A new art centre and sculpture park is being built in the country to draw international visitors to north-eastern Bangladesh.
Srihatta-Samdani Art Centre and Sculpture Park will be opened in Sylhet in late 2018, reports The Art Newspaper.
Rajeeb Samdani, the managing director of Golden Harvest Group, and his wife Nadia Samdani, who together founded the Samdani Art Foundation, are building this arts complex.
They established the foundation in 2011 and launched the first edition of the biennial Dhaka Art Summit the following year.
The Srihatta-Samdani Art Centre and Sculpture Park is funded entirely by the couple via the foundation. The Art Newspaper was told by Diana Campbell Betancourt, the foundation’s artistic director, that it would not be a a private museum. It will be a free venue with no tickets.
The centre will open in stages. There will be a 100-acre sculpture park, 10,000sqft of artist residency space, 10,000sqft of plazas, and a 5,000sqft gallery designed by the Bangladeshi architect Kashef Mahboob Chowdhury.
A giant figure of a reclining woman, titled Rokeya has already been installed in the sculpture park. Other artists commissioned include Rana Begum, Subas Tamang, Yona Friedman and Monika Sosnowska who will create a “monumental concrete river that will serve as a walking path through the landscape.” The Indian artist Asim Waqif will create a “living sculpture” by transforming a bamboo forest into a wind instrument (the wind will create a sound as it blows through the bamboo canes).
The founders hope that the new venue will become a destination for international visitors.
Srihatta is a 10km drive from Sylhet international airport, which has direct flights from London, Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Dhaka.