Talks Programme

Scroll down for detailed information on each Panel

 

05 FEBRUARY 2016 

Panel 1 - Cross-Border Art Histories – Bangladesh and Pakistan 
Time: 3:30 pm | Venue: Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy Auditorium - 03rd floor

Panel 2 - Art Initiatives Off the Centre
Time: 5:00 pm | Venue: Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy Auditorium - 03rd floor

06 FEBRUARY 2016 

Panel 3 - Protecting the Past and Building the Future: Legacy and Estate Building in South Asia
Time: 11:30 am | Venue: Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy, VIP Lounge - 01st floor

Panel 4 - Collecting South Asian Art in a Non-Western Institutional Context
Time: 2:30 pm | Venue: Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy Auditorium - 03rd floor

Panel 5 - Navigating the Uneven Terrain of Regional Group Shows: A Field Guide
Time: 4:30 pm | Venue: Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy Auditorium - 03rd floor

07 FEBRUARY 2016 

Panel 6 - Architecture in Bangladesh
Time: 4:30 pm | Venue: Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy Auditorium - 03rd floor

 

PANEL 1

Cross-Border Art Histories – Bangladesh and Pakistan 
Time: 3:30 pm | Date: February 05, 2016  
Venue: Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy Auditorium - 03rd floor

Cross-border exhibitions and symposia focusing on the relationship between India and Pakistan have proliferated in the Subcontinent, and also around the world over the past five years, fuelled by dedicated commercial galleries hosting these exhibitions in India, and private patrons hoping to ease political tensions through soft-power channels. Bangladesh is notably absent in this “cross-border movement,” often used as subject matter for research, rather than being included through critical engagement the country’s artists or local art scene. 

Most people know the relationship of Bangladesh and Pakistan as one of animosity given the bloody history of the country’s path to independence in 1971, breaking away from being the East Pakistan that was created in 1947. In his book Modernism and the Art of Muslim South Asia, Iftikhar Dadi elaborates that “according to [Akbar] Naqvi, a common West Pakistani perception maintained that ‘the Bengali artists were born with artistic taste, while we in the West [wing] had to acquire it through hard work.’" When it comes to the arts, “it is worth noting that despite political tensions there was lively exchange in the art world between the East and the West wings, with numerous exhibitions and artists traveling back and forth frequently.”

Zainul Abedin (b. 1914-1976) is considered the founding father of Bangladeshi modern art, establishing the Government Institute of Arts in 1949 and the Sonargaon Folk Art Museum and Zainul Museum in Mymensingh in 1975, as well as widely exhibiting internationally as a critically acclaimed artist in his own right. However, Abedin was also a bureaucrat for the Pakistani government, and while he renounced his ties during the war for independence, the fact that he set up the Department of Fine Arts in Peshawar, Pakistan (which still has an annual prize bearing the artist’s name) and traveled as part of Pakistani delegations internationally cannot be ignored, and he was very close with the artistic community in what was West Pakistan.

Moving forward to the 21st Century, Pakistan continues to play an important role in the education of some of Bangladesh’s leading contemporary artists. Ayesha Sultana (b. 1985) and Shimul Saha (b. 1983) both studied at Lahore’s Beaconhouse University, Bangladeshi art patron Farooq Sobhan has supported cross-cultural exchange across the two countries, and Associate Professor of the History of Art and Visual Studies at Cornell Univeristy, Iftikhar Dadi examined this exchange in his book Modernism and the Art of Muslim South Asia, and they will be in conversation with Founding Dean of Beacon House University and leading Pakistani Art Historian Salima Hashmi, who will speak about the porous role of education and exchange across the two countries.  

Extended Biographies can be found below: 

 

Iftikhar Dadi
Iftikhar Dadi is Associate Professor at Cornell University in the Department of History of Art. He also served as Chair of the Department of Art (2010-14). Publications include Modernism and the Art of Muslim South Asia (University of North Carolina Press 2010), and essays that have appeared in numerous journals and edited volumes. He edited the monograph Anwar Jalal Shemza (Ridinghouse, UK, 2015), and co-edited (with Salah Hassan) Unpacking Europe: Towards a Critical Reading (NAI, 2001). He is a recipient of The Creative Capital | Andy Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant (2015). Dadi serves on the editorial advisory boards of Archives of Asian Art journal and Bio-Scope: South Asian Screen Studies journal, and on the editorial board for Art Journal (2007-2011). He serves as an advisor to the Hong Kong based organization Asia Art Archive, and is a board member of The Institute for Comparative Modernities at Cornell University. He was member of Guggenheim Museum’s Asian Art Council in 2011 and 2014. Curated exhibitions include Lines of Control on partitions and borders (Herbert F Johnson Museum of Art at Cornell, 2012 and Nasher Museum at Duke, 2013); and Tarjama/Translation on the contemporary art of the Middle East and Central Asia (Queens Museum of Art, 2009 and Herbert F Johnson Museum of Art, 2010); and Unpacking Europe at the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam (2001-2002). Iftikhar Dadi has collaborated with Elizabeth Dadi in their art practice for two decades. Their artwork investigates the salience of popular media in the construction of memory, borders and identity in contemporary globalization, and the potential of creative resilience in urban informalities. Their projects are frequently realized in large-scale installations and have been exhibited widely internationally.

Shimul Saha
Shimul Saha received his BDA degree in Sculpture from Faculty of Fine Art, University of Dhaka in 2005, and an MA degree in Art and Design Studies from Beaconhouse National University, Lahore in 2013. His work is based extensively on research and experimenting, with investigation as a pivotal part of his process, inspiring his use of a wide range of materials in his practice. Saha’s fist solo exhibition Tangible & Intangible, Britto Art Trust, 2013, responded to notions of dreams and the subconscious mind. His work has been featured in a number of group exhibitions including the 2016 Samdani Art Award Exhibition, 21st Young Artists’ Art Exhibition, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy, Dhaka, 2014; 15th Asian Art Biennale Bangladesh, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy, Dhaka, 2012; Across the Road, Open Studio of Video Art Workshop, and the Britto Art Trust, Dhaka, 2009.

Farooq Sobhan
Former Ambassador Farooq Sobhan is the President and CEO of the Bangladesh Enterprise Institute (BEI), an independent research institute in Bangladesh and the Chairman of the Board of the Samdani Art Foundation. Mr. Sobhan was Executive Chairman, Board of Investment (BOI) and Special Envoy to the Prime Minister 1997-1999 and Foreign Secretary 1995-1997.He served as Ambassador/High Commissioner to India, China, Malaysia and the United Nations and also served as Chairman of the Group of 77 at the UN in New York (1982-1983), and was Chairman, UN Commission on TNCs (1991-1992). He was a visiting professor at the Elliott School for International Affairs at George Washington University in US in 2003. He is also on the Board of the Center for Global Counter Terrorism Cooperation in the US. His publications include a book entitled, “Opportunities for South-South Co-operation” and “Shaping South Asia’s Future: Role of Regional Co-operation”. Mr. Sobhan has edited  several BEI publications.

Ayesha Sultana
Through sound, drawing, object, painting and photography, Jessore born and Dhaka based artist Ayesha Sultana is interested in the poetics of space and the relationship between material and process in notions of making. Within the context of drawing, her recent body of work is an investigation into the rudiments of form through architectural constructions, often derivative of the landscape. Counter tendencies of movement and stability are also evident as an attempt to generate emptiness by filling up the surface. Through other elemental gestures and implications of plotting, measuring and erasure, merging and filling in, Sultana makes whole, an otherwise fractured image. Sultana was the winner of the 2014 Samdani Art Award and was featured as one of ArtReview’s ‘Future Greats’ in 2015. She is a member of the Britto Arts Trust and a graduate of Beaconhouse National University in Lahore, where she also briefly taught.

Salima Hashmi (Moderator)
Salima Hashmi is a Pakistani visual artist, writer, and activist. She has contributed a large part of her life teaching and promoting young artists in the region. She spent over 30 years teaching at the National College of Arts and was Dean there for 4 years and soon after she served as the Founding Dean of the School of Visual Art and Design at the Beaconhouse National University in Lahore. She has been active in the human rights movement since the early 80s when she was one of the founding members Women’s Action Forum, and a Council member of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan. She also served as Minister of Health, Population Welfare, Women Development, Youth Affairs, Sports, Archaeology & Tourism Department during the interim Government of Punjab in 2013. Hashmi has also authored and edited a number of publications which include Unveiling the Visible: Lives and Works of Women Artists of Pakistan (2001); Co-authored a book along side Yashodhara Dalima, Memory, Metaphor, Mutations: Contemporary Art of India and Pakistan, published by Oxford University Press (2007); and Hanging Fire: Contemporary Art from Pakistan published by Asia Society (2009), and The Eye Still Seeks published by Penguin Books India (2015). She is the recipient of the President’s Award for Pride of Performance, Pakistan.

 

 

PANEL 2

Art Initiatives Off the Centre
Time: 5:00 pm | Date: February 05, 2016  
Venue: Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy Auditorium - 03rd floor

While many people with an interest in South Asian art may be familiar with well-marketed arts programming in major cities like Dhaka, New Delhi, Lahore, Kochi, Colombo, or even Yangon, there are many dynamic initiatives happening on the periphery of the art world and address captive and active audiences in more remote contexts, also further removed from censorship (both commercially or politically driven). Many artists in the Dhaka Art Summit 2016 – from Simryn Gill who spends a large amount of time in Port Dickinson, Malaysia, to Lynda Benglis in Santa Fe, New Mexico, Ahmedabad, India, and even Kastellorizo, Greece, find their creative process fuelled through their existence off the centre. What role does the journey play in the creative process, how do these unique locations incubate new thinking and artistic production, and what possibilities do these contexts provide in developing art initiatives? This panel brings together artists and curators working in Jaffna, Kustia, Chittagong, Odisha, Guwahati, Thuye`dan, out in the streets of Karachi, and Dharamsala, moderated by TBA21 Chief Curator Daniela Zyman, and will speak to the impact that these individuals are creating within the region and the various paths that were taken to make these initiatives sustainable in despite-the-odds contexts and the importance of working outside of more traditional network models.  

Extended biographies can be found below:

 

Amar Kanwar
Amar Kanwar makes films and installations that address trauma, history, and conditions of conflict through experimental, often poetic, narration and documentary forms. Many of his works deal explicitly with the Indian subcontinent, while others address zones of conflict and violence in neighboring countries, mixing historical footage, personal testimony, and lyrical cinematography. Kanwar has received numerous awards, including the Leonore Annenberg Prize for Art and Social Change (2014), Edvard Munch Award for Contemporary Art (2005) and a MacArthur Fellowship (2000). The subject of numerous retrospectives at international film festivals, Kanwar has also participated in Documenta 11, 12, and 13 and exhibited at institutions such as Yorkshire Sculpture Park, the Centre Pompidou, Tate Modern, TBA21, Stedelijk Museum, and many others. He also exhibits his work outside of this circuit; The Sovereign Forest is permanently installed at the Samadrusti Campus in Bhubaneswar, Odisha and open to the public at any time, every day, The Lightning Testimonies recently exhibited in collaboration with a women’s activist group at the Assam State Museum, and he has also exhibited at large religious festivals such as the Kumbh Mela in Allahabad.

Desire Machine Collective
Desire Machine Collective are media practitioners who are based in Guwahati. The group came together in 2004 and consist of Sonal Jain and Mriganka Mashukaillya. Their body of work usually consists of film, video, photography and multimedia installation. Desire Machine Collective experiment with media techniques to further explore narratives, forms of representation and political circumstances. Some of their most revered work includes Periferry an ongoing project which functions as a sort of laboratory bringing together artistic, scientific and technological practices. The aim of this ongoing project is to encourage experimentation and explore new forms of public space. It is located on a ferry on the river Bhramaputra docked in Guwahati. Other works include Being Singular Plural (2012) at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Walking Drifting, Draging (2013) at the New Museum and the 8th Asia Pacific Triennial in Brisbane (2015).

Shawon Akand
Shawon Akand is an artist, researcher, and curator in Dhaka. Akand is the co-founder of Crack International Art Camp, which launched in 2007 and is held in Kushtia (rural Bangladesh). The purpose of Crack is to help young artists and researchers preview and build their work in a non-commercial environment with international exposure. CRACK tries to blur the lines between creative disciplines and therefore engages people from various disciplines, including but not limited to theatre activists, photographers, filmmakers, musicians, psychologists, singers, poets, writers, journalists, actors, anthropologists, folklorists, historians, and art critics. As an artist, Akand’s body of work questions cultural norms with a critical perspective on social and political structures through printmaking, painting, photography, and video. He also contributed to a number of research publications about folk art and culture in Bangladesh.

Shaela Sharmin
Shaela Sharmin is an artist and curator based in Chittagong, Bangladesh. Sharmin is also a part of Jog Alternative Art Space, founded in 2012, an artist run platform dedicated to visual artists. She has worked on projects like Bakshir Haat, an old market place that was facing the consequences of rapid urbanisation. She was part of a collective of artists from Jog Alternative Art Space that came together to document and preserve the true identity of the market and monitor its change. She has also curated shows such as the site-specific exhibition “Cheragi Art Show-2”. The show examined the history of Cheragi and examined social, cultural and political constraints relevant to the region. Sharmin is also a professor at the University of Chittagong, Department of Fine Arts.

Ritu Sarin and Tenzing Sonam
Ritu Sarin and Tenzing Sonam are film directors based in Dharamshala, India. The duo have been making films about Tibetan subjects for over 20 years. The content of their films explore matters of exile, identity, culture and political motivation in the Tibetan region. Together they founded White Crane Films through which White Crane Arts & Media was born, a non-profit trust to promote contemporary art, cinema and independent media practices. In 2012 White Crane Arts & Media Trust created the Dharamshala International Film Festival. The aim of the film festival is to bring high quality, independent films and filmmakers from around the world to expose the local population to social and cultural contexts from a global perspective. The idea of the film festival is to also promote and foster local filmmaking talent by organising special screenings, master-classes and workshops and finally bring together the entire community of people who inhabit the region (Indians, Tibetan refugees and expatriates).

Aung Ko
Aung Ko is a contemporary artist from Myanmar. Ko works with painting, film, installation and performance. As an artist, Aung Ko’s work is an ongoing commentary on political and social contexts in a modern Myanmar. Censorship, injustice and power are themes he often explores. He has participated in the Singapore Biennale in 2008 and the 4th Fukuoka Asian Art Triennale and was recently a resident of the Pavilion at Palais de Tokyo. In 2007 he started an ongoing art project in his village titled Thuye`dan Village Art Project. The village’s main source of income is charcoal production, and the village is isolated and because of the ammunition factory nearby, the inhabitants live in fear and visitors and publicity are generally forbidden. Aung Ko along with his wife Nge Lay have been inviting artists to create performances, mobile sculptures, and other artworks collaborating with the village and its inhabitance. An example of this is the village Library. The executive committee of the village library had come together to invite Myanmar artist Po Po to redesign the space.

Tentative Collective
The Tentative Collective founded in 2011, is a collective of people who share resources to create art in ‘public’ spaces. Our projects are lived engagements with the sensory and social architectures of the city. Mera Karachi Mobile Cinema (2012-15) worked with communities across Karachi to create urban projections of everyday narratives told via cell phones. Projections (2015) was a further enactment of ephemeral projections in the city made in collaboration with artists, curators and cultural producers. Our most recent project in Lahore, The Gandi Engine Commission (2015), was an experimental site-specific workshop, navigating through the Ravi to explore themes of development, destruction, waste and toxicity. Activating the river as a site of storytelling, the project re-framed narratives of multiple wreckages and ruinations from colonial histories to the neo-colonial present. The Tentative Collective’s work has been presented at: Sarai, Centre for the Study of Developing Societies; Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore; International Institute for Asian Studies & Hong Kong Baptist University; and as part of the Ancestors: Architecture of Memory program hosted by the Lahore Biennale Foundation.

Sharmini Pereira
Sharmini Pereira is a curator and publisher based in Sri Lanka and the UK. She is the director and founder of Raking Leaves, a leading nonprofit independent publishing organisation. In 2014 she founded the Sri Lanka Archive of Contemporary Art, Architecture and Design in Jafna. The archive grew from a prior project, Asia Art Archive’s Mobile Library hosted by Raking Leaves. The archive’s aim is to collect a vast amount of material and host talks, seminars and screenings related to its contents.  She has worked with institutions such as the Queensland Art Gallery, The Royal Academy, The Hayward Gallery and the British Council. She co-curated the Singapore Biennale (2006), was the international guest curator of the Abraaj Capital Art Prize (2011), and more recently she curated the Garden of Ideas: Contemporary Art from Pakistan at the Aga Khan Museum in Toronto.

Daniela Zyman (Moderator)
Daniela Zyman is the chief curator of the Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary in Vienna. She joined the foundation in 2003 and has been instrumental in shaping T-BA 21’s exhibition and commissions programs. In the past she was the chief curator at the MAK, Austrian Museum of Applied Arts / Contemporary Art in Vienna and was a founding member of the MAK Center for Art and Architecture at the Schindler House in Los Angeles. Soon after she became artistic director of Kunstlerhaus, Wien and A9-forum transeuropa. Zyman visits South Asia regularly and has helped commission several projects within the region, following the wide geographic scope of the foundation’s mission and collection. Some of these works include Amar Kanwar The Lighting Testimonies (2007), The Sovereign Forest (2010-2012), The Scene of Crime (part of The Sovereign Forest); Desire Machine Collective Nishan I (2007-2012); Nikolaus Hirsch and Michel Müller, Cybermohalla Hub (2012-2013); Ritu Sarin and Tenzing Sonam, Ritu Sarin and Tenzing Sonam, Some Questions on the Nature of Your Existence (2007), Middle Way or Independence? (2008) and the Dharamshala International Film Festival.

 

 

PANEL 3

Protecting the Past and Building the Future: Legacy and Estate Building in South Asia
Time: 11:30 am | Date: February 06, 2016 
Venue: Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy, VIP Lounge - 01st floor

While resources that help understand and preserve South Asia’s rich legacy of modern art remain scarce, there has emerged in recent years have seen a surge of artist estates, art archives, and private museums. This panel focuses on the role Artist Estates play in shaping the field of art and enhancing its wider circulation. Moderated by Sabih Ahmed, Senior Researcher at the Asia Art Archive, the panel brings together artists Vivan Sundaram, Pablo Bartholomew, and Mainul Abedin, art historians Yin Ker and Kerstin Meincke, and art collector Amrita Jhaveri, all of whom have been invested in preserving the legacies of important artists from/working in South Asia by way of building estates and by consolidating artist archives. What are the ways in which these estates and collections contribute to the field; what are the challenges of building accessible and multivalent legacies of art for the future; and, what roles family members, collectors, scholars and institutions play inpreserving orphaned estates, are some of the questions that will be discussed while touching upon figures including Amrita Sher-Gil, Umrao Singh, Richard Bartholomew, Bagyi Aung Soe, Lionel Wendt, Mrinalini Mukherjee, Germaine Krull, Raghubir Singh, Zahoor ul Akhlaq and Anwar Jalal Shemza among others.

Keeping in mind the increasing amount of interest and curiosity around how artist estates are built today, this panel will take place in the Dhaka Art Summit VIP Lounge where other artists' families have also been invited to contribute to the discussions

Extended biographies can be found below:

 

Sabih Ahmed (Moderator)
Sabih Mohd Ahmed is a Senior Researcher at Asian Art Archive and has been a member of the research team since 2009. Based in New Delhi, he has overseen the Archive’s digitisation projects in the country alongside other research initiatives. Ahmed completed Bachelors in Visual Arts with specialisation in Art History from the M.S. University of Baroda, following which completed the interdisciplinary MA programme at the School of Arts & Æsthetics, Jawaharlal Nehru University in 2009 and has organised and participated in numerous conferences and workshops internationally. He has been involved in doing research and archiving with art-critics and artists over the years and his area of interest is in investigating the infrastructure and institution of Art in the country.

Mainul Abedin
Mainul Abedin is the youngest son of the late Modern Bangladeshi artist Shilpacharya Zainul Abedin. Mainul was born in Dhaka and completed his graduation from the Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology, BUET. Abedin has been working as a civil engineer in Dhaka for over 30 years. Despite having no academic training in Fine Art, he is a passionate painter and has participated in various exhibitions across Dhaka, many related to the legacy of his father. A recent exhibition, Shilpacharya and his Outer World of Art was recently held at the Bengal Gallery of Fine Arts to celebrate Shilpacharya Zainul Abedin’s birth centenary in 2015.

Amrita Jhaveri
Amrita Jhaveri has been working in the field of Modern and Contemporary Indian art since 1993. She established Christie’s presence in India in the mid-1990s before moving to London in 2000. As an independent advisor, Amrita has created and managed private and corporate art collections; ambitious artist projects and large-scale commissions. In 2010 Amrita established Jhaveri Contemporary in Mumbai. The gallery programme is both Intergenerational and transnational. Jhaveri is the Author of 101: A Guide to 101 Modern and Contemporary Indian Artists (India Book House, 2005).

Yin Ker
Yin Ker is Adjunct Assistant Professor in the School of Historical Studies. She was trained in art history at the University of Paris-Sorbonne (Paris IV) where she completed her PhD in 2013. Prior to her appointment as adjunct faculty at Nalanda University, she was teaching assistant and tutor for Asian Art History at Nanyang Technological University, lecturer for Modern & Contemporary Southeast Asian Art History at Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts, and assistant curator at the Singapore Art Museum (National Art Gallery, Singapore). Some of her publications include A Short Story of Bagyi Aung Soe in Five Images in Field Notes: Mapping Asia (Hong Kong: Asia Art Archive, 2013), “L’ < art fou > ou l’art moderne birman selon les illustrations de Bagyi Aung Soe” in La question de l’art en Asie orientale (Paris: Presses de l’Université de Paris-Sorbonne, 2008) and “Modern Art According to Bagyi Aung Soe” in Journal of Burma Studies (DeKalb: North Illinois University, 2005/06).

Kerstin Meincke
Kerstin Meincke is a curator, researcher and lecturer focusing on photography and media arts in a transnational context. She is a PhD candidate in the field of Art History at the University of Duisburg-Essen and the Folkwang University of the Arts with the project “Object Politics: Negotiating Cultural Heritage through Media Arts within the Process of Decolonisation”. From 2004 – 10, Kerstin Meincke studied design and photography in Essen and San José, Costa Rica. Her Diploma focused on Germaine Krull’s work for the French Resistance in Africa during World War II. She works internationally and has conducted several research trips to France and Nigeria. She has conceived various workshops and conferences, such as ”Spaces of Displacement. Negotiations of Migration and Refugeeism in Mass Media and Visual Arts”, international workshop in Lagos, Nigeria, conceived with Florian Ebner and Marc-André Schmachtel, and ”Crossing Archives“, international symposium (2013, in collaboration with the Goethe-Institut Lagos, Nigeria). Selected curatorial projects include the collaboration to the German Pavilion at the 56th Venice Biennale and Voyage Retour, a photography exhibtion conceived for Museum Folkwang, Essen in Lagos, Nigeria (2013).

 

 

PANEL 4

Collecting South Asian Art in a Non-Western Institutional Context
Time: 2:30 pm | Date: February 06, 2016 
Venue: Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy Auditorium - 03rd floor

DAS 2014 invited panelists from the Tate Modern, British Museum, Guggenheim, and the Centre Pompidou to speak about the proposed plans and resulting responsibilities as these Western institutions have been increasing their collections of Art from South Asia. Following this panel, DAS invites panelists from both private and public institutions to discuss the challenges and possibilities of collecting art and archives from South Asia in a non-Western context. Suhanya Raffell, Deputy Director and Director of Collections at the Art Gallery of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia, will speak about her current role as well as the instrumental work she did to set up the Asia Pacific Triennial. Roobina Karode, Director and Chief Curator at the Kiran Nadar Museum of Art (KNMA) in New Delhi, will discuss her work developing India’s largest private museum, which is currently housed in a shopping mall and free to the public. Hammad Nasar, Head of Research and Programmes at Asia Art Archive, Hong Kong, will speak about AAA’s work collecting archives in the region and making them accessible digitally as well as in Hong Kong. Rina Igarashi from the Fukuoka Asian Art Museum in Japan will discuss her over two decades long experience conducting research and collecting art from Bangladesh and her work developing the Fukuoka Asian Art Triennale. Many of the most celebrated works at DAS 2014 were commissioned by the Sharjah Art Foundation, and Sheikha Hoor al Qasimi will discuss the history of the collection and the commissioning process for the Sharjah Biennial as well as the Sharjah Art Foundation collections. Faizul Latif Chowdhury, Director General of the Bangladesh National Museum, will discuss the foundation’s history as a collecting institution and the new turns the institution is taking under his leadership.  This conversation will be moderated by Beatrix Ruf, the Director of the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, who is responsible for the development of some of the leading collections in the world.

Extended biographies can be found below:

 

Suhanya Raffel
Suhanya Raffel is the Deputy Director and Director of Collections at the Art Gallery of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia. The Museum was established in 1871 and the collection consists of Australian, European, and Asian art. In 2003 the museum opened an Asian Gallery. Suhanya Raffel joined the Museum in 2013. Previously she had worked with the Queensland Art Gallery/Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane, where she had held numerous senior curatorial positions. During her time at QAGOMA (joined in 1994), Raffel was key in building its contemporary Asia Pacific collection that eventually led to the creation of its signature Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Arts that began in 2002, working closely with artists such as Simryn Gill, Imran Mohammad Qureshi, Shahzia Sikander and Jagath Weerasinghe early on in their careers. She was a member of the Asian Art Council at the Guggenheim Museum (2009-2014), and currently serves on the boards of the Australia-China Council, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Canberra and Griffith University Asia Institute, Brisbane.

Roobina Karode
Roobina Karode is the Director and Chief Curator at the Kiran Nadar Museum of Art (KNMA) in New Delhi. The Kiran Nadar Museum was established by the avid art collector Kiran Nadar in January 2010. Roobina Karode has been with the Museum from the very beginning. The museum is the first private museum of art exhibiting Modern and Contemporary art from India and South Asia. Karode is an art historian, educator and curator with a specialization in Art History and Education. She has taught Western and Indian Art History at a number of institutions, including the Jawarharlal Nehru Unviersity, The School of Art and Aesthetics, and The National Museum Institute. Karode co-curated the first Indian edition on Contemporary Art at the First Fukuoka Asian Art Triennial (1998) in Japan and most recently was curator of the Nasreen Mohamedi retrospective co-organized by the Museo National Central de Arte Reina Sofia in Madrid and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, in collaboration with KNMA.

Hammad Nasar
Hammad Nasar serves as Head of Research and Programmes at the Asia Art Archive, Hong Kong. The Asia Art Archive was founded in 2000 in response to the urgent need to document and secure the multiple recent histories of contemporary art in the region. Hammad Nasar joined the Asia Art Archive in September 2012. Nasar has worked on developing the Archive’s collection and building up its own platform for research and increasing collaborations across the region, including at the Dhaka Art Summit. Nasar has worked on a number of projects in India which includes the digitization of Geeta Kapur and Vivan Sundaram’s personal archives (2010), and the personal archives of four important scholars of Baroda - Professors K G Subramanyan (2013), Gulammohammed Sheikh (2013), Ratan Parimoo (2013), and Jyoti Bhatt (2013).

Rina Igarashi
Rina Igarashi is a curator at the Fukuoka Asian Art Museum in Japan and has been instrumental in developing the Fukuoka Asian Art Triennale, one of the leading platforms for South Asian art which also has one of the comprehensive regionally focused collections in the world. The Fukuoka Asian Art Museum was founded in 1999 as a part of the city’s progressive strategy for interactive interaction with different Asian cultures. Igarishi has been conducting research in Bangladesh since 1994, and Bangladeshi artists such as Kabir Ahmed Masum Chisty, Zihan Karim, Yasmine Kabir and Ronni Ahmmed, Nazlee Laila Mansur and Abdus Salam have exhibited their work at the Fukuoka Asian Art Triennale. Other artists include Rashid Rana, Shilpa Gupta, Shahzia Sikander, Subodh Gupta and Aung Ko. She has spent time in Bangladesh for FAM’s exchange program and curated “Contemporary Art of Bangladesh: A Differentiation in Styles and Trends’ focusing on the uniqueness of art in Chittagong relative to the overall Bangladesh artistic landscape.

Sheikha Hoor Al Qasimi
Sheikha Hoor Al Qasimi is Chairperson of the Sharjah Art Foundation (SAF).  The Sharjah Art Foundation was founded in 2009. She has contributed to the growth of the renowned Sharjah Biennial and has helped expand the region’s art and culture through her work at the Sharjah Art Foundation. She had curated the Sharjah Biennial 6 and has continued as the Biennial’s Director since. SAF has produced some of the most important works of South Asian art (many of which have shown at the Dhaka Art Summit) such as Parallax by Shahzia Sikander, Gulf to Gulf to Gulf by CAMP, Brick Sellers of Kabul by Lida Abdul, The Sovereign Forest by Amar Kanwar, and Power Station by Simryn Gill. Every year the foundation holds The March Meeting where global art professionals and institutions concerned with the production and circulation of art in the region. They additionally have a production and residency program. She is the Chair and Advisory Board for the College of Art and Design, University of Sharjah; Member of the Advisory Board, Khoj International Artists’ Association, India; Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing; and serves on the Board of Directors for MoMA PS1, New York; KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin; the International Biennial Association, Gwangju; and Ashkal Alwan, Beirut. 

Faizul Latif Chowdhury
Faizul Latif Chowdhury (b. 1959) is an economist, writer and literary critic by training and has served as Director General of the Bangladesh National Museum since 2014. He has re-orientated the approach to museum management and display of objects with a view to making it a place for public education for a widening audience. He takes interest in art and has written on paintings of Rabindranath Tagore, Zainul Abedin, sculptor Novera Ahmed and artist Kalidasa Karmakar. Chowdhury is acclaimed as a translator and biographer of poet Jibanananda Das, among others. A civil servant by profession, he has also worked as consultant in World Bank and UNCTAD projects. Also, he served as a diplomat for the Bangladeshi government from 2003 to 2009, based in Brussels. He studied at Dhaka University (1977-1982), London School of Economics (LSE) (1996-97), Deakin University (1990) and Monash University (1991-92). His latest publication is a collection of 100 letters of poet Jibanananda Das (2015). Currently, he is compiling a dictionary of one thousand uncollected Bengali words and working on a book to be titled “Markets in Corruption”.

Beatrix Ruf (Moderator)
Beatrix Ruf is the Director of the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam which was founded in 1874. Beatrix Ruf joined the Stedelijk Museum in November 2014.  Ruf and her team are stageing a year long survey of artist Tino Sehgal’s live artworks, with one work performed each month in a different room, forcing the team to keep generating new ways to display this impeccable collection of modern and contemporary art. Prior to leading the Stedelijk, Ruf was responsible for for making Kunsthalle Zurich one of the most influential exhibition spaces in Europe. Each of her projects have collaborated in some way with institutions like Centre Pompidou in Paris, Tate Liverpool, the Irish Museum of Modern Art in Dublin, Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven, MCA Chicago, and many others. Ruf was the Curator of the third edition of the Tate Triennial in London (2006), Co-Curator of the Yokohama Triennale (2008) and has been a member since 2010 of the think tank core group of the LUMA foundation. She has been instrumental as art expert to the Zurich based collection of the Ringier AG. In 2013 she co-founded POOL in Zurich, a new institution and programme drawing on a ‘pool’ of works from private collections in order to grow and foster emerging curatorial talent. 

 

 

PANEL 5

Navigating the Uneven Terrain of Regional Group Shows: A Field Guide
Time: 4:30 pm | Date: February 06, 2016 
Venue: Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy Auditorium - 03rd floor

This panel discussion will include moderated dialogs between paired speakers, and culminate with a group discussion drawing connections across these discussions moderated by John Zarobell, (Assistant Professor and Undergraduate Director of International Studies at the University of San Francisco). The conversation opens with a discussion between Kate Fowle (Chief Curator for the Garage Museum of Contemporary Art in Moscow and Director-at-Large at Independent Curators International, New York) and Catherine David (Deputy Director of the Centre Pompidou and Curator of Documenta X), who will historicize the challenges around curating regional group exhibitions abroad. Hans Ulrich Obrist (Co-Director of Exhibitions and Programmes and Director of International Projects at Serpentine Galleries, London and Curator of Indian Highway) and Sharmini Pereira (Co-Founder and Director of the Sri Lanka Archive of Contemporary Art, Architecture & Design) will speak about their experiences with field research developing large-scale regional exhibitions of Indian (Obrist) and Pakistani and Sri Lankan (Pereira) art. This will be followed by a discussion between Omar Kholeif (Manilow Senior Curator at Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago) and Beth Citron (Curator, Modern and Contemporary Art at the Rubin Museum) who will speak about western institutions (including their own) with remits of exhibiting Asian and international contemporary art, respectively, and how they work within institutional parameters while widening the potential of how these categories might be presented. Artists Dayanita Singh and Amanullah Mojadidi will address how they navigate growing interest in their art based on gender, nationality, or medium, and how to draw curators back into the work. Finally, a pair of art historians and curators, Anshuman Das Gupta and Shanay Jhaveri, will speak about their experience drawing substantive ideas out of a region and their recent work with transnational and trans-generational shows that are regional in their approach but nevertheless radiate beyond it. 

Extended biographies can be found below:

 

Kate Fowle
Kate Fowle is the chief curator for the Garage Museum of Contemporary Art in Moscow and Director-at-Large at Independent Curators International (ICI) in New York, where she was Executive Director from 2009-13. Prior to this she was the inaugural International Curator at Ullens Center for Contemporary Art in Beijing. From 2002-2007 Fowle was Chair of the Master’s Program in Curatorial Practice at California College of the Arts in San Francisco, which she co-founded in 2001. Before moving to the United States she was Co-Director of Smith + Fowle in London (1996-2001) and Curator at the Towner Art Gallery in Eastbourne (1993-6).

Catherine David
Catherine David is a curator and art historian, whose research is also focused on contemporary art from the Middle East. Currently, David is the deputy director of the Musée National d’Art Moderne at the Centre Pompidou and has been working extensively on the museum’s collaborations in Asia and the Middle East. Previously, she has served as curator at the National Gallery at the Jeu de Paume in Paris, chief curator of the Musées de France, and the artistic director of Documenta X, Kassel (1994-97, the first non-german speaking and first female to hold that post. After her time at dOCUMENTA X she handled the film programme at the XXIV Biennial of Sao Paolo. She previously served as Director of the Witte de With Centre of Contemporary Art in Rotterdam. Turning her focus to the Middle East, David became Director of the long-term project "Contemporary Arab Representations" (Représentations Arabes Contemporains ) in 1998, an initiative presenting contemporary Middle East and Arab artists, first shown at the Fundación Antoni Tàpies in Barcelona. In 2006, she staged the exhibition "The Iraqi Equation" in Berlin and Barcelona. In 2014 David curated "UNEDITED HISTORY, Iran 1960-2014" at the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris to much critical acclaim.

Hans Ulrich Obrist
Hans Ulrich Obrist is a Swiss curator who serves as the Co-Director of Exhibitions and Programmes and the Director of International Projects at the Serpentine Gallery, London. He was the Curator of the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris from 2000-2006  and curator of Museums in Progress, Vienna, 1993 to 2000. Obrist is very prolific and has curated over 150 exhibitions internationally in his career. He has always believed that art needs to grow beyond the space of galleries and museums; in this very spirit Obrist has held his very first exhibition in a Kitchen, The Kitchen Show, Schwalbenstrasse, St. Gallen, 1991. Since he has had exhibitions in airplanes, power stations, monasteries, and even at Friedrich Nietzche’s home in Sils-Maria. He was one of the five curators selected for Manifesta 1 which in many ways encompassed the very boundaries Obrist discusses breaking an involved inter-disciplinary and cross cultural practices. At the Serpentine Gallery he initiated the annual Serpentine Marathon where he invites 50 artists, philosophers, architects and more to present their work on a given theme. For example in 2009 the theme was the Poetry Marathon, where the aim was to bring to light the lost relationship between art and poetry. He has worked on a number of exhibitions some of which include The Broken Mirror, co-curated with K. Koenig, Vienna Festival, 1993; Cities on the Move, with Ho Hanru, Secession Vienna and CAPC Bordeux 1997, and Hayward Gallery , London and Klasma, Helsinki and Bangkok, 1999; Traversés, ARC, Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, with L. Bossé, 2001; The second Guangzhou Triennial, with Hou Hanru and Guo Xiaoyan, Guangdong Museum of Art, Guangzhou, 2006; Philippe Parreno, with Julia Peyton Jones, Serpentine Gallery, London, 2011. In South Asia, he is known for the Khoj Marathon he organised in 2011, following the monumental group show he co-curated, Indian Highway, which travelled to 6 locations including the Serpentine, the Ullens Center in Beijing, and the Astrup Fearnley Museum in Oslo.

Shanay Jhaveri
Shanay Jhaveri is Assistant Curator, South Asian art, within the Department of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.
A graduate of Brown University, with a BA in Art-Semiotics and the History of Art and Architecture, Shanay has a PhD in Curatorial and Critical Studies from the Royal College of Art, where his dissertation addresses the topic of self-identity in South Asian art: The Journey in my Head: Cosmopolitanism and Indian Male Self-Portraiture in 20th Century India – Umrao Singh Sher-Gil, Bhupen Khakhar and Raghubir Singh. His recent exhibitions include In Dialogue: Amrita Sher-Gil and Lionel Wendt (Jhaveri Contemporary, Mumbai, 2014); Raghubir Singh and William Gedney (Esther Schipper Gallery, Berlin, 2013); Companionable Silences(Palais de Tokyo, Paris, 2013); and India: Visions from the Outside (Cultuurcentrum Brugge, Bruges, 2012). Shanay has also curated film programs for Light Industry, New York, Cambridge University, - and in London the LUX/ICA Biennial of Moving Images, the East London Gay Film Festival, Iniva, Frieze Art Fair, Tate Modern and the forthcoming 3rd Edition of the Dhaka Art Summit. Shanay’s books include: Western Artists and India: Creative Inspirations in Art and Design (Thames & Hudson and The Shoestring Publisher, 2013); Outsider Films on India: 1950-1990 (The Shoestring Publisher, 2010); and Chandigarh is in India (forthcoming Feb. 2016, The Shoestring Publisher). He has published widely in various art journals and is a contributing editor to Frieze Magazine. He is a trustee of the non-profit public space Mumbai Art Room, Mumbai, and a member of the Chinati Contemporary Council, Marfa Texas.

Anshuman Das Gupta
Anshuman Das Gupta is an Art Historian, Critic and Curator, who has been teaching at the department of Art History in Santiniketan since 1997, where he also earned his undergraduate degree. He is currently a PhD Candidate at Goldsmiths, London University. His focus is in the space of Cinema and Visual Cultures. His essays and papers have been published in several journals and publications like the Marg, MuHKA, de Appel, Verlag Berlin, Nandan Lalit Kala Contemporary and Art India. Das Gupta has been a part of many curatorial projects which include an exhibition organised by the French Embassy in Delhi of Antonin Artaud in 1996; Khoj International Artists’ Workshop events, Bengal, 2006; Ramkinker Baik Centenary exhibition, Santiniketan, 2007; ‘Santhal Family; positions around an Indian sculpture’ for the Museum of Contemporary Art, MuKHA, Antwerp, 2008.

Beth Citron
Beth Citron is the Curator for Modern and Contemporary Art at the Rubin Museum in New York. In 2014 she organised "Francesco Clemente: Inspired by India" and "Witness at a Crossroads: Photographer Marc Riboud in Asia." For the museum, she also organised a three-part exhibition series "Modernist Art from India" (2011-13) and with Rahaab Allana of the Alkazi Foundation "Allegory and Illusion: Early Portrait Photography from South Asia" (2013). She has contributed to Artforum, ArtIndia, and other publications, and published "Bhupen Khakhar's 'Pop' in India, 1970-72" in the Summer 2012 issue of ArtJournal. She completed a PhD on Contemporary Art in Bombay, 1965-1995 in the History of Art Department at the University of Pennsylvania in 2009, and has taught in the Art History Department at New York University, from which she also earned a B.A. in Fine Arts.

Omar Kholeif
Omar Kholeif is a writer, curator and editor. He is the Manilow Senior Curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago. Most recently he was the Curator at the Whitechapel Gallery (London). He was also formerly Senior Curator at Cornerhouse and HOME (Manchester) as well as Senior Editor of Ibraaz Publishing. Prior to this, he headed up Art and Technology at SPACE (London) where he was director of The White Building, London's centre for art and technology, and was Curator at FACT, Foundation for Art and Creative Technology (Liverpool). Kholeif has also been Artistic Director at the Arab British Centre, London and was founding director of the UK's Arab Film Festival. Recent exhibitions include, the Cyprus Pavilion at the 56th Venice Biennale, the Abraaj Group Art Prize at Art Dubai, UAE and Focus: Middle East, North Africa, Middle East and Mediterranean at the Armory Show, New York.

Dayanita Singh
Dayanita Singh is an artist currently based in New Delhi and Goa. Her medium is photography and the book is her primary form. She has published twelve books: Zakir Hussain (1986), Myself, Mona Ahmed (2001), Privacy (2003), Chairs (2005), Go Away Closer (2007), Sent A Letter (2008), Blue Book (2009), Dream Villa (2010), Dayanita Singh (2010), House of Love (2011), File Room (2013), and Museum of Chance (2014). Singh’s photographic work often presents a curious view of the seemingly everyday, often presenting a landscape that exists as much in the artist’s imagination as in the real world. Singh experiments with different ways of producing and viewing photographs, and she represented Germany in the 55th Venice Biennale and recent exhibitions include a solo exhibition at the Hayward Gallery and the MMK Frankfurt, the Kochi Biennale, and she will soon be a part of the 20th Sydney Biennale. 

Amanullah Mojadidi
Amanullah Mojadidi is an American artist of Afghan descent, currently based in Paris. Known for his public art projects, he explores Afghan politics and cross-cultural identity through various mediums. His practice is based on his personal experiences and academic research in cultural studies. He received his degrees in Cultural Anthropology and his work uses experimental, ethnographic approaches and combines qualitative research, traditional tales in a modern context to dissect themes of belonging, identity, politics, conflict and a resistance against modernisation, often blurring the lines between fact and fiction. Many of his artworks, are representations of himself as a Jihadi Gangster, a sarcastic approach toward Afghan and American culture. His works have been featured in many international exhibitions including; dOCUMENTA (13), Kassel and Kabul, 2012; the Kochi-Muziris Biennale, Kerala, 2012; Asia Triennial Manchester, The Imperial War Museum-North, Manchester, UK, 2014, Havana Biennale, Cuba, 2015, and many others. Mojadidi has also worked in a curatorial capacity and was a Co-curator at dOCUMENTA (13), Afghanistan Seminars & Exhibition in 2012 and was Curator at 10x12 Project Afghanistan, Fabrica/The Luciano Benetton Collection; Italy/Afghanistan, 2013.

Sharmini Pereira
Sharmini Pereira is a curator and publisher based in Sri Lanka and New York. She is the director and founder of Raking Leaves, a leading non-profit independent publishing organisation. In 2014 she founded the Sri Lanka Archive of Contemporary Art, Architecture and Design in Jaffna, Sri Lanka. The archive grew from a prior project, Asia Art Archive’s Mobile Library hosted by Raking Leaves. The archive’s aim is to collect a vast amount of material and host talks, seminars and screenings related to its contents.  She has worked with institutions such as Queensland Art Gallery, The Royal Academy, The Hayward Gallery and the British Council, among others. She co-curated the Singapore Biennale (2006), was the international guest curator of the Abraaj Capital Art Prize (2011), and more recently she curated the Garden of Ideas: Contemporary Art from Pakistan at the Aga Khan Museum in Toronto (2014).

John Zarobell (Moderator)
John Zarobell is Assistant Professor and Undergraduate Director of International Studies at the University of San Francisco.  Formerly, he held the positions of Assistant Curator at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and Associate Curator at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. He is a regular contributor to the San Francisco Art Quarterly (SFAQ) and the online journal Art Practical, where he has focused on the new geography of contemporary art including “San Francisco’s Indian Autumn” (2011), “Pacific Limn” (2013) and “She Who Tells a Story: Women Photographers from Iran and the Arab World” (2105). He has written for numerous exhibition catalogues and has curated exhibitions of modern and contemporary art, including, African Art, African Voices (2004), Frida Kahlo (2008), New Work: Ranjani Shettar (2009), Art in the Atrium: Kerry James Marshall (2009) and Indigenous Contemporary (2015).  His first book, Empire of Landscape, was published in 2010 and his next, Art and the Global Economy, will be published by University of California Press in 2017. He also serves as the Associate Producer of Flying Under the Radar/Voando sob o radar, a cross-cultural, biennial festival of contemporary art that will be inaugurated in San Francisco in 2017.

 

 

PANEL 6

Architecture in Bangladesh
Time: 4:30 pm | Date: February 07, 2016 
Venue: Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy Auditorium - 03rd floor

How to present the challenges that contemporary architecture faces in Bangladesh? The "liquid landscape" of its deltas could be a starting point. For the last fifteen years, as Bangladesh has been taking part in the free market economy, a new generation of architects tries to redefine the terms of contemporaneity in the country. As the urbanism of large cities demands new housing strategies, the concepts of sustainable and responsible development require the creation of new modes of action. This panel discussion relates to Aurelien Lemonier’s architecture exhibition at the Dhaka Art Summit and draws together Bangladeshi architects and critics Kashef Chowdhury, Kazi Khaled AshraafNurur Rahman Khan and Shamsul Wares along with Farrokh Derakhshani, Director of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture, who will highlight strategies of responsible development from social, economic and environmental lenses.

Extended biographies can be found below:

 

Farrokh Derakhshani (Moderator)
Farrokh Derakhshani is Director of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture. He has been associated with the Award since 1982, where his work has brought him into contact with architects, builders, and planners throughout the world. He travels extensively in Muslim countries, and has organised and participated in numerous international seminars and colloquia dealing with contemporary built environments. He has collaborated on a large variety of publications and exhibitions on architecture, and has been involved in organising professional workshops and international architectural competitions. He lectures widely and has served as a jury member at schools of architecture in Europe, Africa and Asia. Mr. Derakhshani’s main field of specialisation is the contemporary architecture of Muslim societies, and his professional work has included the design and construction management of large-scale public works and infrastructure projects in Iran, as well as architectural design in Paris and Geneva. He is trained as an architect at the National University of Iran and later continued his studies at the School of Architecture in Paris (Paris I).

Kazi Khaled Ashraf
Kazi Khaleed Ashraf is a Bangladeshi architect, urbanist and architectural critic. Ashraf received his Bachelor of Architecture from the Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology, BUET, his Master’s from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, MIT, and his PhD from the University of Pennsylvania. He is also Professor of Architecture at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Ashraf has also taught at the University of Pennsylvania, Temple University and Pratt Institute. Ashraf has authored a number of publications including, with Saif Ul Haque and Raziul Ahsan, Pundranagar to Sherebanglanagar: Architecture in Bangladesh, (Chetana, Dhaka, 1997); with James Belluardo, An Architecture of Independence: The Making of Modern South Asia - Charles Correa, Balkrishna Doshi, Muzharul Islam, Achyut Kanvinde (New York, The Architectural League of New York, 1998); Designing Dhaka, A Manifesto for a Better City (Loka Press, Dhaka, 2012); An Architect in Bangladesh: Conversations with Muzharul Islam (Loka Press, Dhaka, 2014); The Hermit’s Hut: Architecture and Asceticism in India (University of Hawaii Press, 2013); with Richard Saul Wurman and Grischa Ruschendorf, Louis Kahn: House of the Nation (ORO Editions 2014). Ashraf received the Pierre Vago Journalism Award from the International Committee of Architectural Critics for the Architectural Design publication Made in India.

Kashef Chowdhury
Kashef Chowdhury has a studio-based practice whose works find root in history with strong emphasis on climate, materials and context – both natural and human. In design, projects are given extended time for research to reach a level of innovation and original expression. Recent and current commissions range from conversion of ship and low cost settlements to a training centre, art gallery, museum, hospital, residences and multi-family housing to hotels and corporate head offices. Chowdhury has been a visiting faculty various Universities in Bangladesh and has been a juror for the Advanced Studios (Master’s Degree) at Yale University. He was a finalist twice in the Aga Khan Award for Architecture and has won first prize in Architectural Review’s AR+D Award 2012. Kashef Chowdhury takes an active interest in art and has worked as a professional photographer, having held seven solo exhibitions. He has designed and published three books: Around Dhaka, 2004; Plot Number Fifty Six, 2009 and The Night of Fifteen November, 2011 – a photographic and recorded account of some survivors of the cyclone SIDR in the coastal areas of Bangladesh.

Nurur Rahman Khan
Nurur Rahman Khan spent some of his childhood years in Liverpool and graduated from the department of Architecture of the Bangladeshi University of Engineering and Technology, BUET in 1990 and completed his Master’s in 1991, receiving prestigious awards for both. Before founding is own practice with Tanya Karim he taught in BUET full time. He also gave numerous lectures about the National Assembly Building by Louis I. Kahn in renowned universities around the world such as Yale, Columbia, Harvard, Center for Environmental Planning and Technology University, and currently teaches as a guest faculty at BRAC University and North South University, Bangladesh. Aside from his teaching practice, Nurur Rahman Khan is a photographer, member of Chetana Architecture Reasearch Society and director of the Muzharul Islam Archives. His architectural practice is varied as he takes on residential projects such as the Haque Residence (2001), but also offices and diplomatic buildings: he performed the renovation of the American embassy in Dhaka.