Mizanur Rahman Chowdhury Wins Samdani Art Award
By Julee WJ Chung
Bangladeshi artist Mizanur Rahman Chowdhury was bestowed the Samdani Art Award at the 2018 Dhaka Art Summit. The director of Tate art museum and galleries in London, Maria Balshaw, presented Chowdhury with the prize, highlighting his multimedia installation The Soul Who Fails to Fly into the Space, commissioned by the Dhaka-based Samdani Art Foundation.
Chowdhury will also take part in a six-week residency with the Delfina Foundation in London, along with curatorial support from the New North and South—a network of 12 arts organizations from across England and South Asia.
Born in Noakhali in southeastern Bangladesh, Chowdhury studied printmaking at the University of Dhaka. He experiments with everyday objects, such as plastic chairs, fans, magazines, ribbons and grass-cutting equipment, to create uncanny mixed-media sculptures, assemblages and installations that urges his audience to contemplate the metaphysical in unfamiliar situations.
The Samdani Art Award recognizes emerging Bangladeshi artists between the ages of 22 and 40, and brings their works to an international audience through partnerships with institutions around the world. This iteration’s jury included Delfina Foundation director Aaron Cezar, and artists Sheela Gowda, Runa Islam, Subodh Gupta and Mona Hatoum. Aside from organizing the biennial award, the Samdani Art Foundation is also building Bangladesh’s first major contemporary art center in Sylet, the hometown of founders Nadia and Rajeeb Samdani.
This is the fourth edition of the annual prize. Previous award winners include Rasel Chowdhury in 2016, Ayesha Sultana in 2014, and Musarrat Reazi and Khaled Hasan in 2012.
The Dhaka Art Summit takes place between February 2 and 10, 2018.
Julee WJ Chung is ArtAsiaPacific’s assistant editor.
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