Nadia & Rajeeb Samdani

Building an art scene in Bangladesh

While the couple’s private museum is still being built in the rural Bangladeshi district of Sylhet (when finished it will house their prodigious collection of South Asian art – augmented with some Western work – and boast a sculpture garden and residency programme), they continue to produce the increasingly important Dhaka Art Summit, organised by curator Diana Campbell Betancourt. Now in its fourth edition, the biennial meeting this year expanded from four to nine days and featured over 300 artists (35 percent international) and 120 speakers. While the artworld is increasingly happy to go to Dhaka, the Samdanis themselves are in global demand: members of Tate’s South Asian Acquisitions Committee and Tate’s International Council, they donated a work from their collection to the Met, loaned to the Liverpool Biennial and sponsored work in the Gwangju Biennale, while their 2018 exhibition, A beast, a god, and a line travelled to Para Site in Hong Kong and TS1 in Yangon, Myanmar.