SOUTH ASIAN CONTEMPORARY ART PRIZE PHOTOGRAPHY PAINTING
Closing out the inaugural Dhaka Art Summit, which ran from 12 to 15 April 2012, the Samdani Art Awards were given to Bangladeshi artists Khaled Hasan and Musrat Reazi. Both artists made an impact for their portrayals of dire socio-economic issues.
Documentary photographer Khaled Hasan was the winner of the Samdani Artist Development Award, and received the BDT1 million (USD12,000) prize for his work Terror Beat of Acid, a series of candid depictions of victims of acid attacks in the region. Bangladesh has one of the highest rates of acid attacks in the world, with around 3,000 incidences in the past decade alone. A majority of the attacks are against women, many under the age of eighteen. Hasan hopes to dispel the myth that acid attacks are used as a tool to aid religous extremism and gender repression in Muslim nations, while shining light on a pervasive and overlooked social epidemic.
The BDT500,000 (USD6,000) Samdani Young Talent Award was given to painter Musrat Reazi for her work, Moorong. The work was part of a series of the same name that captures the struggles of the Morang ethnic community in Bangladesh’s Chittagong Hill Tracts. Reazi plans to continue her socially-engaged practice with a series of works on education problems within the Chakma and Marma ethnic communities. She was the winner of the AB Bank Award at Bangladesh’s eighteenth National Art Exhibition and currently works as an art teacher at the Khagrachhari Government High School.
The two winners were selected from a short list of 29 artists. In total, the Dhaka Art Summit steering committee considered 449 submitted works by the 249 showcased Bangladeshi artists. In addition to the monetary prizes, The Samdani Art Foundation will also arrange for six-month residencies for both winning artists, providing a studio and materials for them to continue their practice.
The 2012 Dhaka Art Summit was the first event of its kind to be held in Bangladesh. During the course of the four-day event, the summit attracted over 50,000 visitors including several international art curators, critics, artists and writers. In addition to the educational programming and lecture series, the summit was also a platform for direct-to-collector art sales, which Founder and Director Nadia Samdani hoped would compensate for Bangladesh’s lack of a gallery culture. In conjunction with the main exhibition at the Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy, the Bangladesh National Museum organised a show of Modern masters from the country, while the independent art space Britto Arts Trust put on a showcase of contemporary Bangladeshi art. Samdani plans to turn the summit into a biannual event.
- Yeondoo Jung Prix Pictet prize photographs peer into Korean family homes – April 2012 – a major international photography prize on tour, including an important Korean artist
- Video artist eats like Andy Warhol, wins 2nd Bandung Contemporary Art Awards – April 2012 – another up-and-coming contemporary art award from South and Southeast Asia
- Sharjah Art Foundation Production Programme grant winners announced – March 2012 – the UAE prize focuses on new projects, and this year was awarded exclusively to video artists
- Shahidul Alam’s ‘My Journey as a Witness’: book excerpt and giveaway – December 2011 – the opening essay from a Bangladeshi photojournalist and social activist’s book
- Bangladeshi photojournalist Shahidul Alam’s first UK retrospective – picture feast – December 2011 – Alam’s photos put a human face on economic development in modern day Bangladesh
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