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Dhaka Art Summit 2023: বন্যা


Taking place at the Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy from 3-11 February 2023, the Dhaka Art Summit (DAS) is a hub for contemporary art in South Asia and one of the largest contemporary art events of its kind. A bridge connecting Bangladeshi artists to the rest of the world, the Summit is arranged around a series of intersecting exhibitions, bringing together over 120 local and international artists and architects including: Rana Begum, Bhasha Chakrabarti, Simon Fujiwara, Antony Gormley, Yasmin Jahan Nupur, Ashfika Rahman, Joydeb Roaja, Rupali Gupte and Prasad Shetty, Lapdiang Syiem, Anpu Varkey and Sumayya Vally.

The DAS, titled Bonna, will explore the theme of Bangladesh’s climate, and how this has shaped the country’s history, identity and culture. As both the word for ‘flood’ and a girl’s name in Bengali, Bonna will examine the multiplicity of meanings around weather and water through the lens of Bangladeshis, as both life givers - bringing regeneration and renewal - and takers.


oletha imvula uletha ukuphila Translation: “They who brings rain, brings life” IsiZulu proverb

Wielding the comings of rain is a tradition practiced by cultures across geographies. To possess the power to command rainfall is by inference possessing the power to dictate the flow of the natural cycle and climatic conditions. Across Southern Africa, rain-making rituals are directed towards royal ancestors because they were believed to have control over rain and other natural phenomena. One of these is the Moroka of the Pedi tribe in South Africa. Here, a series of fired and unfired clay vessels are assembled as a temporal space to hold gatherings. Over the course of DAS, a series of performances which draw on the traditions of rain-making and harvest are performed in the space where the hands that formed the pots also work to un-form them. The rituals include the use of water, which allows the un-fired pots to dissolve over time, revealing areas and niches of gathering contained by the pots, as well as rhythmic drumming that evokes the sound of thunder at the end of each day.


Pavilion and Performance

Conceptualisation by Sumayya Vally Ceramic vessels activated by performance (7pm daily)

Commissioned by

Samdani Art Foundation Co-curated by Diana Campbell and Sean Anderson as an overlay of “To Enter the Sky” on the 2nd floor of DAS


In collaboration with: Arpita Singha Lopa Tahera Tanzim Juthi Ayesha Rahman Rituporna nodi Krishna Biswas Sumit Das Sajib Ghosh Shib Shankar Mondol Sajeb Mondol


In collaboration with Shoummo Saha

Rendered Perspective of the rain-making installation in it’s most complete form on Day 1.

Press Links

  • 10 Standout Artists at the Dhaka Art Summit 2023 artsy
  • In Bangladesh, the Dhaka Art Summit Blooms Ocula
  • This Month At Paris+ Par Art Basel, Bangladeshi Art Took Center Stage Forbes
  • Dhaka Art Summit Will Explore "Bonna" From 3- 11 February 2023 In Bangladesh worldarchitecture