Design rendering of Srihatta—Samdani Art Centre and Sculpture Park.

Samdani Art Foundation to Build First Permanent Space

The Samdani Art Foundation, a Bangladesh-based private arts trust best known for its Dhaka Art Summit, will open an arts center and sculpture park as early as 2018, Sarah Douglas of Artnews reports. Founders Nadia and Rajeeb Samdani announced the plan for the one-hundred-acre park and art center at a dinner hosted by the foundation at the Cipriani Hotel in Venice on Thursday night.

Srihatta—Samdani Art Centre and Sculpture Park, the foundation’s new permanent venue, will boast 10,000 square feet of space for artist residencies; 10,000 square feet of plazas; and a 5,000-square-foot gallery designed by Dhaka-based Bangladeshi architect Kashef Mahboob Chowdhury and his firm URBANA. Located in Sylhet, a city approximately 150 miles from Dhaka, Srihatta will be free to the public.

“Like the Dhaka Art Summit, Srihatta was born from a long-time dream to innovate a new destination for South Asia in Bangladesh, one that revolves around art,” said Nadia Samdani in a statement. “Rajeeb and I are now realizing our dream—in the district where our families come from—to build a permanent home for the Samdani Art Foundation’s activities and a dynamic art center international in approach. We hope that with this unique endeavor, the people of South Asia as well as international visitors will find a haven amongst the remarkable works of art and profound landscape.”

Led by the foundation’s artistic director, Diana Campbell Betancourt, the center’s new gallery will feature rotating exhibitions curated from the Samdanis’s collection of two thousand works of modern and contemporary art. “We do not believe that Bangladesh needs a private museum,” Campbell Betancourt said. “This is a community space where we can all engage with art on equal terms.”