|Born||28 March 1974|
Rajeeb Samdani (born 28 March 1974) is a Bangladeshi industrialist. He is currently the managing director of Golden Harvest Group, a leading Bangladeshi conglomerate, and the founder and trustee of Samdani Art Foundation which produces the Dhaka Art Summit. He is the founding committee member and co-chair of the Tate Museum, United Kingdom, South Asian Acquisition Committee. Rajeeb and his wife Nadia Samdani are members of Tate's International Council and founding members of Harvard University Lakshmi Mittal South Asia Institute's Arts Advisory Council, USA. They are also members of Alserkal Avenue Programming Committee, Dubai and advisory council members of Art Dubai.
He started his career as a commodity broker with Stemcor. Over the years, his company, Golden Harvest, expanded its business into information technology, commodities, logistics, food processing, agriculture, dairy, aviation, insurance, banking, infrastructure development and real estate. He is also the chairman of Dubai-based financial institution Gulf International Finance Limited.
Golden Harvest has expanded business into logistics industry with its Japanese partner Nippon Express, the largest logistic company in Asia and the fifth largest logistic company in the world.
He is married to Nadia Samdani who is the president of Samdani Art Foundation and co-founder and director of the Dhaka Art Summit. They have three daughters: Radyna, Alvina and Maya. The collector couple is well known for their local and international art collection as well as their art philanthropy.
He is the trustee and secretary general of the Bangladesh Human Rights Foundation, founder of the Alvina Samdani Trust & Taher Ahmed Choudhury Charitable Hospital. Along with his wife Nadia Samdani, Rajeeb Samdani collects artworks from all over the world and has over 2000 modern and contemporary art.
Samdani Art Foundation was established in 2011 by Rajeeb Samdani and his wife Nadia Samdani. The foundation is based in Dhaka, Bangladesh and supports country's contemporary art and architecture. The Samdani Art Foundation is a donor for the 56th International Biennale di Venezia, supporting the projects of artists Naeem Mohaiemen and Raqs Media Collective in the main Biennale exhibition:All the World's Futures. Through the Samdani Art Foundation, he funded the Kunsthalle Basel's first exhibition of a South Asian artist, Naeem Mohaiemen in 2014. Bangladeshi-British artist Rana Begum's first major institutional solo exhibition at Parasol Unit, London was also supported through Samdani Art Foundation in 2016. They also support Bangladeshi artists to produce works for exhibitions. Some of the supported exhibitions are the Kochi Muziris Biennale 2014, Shanghai Biennale 2016, Speak Lokal, Kunsthalle, Zurich,etc. The foundation supports emerging artists and architects with the biannual Samdani Art and Samdani Architecture awards. Another program of the foundation, The Samdani Artist-Led Initiatives Forum launched on 13 April 2017 supports the work of Bangladesh's independently established and self-funded art collectives and initiatives.
The Samdanis have organised the Dhaka Art Summit, a non-profit event funded by Samdani Art Foundation from 2012. Dhaka Art Summit takes place in every two years at the Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy in collaboration with the Ministry of Cultural Affairs, People's Republic of Bangladesh and considered to be the largest South Asian art event. The 4th edition of the Dhaka Art Summit took place from 2 to 10 February 2018 with footfall of 3,17,000, among them were 1200 international visitors, including the President of Switzerland, Mr. Alain Berset.
Their new initiative is the Srihatta—Samdani Art Centre and Sculpture Park, which is the forthcoming permanent art space established under the Samdani Art Foundation. Srihatta will be the first permanent dedicated space for the Foundation's programming and exhibition activities, featuring an ongoing schedule of exhibitions curated by Diana Campbell Betancourt. The centre is designed by Kashef Mahboob Chowdhury, who won the Agha Khan Award in 2016. This is also the country's first sculpture park and dedicated art space for international modern and contemporary art.
The Samdanis have received several awards for their philanthropy. They were the first and only South Asians to receive the Montblanc de la Culture Arts Patronage award in 2017 and were recognized on the Top 200 Collectors list by Artnews in 2015, 2016 and 2017, the Power 100 list in 2015, 2016 and 2017 by Art Review and The World's Top 100 Art Collectors 2016 by ArtNet News. The couple have been invited to various international institutions to speak, including University of California, Bekerly, USA. Artworks from their collection has travelled to major exhibitions, such as documenta 14 (2017); Shanghai Biennale (2017); Office for Contemporary Art, Norway (2016); Centre Pompidou, Paris (2015); Kunstsammlung Nordhrhein, Düsseldorf (2016); Gwangju Biennale, South Korea (2014); Kochi-Muziris Biennale, India (2014).
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