The Samdani Art Foundation has announced Bangladeshi artists Purnima Aktar and Md Fazla Rabbi Fatiq as joint winners of the biannual Samdani Art Award.
The Samdani Art Foundation has announced Bangladeshi artists Purnima Aktar and Md Fazla Rabbi Fatiq as joint winners of the biannual Samdani Art Award. It is the first time two finalists have been awarded the prize which aims to support, promote and highlight the country’s emerging contemporary artists. The awards were presented on the opening day of the sixth edition of the Dhaka Art Summit (DAS), the 9-day research and exhibition platform connecting the Bangladeshi and South Asian art scene with the rest of the world.
Purnima Aktar and Md Fazla Rabbi Fatiq were selected from a shortlist of 12 artists whose work is part of an exhibition curated by Anne Barlow (Director at Tate St Ives) currently on view at DAS.
The members of the international jury included Ibrahim Mahama, artist; Tarun Nagesh, Curator of Asian Art at the Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA) in Brisbane, Australia; Roobina Karode, Chief Curator, Kiran Nadar Museum of Art; and Simon Castets, Former Samdani Art Award Curator and Director of Strategic Initiatives, LUMA Arles.
Md Fazla Rabbi Fatiq. Image by Farhad Rahman. Copyright Dhaka Art Summit 2023
Previous recipients of the Samdani Art Award - which grants a residency hosted by Delfina Foundation in London and the work of the artist being added into the Samdani Art Foundation collection - include Ayesha Sultana, whose works from past editions of the Summit have since been acquired by SFMoMA, Tate and Queensland Gallery of Modern Art.
The chair of the international jury, Aaron Cezar (Director, Delfina Foundation), commented: ‘The jury were impressed by the high quality of the commissions, the impeccable presentations, and the artists' expansive thinking about human nature and the relationship between humans and nature. After five and a half hours of deliberation, we decided that it was not enough to offer one residency but two opportunities.
Ibrahim Mahama, one of the jury members, has kindly offered an opportunity for another artist to undertake a residency in Ghana as part of Savannah Centre for Contemporary Art and Red Clay, two initiatives that he founded. Including a residency in the Global South is an important development in the award.’
Purnima Aktar. Image by Farhad Rahman. Copyright Dhaka Art Summit 2023
The jury praised Md Fazla Rabbi Fatiq (b. 1995) - the recipient of the residency at the Delfina Foundation - for his photographic practice, in particular his striking images of abandoned bridges shown in the exhibition. These haunting images, gathered and documented through a long and rigorous research process, courageously point to corruption in the construction industry, depicting the ruins of promises to connect and preserve communities, particularly in areas prone to floods and high water.
Purnima Aktar’s (b. 1997) installation with paintings draws on mythology, Muhgal miniatures and folk art, among other forms of image-making to depict impending ecological disasters. The recipient of the residency in Ghana, hosted by Ibrahim Mahama’s Savannah Centre for Contemporary Art and Red Clay, the jury acknowledged Aktar's aesthetic vocabulary and allegorical approach to world-building.
The other shortlisted artists were: Ashfika Rahman, Dinar Sultana Putul, Dipa Mahbuba Yasmin, Faysal Zaman, Habiba Nowrose, Mojahid Musa, Rakib Anwar, Rasel Rana, Sohorab Rabbey and Sumi Anjuman.
ArtDependence Magazine is an international magazine covering all spheres of contemporary art, as well as modern and classical art.
ArtDependence features the latest art news, highlighting interviews with today’s most influential artists, galleries, curators, collectors, fair directors and individuals at the axis of the arts.
The magazine also covers series of articles and reviews on critical art events, new publications and other foremost happenings in the art world.
If you would like to submit events or editorial content to ArtDependence Magazine, please feel free to reach the magazine via the contact page.