The South Asia Institute is honored to announce the founding members of our Arts Advisory Council. Representing Bangladesh, India, and Pakistan, the council members will provide support and advisement for the Arts at SAI program, which aims to connect South Asia’s curators, museum administrators, artists, and art educators with Harvard faculty and students to support activity and research that advance understanding and appreciation of South Asian art.
Aparajita and Gaurav Jain, Delhi, India
Aparajita Jain went to school in Kolkata and Mumbai and completed her BA in psychology from St. Xaviers College, Mumbai. In 2012 she bought a controlling interest in Nature Morte, India’s leading contemporary art gallery and in a short time has been instrumental in re-‐positioning Nature Morte as India’s leading contemporary art gallery. Apart from showcasing some of India’s best contemporary art talent, the gallery has been the torch bearer for showing South Asian art worldwide, and placing artists in various museum collections around the world including the MOMA – NY, the MET, the Smithsonian, TATE, the Centre Pompidou and the Art Institute of Chicago. The contemporary art “world” of India has been framed and nurtured by Nature Morte to a large extent. Nature Morte represents artists like Subodh Gupta, Bharti Kher, Thukral & Tagra, Jitish Kallat, Imran Qureshi and Asim Waqif who are globally renowned as some of the best South Asian contemporary artists.
Aparajita is on the board of Tate’s South Asian Acquisition Committee. She has given talks on Art on different platforms like YFLO and YPO. Aparajita was listed as one of the 50 icons of Indian Art by Platform, and was featured in and played an active role in the Vogue Women Empowerment Endeavour. Aparajita continues to play a key role in encouraging collaborations between prestigious museums, private collections, public institutions and corporate houses, with the objective of promoting Indian contemporary art within the country and internationally.
Chandrika Pathak, London, UK
Chandrika grew up in India before moving to the US for 17 years. From there she moved to South East Asia and the Far East for ten years. She has been based in the UK since 2002. Chandrika has held research and teaching positions in both India and the US, in the fields of sociology and social policy. She has many qualifications under her belt, having graduated from Delhi University with a BA in History before completing a Masters in Sociology from both Delhi University and the University of Pennsylvania. She also has a Post Graduate Diploma in Art History after studying at The British Museum, London. Her interests are performing and visual arts, cooking, reading and painting. Chandrika is a member of the advisory council for the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust, a member of the South Asian Acquisitions Committee at the Tate and is a trustee for Jaisalmer in Jeopardy, an organization committed to the conservation of the Fort in Rajasthan.
Rajeeb and Nadia Samdani, Dhaka, Bangladesh
Rajeeb Samdani is the Co-Founder and a Trustee of the Samdani Art Foundation and is the Managing Director of Golden Harvest Group, one of the leading diversified conglomerates in Bangladesh. Golden Harvest is involved in several sectors including: Food Processing, Dairy, Commodities, Logistics, Information Technology, Real Estate, Aviation, Infra-structure Development, Banking and Insurance. He is also the Chairman of UAE-base financial institution, Gulf International Finance Limited. In addition to his philanthropy with Art, Rajeeb is the Secretary General of Bangladesh Human Rights Foundation, one of the largest Human Rights organisations in the country, and the founder of TAC Charitable Hospital and the Alvina Samdani Trust. Rajeeb is an ardent collector of contemporary art and began collecting with his wife Nadia Samdani, with whom he founded the Samdani Art Foundation in 2011. Their collection was featured as one of the top 200 collections globally by Artnews in 2015. Samdani is the Co-Chair and a founding committee member of the Tate South Asian Acquisitions Committee, member of Tate’s International Council and the New Museum’s International Leadership Council.
Nadia Samdani is the Co-Founder & President of the Samdani Art Foundation and Director of the Dhaka Art Summit. In 2011, she and her husband Rajeeb began the Samdani Art Foundation to support local artists and promote Bangladeshi and South Asian art in the region and around the world. As part of this initiative, she founded the Dhaka Art Summit, which has since completed two successful editions in 2012 and 2014 under her leadership. Nadia is a member of the Tate South Asia Acquisitions Committee, Tate’s International Council, the New Museum’s International Leadership Council and is part of the Parasol Unit’s International Committee. Nadia is a second-generation collector and began her own collection at the age of 22. She collects both Bangladeshi and international art, reflecting her experience as both a proud Bangladeshi and also as a global citizen. She has written about collecting for Art Asia Pacific and Wall Street Journal ‘Live Mint’ and has been invited to speak about collecting at various international art fairs. Nadia has been named one of Artnew’s top 200 collectors and her collection has been featured in many leading international publications.
Poonam Bhagat Shroff, Mumbai, India
Poonam is actively involved with Asia Society and sits on their Advisory Board. She sits on the International Council of the Tate, The South Asian Acquisitions Committee of Tate Modern. She also sits on the Advisory Board of Khoj which is an international Artists’ Association aimed at promoting inter cultural understanding through experimentation and exchange. She is a leading supporter of the Kochi Muziris Biennale where she published the Catalogue Celebrating India’s first Biennale in memory of her late father. Poonam has also supported the V.S. Gaitonde retrospective at the Guggenheim Museum, New York apart from Loaning them a work. She was born and raised in Bombay and plays an active role in heritage conservation initiatives in the city.
Osman Khalid Waheed, Karachi, Pakistan
Osman Khalid Waheed heads Ferozsons Laboratories Limited, a publicly listed pharmaceutical company. He joined the company in 1993 after obtaining his undergraduate degree from Harvard, and has since helped the business expand partnerships with leading pharmaceutical companies in Latin America and the US.
Ferozsons supports several significant cultural and artistic initiatives, including a partnership with the Lahore-based National College of Arts (NCA) to establish a yearly elective titled Art for Humanity. The course requires NCA students of various disciplines to work with public health institutions, employing art as a means of improving the patients’ environment and the overall functionality of the institution. The project’s first undertaking was in 2011, when students of the elective made a series of art interventions at the Mayo Hospital’s Cancer Ward. The company has also supported a residency in jazz music at NCA with faculty from Havana, Cuba, and regularly hosts an annual Young Writers Workshop at the Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS), Pakistan’s premier multidisciplinary university, to support the craft of fiction writing in Pakistan. Ferozsons also supports the Lahore Literary Festival and the Khayal Festival of Arts.