Between DAS 2016 and the opening of DAS 2018, there would have been at least nine large-scale recurring international exhibitions in South Asia. While there appears to be a new wave of energy in this genre, South Asia has a rich history, particularly in the 1980s, of these kinds of exhibitions. Many are unaware that the oldest surviving biennial in Asia—the Asian Art Biennale, which was founded in 1981 and recently concluded its 17th edition—is held in Bangladesh.
Focusing on Dhaka as a longstanding place of innovation within the arts, DAS 2018 will feature an exhibition exploring the history of the Asian Art Biennale, drawing from the collection of the Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy and the archive of the Fukuoka Asian Art Museum. The legacy of this exhibition and of inter-Asia exchange will be addressed DAS's programme of talks and symposiums .