Renowned Bangladeshi art patron couple Rajeeb Samdani and Nadia Samdani, along with art curator Diana Campbell Betancourt, made it to the top 50 of ArtReview magazine’s 2021 Power 100 list. The prominent art magazine publishes this list each year to feature the most influential people in the contemporary art world.
Nadia and Rajeeb are the co-founders of the Samdani Art Foundation, while Diana is the foundation’s artistic director. They are placed in the 49th position on the list.
The Samdanis are best known for Dhaka Art Summit, which brings together curators, artists, and other arts professionals from around the globe. The pandemic has pushed the next edition of the summit to 2023.
Talking to the press, Nadia said that they are honoured to be featured on the ArtReview Power 100 list, as it is something everyone in the art world looks forward to. Similarly, Rajeeb shared that being named on the list is a matter of inspiration for them.
“We have been featured on this prestigious list for the last seven years, and we have climbed our way up,” said Nadia. “The Dhaka Art Summit has put Bangladesh on the global art map. The art fraternity of Bangladesh has been in a bit of a bubble, but the summit acts as a bridge that connects the world to Bangladeshi art. We have worked with numerous movers and shakers of the art world for the Dhaka Art Summit, many of whom have been named in this list. We are very happy that our hard work and the way we are making a difference in the art world have been recognised.”
“We intend to bring people from all walks of life together for the summit; it is not just for art experts. I believe that art should not just be for private spaces. It should be open and accessible to the public. We want people to engage with and think critically about the art they see at the summit. It is no longer our event; it is the country’s event,” she added.
Every edition of the Dhaka Art Summit honours young artists for their promising contribution to fine art through the Samdani Art Award and aims at promoting their work internationally.
The Samdanis are also working on Srihatta, an art centre and 100-acre sculpture park that they are building in Sylhet, northeastern Bangladesh, but that is not likely to open until next year.
Meanwhile, Diana has helped establish the EDI Global Forum for Education, a digital platform and international network of art institutions, for the Morra Greco Foundation.