The Samdanis, young Bangladeshi investors, are prodigious collectors of art of their region—their vast collection includes modern and contemporary Bangladeshi artists as well as artists from India and Pakistan—as well as avid supporters of the art scene from which it arises. Rajeeb is co-chair and a founding member of Tate’s South Asian Acquisition Committee, but the Samdanis have become best known for their biennial, Dhaka Art Summit, which brings together curators, artists, and other arts professionals from around the globe. The third edition of the summit, in February 2016, attracted 138,000 visitors, putting it on par, attendance-wise, with a major international art fair. It’s an event that supports art from the region—as Rajeeb points out, “Bangladesh doesn’t have a dedicated contemporary art museum”—and also plays host to new works and commissions from international artists, like Lynda Benglis and Simryn Gill. In 2014 they were nominated for the Forbes India Art Award in the Young Collector of the Year category in recognition of their collection of Indian artists such as Anish Kapoor, Bharti Kher, Jitish Kallat, Ravinder Reddy, Chitra Ganesh, and Subodh Gupta. At the Venice Biennale in 2017, their Samdani Art Foundation unveiled plans for a permanent exhibition space to open in Northern Bangladesh, about 150 miles from Dhaka in 2018.
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