Kochi-Muziris Biennale teams up with Durjoy Bangladesh Foundation to institute a new award

Durjoy Rahman, Bose Krishnamachari and Ralph Rugoff
Durjoy Rahman (left), founder of the Durjoy Bangladesh Foundation, Bose Krishnamachari (center), president of Kochi-Muziris Biennale, Ralph Rugoff (right), director of Hayward Gallery, announcing the launch of the DBF-KMB Award. Photo: Clelia Cadamuro

Aiming to support emerging artists, a new award has been instituted by The Kochi-Muziris Biennale along with The Durjoy Bangladesh Foundation, an organisation that supports and promote art from South Asia.

From this year, South Asian artists participating at the Kochi Muziris Biennale have a chance to win the Durjoy Bangladesh Foundation/Kochi-Muziris Biennale (DBF-KMB) Award, which is a new, multi-year exhibition and lecture programme that brings together the Hayward Gallery, the Durjoy Bangladesh Foundation and the Kochi Biennale Foundation.

The DBF-KMB Award will grant the winning South Asian artist the opportunity to present their first institutional solo show in the UK at Hayward Gallery’s HENI Project Space. The first recipient will be chosen from the fifth edition of the Kochi-Muziris Biennale, curated by artist and writer Shubigo Rao and titled In Our Veins Flow Ink and Fire, opening in Kerala, India on December 12, 2022.

The DBF-KMB Award has been created with the aim of supporting artists at a crucial juncture in their professional development while creating a new pathway for cultural exchange between South Asia, the UK and Europe, according to a press note by Kochi Biennale Foundation president Bose Krishnamachari.

The recipient of the Award will be selected by the DBF-KMB Award selection committee, including members of Hayward Gallery’s curatorial team and its Director, Ralph Rugoff, as well as representatives from the DBF and the Kochi Biennale Foundation. Artists shortlisted for the DBF-KMB Award will originate from a South Asian country (Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka) and will not have had any prior solo exhibitions in UK’s public institutions.

Every alternate year and between biennales, the Hayward Gallery will also host a public programme titled “The Durjoy Bangladesh Lecture Series.” Co-curated with the Kochi Biennale Foundation, these talks will draw on the Biennale’s legacy by featuring leading artist-curators and creative practitioners from the South Asian region.  

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