Rashid Choudhury (1932-1985) was a second generation artist, sculptor, writer and professor. Best known as a pioneer in tapestry art in Bangladesh, he recently made history posthumously, as his work became a part of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in the USA, one of the largest and revered art museums in the world. The untitled tapestry was gifted to the museum by the Samdani Art Foundation, the Dhaka-based private arts trust earnestly working for the exposure and promotion of the country's artists and architects. Two of his other pieces were also loaned to The Met.
The Daily Star got in touch with Nadia Samdani, the co-founder of the foundation alongside her husband, Rajeeb Samdani. “This is indeed a huge stride for Bangladeshi Art, as we feel that our talented artists are under-represented in the international art arena,” says Nadia Samdani.
This is one of the reasons that the Samdani Art Foundation initiated the biennial Dhaka Art Summit, an international, non-commercial research and exhibition platform for art and architecture related to South Asia. Through the summit, international artists and curators took note of the immense talent present in Bangladesh's art world. “Last year, a huge team from The Met came in order to inspect the tapestry, and they were very impressed with it. They wanted the work in their collection,” explains Nadia Samdani. The art collector further said that since the museum only displays art that fits the theme of their massive and legendary art collection, which makes the feat even more impressive. More and more Bangladeshi artists artists are now becoming globally recognised, and the Samdani Art Foundation has a pivotal role to play in that.