'[…] British sculptor Antony Gormley will collaborate with local makers in Dhaka, experimenting with local materials to catalyse visitors’ relationship with space. Returning to the region for the first time since the early 1970s when he spent two years studying Vipassana meditation, Gormley’s engagement acknowledges the deep impact that South Asian culture has had on his own and many international practices.'
The Samdani Art Foundation has announced the first details of artist projects for the Dhaka Art Summit 2023. Taking place at the Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy from 3-11 February 2023, the Summit is a hub for contemporary art in South Asia and one of the largest contemporary art events of its kind. A bridge connecting Bangladeshi artists to the rest of the world, the Summit is arranged around a series of intersecting exhibitions, and in 2023 it will bring together over 120 local and international artists and architects including: Rana Begum, Bhasha Chakrabarti, Simon Fujiwara, Antony Gormley, Yasmin Jahan Nupur, Ashfika Rahman, Joydeb Roaja, Rupali Gupte and Prasad Shetty, Lapdiang Syiem, Sumayya Vally and Anpu Varkey.
This sixth edition, titled Bonna, will explore the theme of Bangladesh’s climate, and how this has shaped the country’s history, identity and culture. As both the word for ‘flood’ and a girl’s name in Bengali, Bonna will examine the multiplicity of meanings around weather and water through the lens of Bangladeshis, as both life givers - bringing regeneration and renewal - and takers. To explore these ideas, the Summit invites participating artists to engage with the country’s relationship to flooding from a contextual perspective. Set amid a region facing the realities of climate change and the ongoing debate about our global futures, the Summit will also engage younger voices to respond to this critical theme.
Diana Campbell, the Chief Curator of DAS, elaborates: ‘Over the last ten years, the Dhaka Art Summit has catalyzed unprecedented artistic exchange between Bangladesh and the rest of the world, resulting in the unique and inclusive platform that we know today. This is the first edition of the Dhaka Art Summit to take a Bangla name, Bonna, as its core theme; we want to lead our visitors into a more nuanced understanding of Bangladeshi ways of life outside of globalized urban contexts, especially as more parts of the world are starting to experience climatic challenges similar to those that Bangladesh has been grappling with since its birth.’