Summing up the miles since 1987 it has had many rewarding moments for me and the V.M. Art Gallery, as an artist & curator I have had the privilege of closely viewing stimulating, inspiring and at times unique bodies of works displayed in the gallery. Over the years these varied works of art have been from the traditional to the most contemporary, from Old masters paintings, senior painters and sculptors, new wave of contemporary 3-D installations to the current New Media Art: digital works and films to some of the most cutting edge work. All those works on display by a cross-section of artists has been really illuminating, to think that the initial concept and vision by the Rangoonwala Trust for envisioning a visual art venue for the local artists to elevate themselves from, has really been a commendable, though interesting journey, crossing many pre-conceived taboos along the way. From a thought born out of a philanthropic project for local art and promotion of art education, the emergence of V.M. Art Gallery on 22nd June 1987 was and still is a great contribution to the arts and cultural scene of the country.
The V.M. Art Gallery’s website is a window into the gallery’s illustrious career; for the new visitor to explore the many faceted exhibitions displayed over the years and be abreast with the current happenings as well. Our website shall further enhance the gallery’s reputation as Pakistan’s leading art gallery and help boost its standing in the international arena.
THE VM ART COLLECTION
The Trustees of the ZVMG Rangoonwala Trust have been supporting art since establishing the gallery in 1987, the Trust via the VM Art Gallery started collecting art by artists who exhibited at the gallery over the years slowly building a collection of paintings, sculptures, ceramic and various other artworks. Initially one art work from every exhibition was chosen as a form of encouragement to the artist, over time and as each passing exhibition, the collection started to grow. Some works by some artists acquired earlier during the collection; these artists have now attained heights in the international art scene and the value of their artwork has increased respectively. To date VM Collection as it is popularly known as has over 400 works of art in its collection – a great research source for the art students.
The collection is being looked after in all respects via a proper storage system, cataloguing; a publication of the works is expected in the near future as well as plans to curate exhibitions at the VM Art Gallery in the coming years from the extensive works by some very prominent artists and Old Masters of South East Asia accompanied by critical discussions by renowned art critics from around the country and overseas for the Pakistani audience. The V.M Art Collections as well as the W.J Collections are institutional collections; they are different from other private collections in the country, which can not be publicly viewed. The collection is for the benefit of art education and can well be treated as a chronology of different periods of art in Pakistan since the partition of the Indian Sub-continent. A way for young emerging artists to study such works. The Rangoonwala Trust is always aware that what it acquires today shall be judged by future generations. These standards are often used as benchmarks by private collectors when considering formulating their own collections.
THE WAHAB JAFFER COLLECTION
As Nicholas Seroti Director, Tate says, “If you can afford it, the best way to engage with art is to buy it, and live with it, to feel passionately about it and to care for it” I think the urge to acquire and own art is a time honored one. The art collector’s influence is broader today then at any other time in history.
One such well known collector of art and a painter in his own right is Wahab Jaffer who has a remarkable collection of young and old masters. Recently he decided to part with a large part of his collection; his main objective was that the collection should stay intact rather then be dispersed amongst many buyers; a single collector should become its recipient. He wanted the collection to be seen and preserved for the future generations of Pakistani artist and audience. The Rangoonwala Trust thoughtfully deliberated and took the decision of investing for the sake of art in Pakistan by acquiring Mr. Wahab Jaffer’s collection, which consists of art works, books and films on art.