show set a very high standard. DAS is emerging as probably the most significant intersection of creative and discursive energies in the region. With DAS, the artistic and creative communities of Bangladesh stake their claim to being the incubators and custodians of a contemporary cultural sensibility that is truly planetary. This initiative’s continued success is crucial for the health of culture in the entire South Asian region."

-Shuddhabrata Sengupta, Artist, Raqs Media Collective (DAS 2018)


“DAS is not only a show, it is a self-learning apparatus, which changes the patterns of understanding, recognition and global dissemination from the South Asia region. DAS is a polyphony of voices, resonating deep in the contemporary art world but also locally, triggering the imagination of diverse audiences and touching upon the most urgent social, political and economic issues of our times.  DAS might be defined also as a free academy, conceptual playground and a carnival. DAS is also a story-teller. One can learn a lot just from listening carefully.”

-Sebastian Cichocki, Deputy Director and Chief Curator, Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw (DAS 2018)


“For me the Dhaka Art  is a welcome alternative to the biennale circuit. Assuming in a discursively resposible way that such initiatives become more and more condensed events, in a global competition for attention, the Dhaka Art Summit, advances the notion of the “summit” which allows for very different, yet all interesting projects and initiatives, to share a venue, in which conceptual diversity is preferred over the constraints of one curatorial premise. Talks, exhibitions, prizes, documentaries, and even a fair of artist initiatives enrich each other in new surprising ways. Maybe the Dhaka Art Summit is not only an interesting answer to the often fatigue perceived in the biennale circuit but also to the global inflation of art fairs.”

-Philippe Pirotte, Dean of the Staedelschule, Frankfurt (DAS 2018)


“I almost gave up reading art writing. I have come to reconsider this through the Summit...”

- Maria Lind, Critic and Artistic Director, Gwanju Biennale 2016 (DAS 2016)


“I thought the Dhaka Art Summit 2016 was a splendid affair of critical clout and great programming. There is literally nothing like it in Asia and I am certain the next one will be an even bigger success.”

- Lucas Huang, The National Gallery, Singapore (DAS 2016)


“The Dhaka Summit proved to be an invaluable interface with a number of key artists, discourses, and histories that suggest the increasingly urgent voice South Asia has in the current global cultural discourse....We look forward to developing many of these conversations as we deepen our engagement in the region.”

- Stuart Comer, Chief Curator of Media and Performance, Museum of Modern Art, New York (DAS 2016)


“I have never experienced something as art focused, open and inclusive as I just did at Dhaka Art Summit. The calibre of the conversations was a rare happening in our region.”

- Dayanita Singh, DAS Solo Project Artist, India (DAS 2016)


“The Dhaka Summit has rapidly become an important focus for artists from South Asia and beyond and this year is attracting widespread international attention.”

- Frances Morris, Director of Tate Modern, London, UK, On her second trip to Dhaka, Bangladesh (DAS 2016)


“Dhaka Art Summit has set the gold standard for the visual arts in South Asia”

- Bunty Chand, Director of Asia Society, India (DAS 2016)


"The care, curiosity, and passionate engagement of local visitors was one of the reasons for the incredible success of the Dhaka Art Summit. The Summit's platform as a liaison between the art and the local community and its role as a facilitator in the South Asian context generated a spirit of generosity and openness which was both refreshing and inspiring."

- Internationally acclaimed artist, Shahzia Sikander (DAS 2014)



“It’s intense and you can feel lot of energy - this is somehow logical when you think of Bangladesh as a country with 160 million inhabitants and a very young population - you can actually feel the energy in the exhibition.”

-Alain Berset, President of Switzerland (DAS 2018)


“Visiting Dhaka Art Summit 2018 was an interesting and challenging experience. A great opportunity to get more insight in contemporary art from e.g. Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, in the recent ‘art history’ of South Asia and in the ‘cultural’ discourse going on. I am more than impressed by the level and richness delivered by the Art Summit as well as by the open and transparent atmosphere. I learned a lot. The visit broadened my insight into cultural developments in South Asia, and enriched my professional network at different levels. I am looking forward to the next edition!”

-Elisabeth van Odijk, Director, Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten, Amsterdam (the Netherlands) (DAS 2018)


“DAS 2018 gave us a great opportunity not only to learn about South / South East Asian Art but much more to learn how we can engage in our time through art. The manifold conversations, guided tours and lectures challenged and expanded not only the knowledge about art from Asia but also about the Bengal region and its historical and contemporary cultural richness. The educational complexity of DAS gives young people such an important opportunity to learn thinking out of the (academic) box.”

-Sophie Goltz, Assistant Professor, NTU Centre for Contemporary Art, Singapore (DAS 2018)


“There is so much to share from this stimulating, inspiring, politically engzged, art historically facinating, sensual, joyful and last but not least simply beautiful show that is the Dhaka Art Summit.  Bringing together nine tightly curated exhibitions by a group of the most talented curators practicing today, as well as a though provoking series of screenings, conversations, presentations, performances and symposia; not to mention the incredible education programme with some of the most critically practicing artists, artist’s collectives and thinkers, amazing Diana has completed yet another tour de force for which she can only be highly commended for its curatorial, intellectual, historical and contemporary scop, depth of research and unlimited sense of hospitality.”

-Koyo Kouoh, Founding Artistic Director, RAW Material Company (DAS 2018)


"What a memorable experience the Dhaka Art Summit and Samdani Art Foundation organised. An amazing attendance of artists, curators, art professionals and collectors and the challenging and thought provoking panel discussions enabled meetings of people, intensive exchange and an insight not only into how art is integrating in Dhaka and Bangladesh but all of South Asia."

- Beatrix Ruf, Director, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (DAS 2014)


"I leave Dhaka, carrying with me a whole lot of generative ideas, great thoughts and memories.I feel what I witnessed is truly historic and will be discussed as a key transformative catalyst for the entire region in the many years to come. Congratulations to Rajeeb and Nadia Samdani and Diana Campbell Betancourt on this whole-hearted visionary effort."

- Internationally renowned artist and curator of Kochi-Muziris Biennale 2014, Jitish Kallat (DAS 2014)


"I heard over and over that Dhaka Art Summit had managed the complicated and sometimes impossible by bringing together artists, thinkers and curators from South Asia, providing a meeting place and a discursive space which is really to be applauded. The entire event was outstandingly well organised and installed. It was really exceptional to have the live encounter with Nikhil Chopra's performance and without doubt it was the presence of works like his, Shilpa Gupta, Naeem Mohaiemen, Rashid Rana and Mithu Sen, among others, who made work specially for the event, that brought a unique aspect to Dhaka Art Summit."

- Jessica Morgan, The Daskalopoulos Curator, International Art, Tate Modern (DAS 2014)


"The Summit was a surprisingly personal, low key and highly focused gathering of many amazing individuals from several countries in South Asia. A variety of experiences brought under one roof was what I really appreciated as it exceeded the usual monoforms of a "biennial", "art fair", "conference" etc., offering instead a holistic experience of being with the artists, seeing their work and discussing it on the spot. Unpretentious and intelligently designed in skillful hands of Chief Curator, Diana Campbell Betancourt, the Summit felt like it was a labour of love and not a dull cultural marketing exercise."

- Adam Szymczyk, Artistic Director, Documenta 14 (DAS 2014)