With just six more days to go before Samdani Art Foundation’s Dhaka Art Summit starts, artists are working feverishly to set up before the unveiling of the biennial event on February 7.
A glimpse of the work in progress can be seen even from the entrance road beside the building of Chitrashala, the art gallery of Shilpakala Academy. The fifth edition of DAS will offer a distinct feeling to the visitors from the previous editions of Dhaka Art Summit because of the set design of the gallery.
Aiming to reduce the event’s carbon footprint, the organizers have chosen a sustainable approach to their setup. “This year we are planning to reduce at least 20 percent of carbon footprint from last year,” said Ruxmini Choudhury, assistant curator of the Samdani Art Foundation. Considering the artificial structures of the gallery as the main source of greenhouse gas emission, this year the scale of such structures have been reduced. “In previous years we used to make changes including building chambers according to our requirements but this time we are trying to set up everything in alignment with the main infrastructure of Chitrashala” she said. She also mentioned that they are only building structures which are absolutely imperative for artworks.
Earthy components like soil have been used by artists and a statue is being made of it. The idea behind it to promote the concept of association of art and natural elements that don't cause any pollution. “We are working with artists who are interested in organic artwork,” said Choudhury
Moreover, to serve the purpose of recycling and reusing, all paper products are biodegradable.
In one more step to emit carbon footprint, the foundation vastly reduced shipment of curated artwork which was really essential. “This step is also taken in order to promote the local production and increase the scope of conversation with the artists. We believe these in-person conversations are valuable rather that shipping an artwork.” said Choudhury.
30 art collectives, both national and international, who are focusing on an environment-friendly approach towards art will collaboratively showcase their work. In total 500 artists, collectives speakers and panelists around the globe will join the summit.