Nadia & Rajeeb Samdani

Building an art scene in Bangladesh through the Dhaka Art Summit

The collector couple, members of Tate’s International Council, whose biennial Dhaka Art Summit received 138,000 visitors in 2016 (up from the 20,000 who came to the inaugural edition, in 2012), were awarded the Montblanc de la Culture Arts Patronage Award this year. That recognition came shortly after details were unveiled of Srihatta, an art centre and sculpture park the Samdanis are building in Sylhet, 250km from Dhaka, due to open in 2018. The complex will spread across 40ha of land, with artist residency spaces, plazas and a 465sqm gallery. In June, in keeping with the Samdanis’ appetite for global partnerships, Swiss Institute director Simon Castets was brought in to draw up the shortlist for the Samdani Art Award, a prize for Bangladeshi artists, who will receive a residency at the Delfina Foundation, London, before the winner is announced at February’s summit, now expanded to cover over a week’s worth of exhibitions, conferences, talks programmes and intercultural exchange.