The DBF-KMB Award is a new, multi-year exhibition and lecture programme that brings together the Hayward Gallery, the Durjoy Bangladesh Foundation and the Kochi Biennale Foundation. It grants an emerging South Asian artist participating in the biennale the opportunity to present their first institutional solo show in the UK at Hayward Gallery’s HENI Project Space.
The DBF-KMB Award has been created with the aim of supporting the artist at a crucial juncture in their professional development while creating a new pathway for cultural exchange between South Asia, the UK and Europe. The recipient of the Award will be selected by the DBF-KMB Award selection committee, including members of the 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. Exploring salient artistic concerns of the present, the Durjoy Bangladesh Lecture Series will serve to further build the Hayward Gallery’s critical and research-driven engagement with exhibition-making practices in South Asia, and in particular with the progressive and cosmopolitan approach formulated by the KMB, which has established itself as a centre for artistic engagement in India by drawing from the rich tradition of public action and engagement in Kerala, as well as aesthetic interventions that have subverted notions of social and cultural hierarchies.