About Us

VM Centre for Traditional Arts (VMCTA)

The VM Centre for Traditional Arts (VMCTA), based in Karachi, draws inspiration from Pakistan’s artistic traditions and cultural heritage. It aims to revive traditional skills and techniques and to revitalize the relevance of traditional arts in contemporary Pakistan.

VMCTA was established in June 2017 by a partnership agreement between the VM Trust for Education in Pakistan and The Prince’s School of Traditional Arts, in London.

VMCTA opens its doors with five introductory courses in its Open Programme. These courses, and partnership with The Prince’s School of Traditional Arts will form strong foundations for longer courses and for training of tutors based in Pakistan.

Prince’s School of Traditional Arts

The Prince’s School of Traditional Arts, in London, founded by HRH The Prince of Wales, has developed a unique outlook and methodology in its engagement with the traditional arts. Its education programmes have been adopted in many countries, introducing new generations to traditional arts and crafts through practical courses, lectures, postgraduate degrees and community-based projects.

Programmes devised and taught by The Prince’s School

  • enable contemporary artists to engage with the principles and techniques of the technical arts
  • strengthen connections between people from different cultures
  • show how a closer understanding of the concept of Tradition can bring harmony and benefit to contemporary worlds.

The Prince’s School is recognised for its academic and research excellence, its high standards of practical skill and craftsmanship, and for its open and holistic philosophy.

Rangoonwala Foundation

The Foundation’s mission is to enable the empowerment of communities by engaging in social development initiatives directed at long-term sustainability and self-reliance.  The Foundation works regardless of race or religion and aims to eradicate poverty amongst marginalised communities.

Mohamed Aly Rangoonwala (1924-1998) first started philanthropic work in memory of his parents Valy Mohamed Gany and Zuleikhabia Abdul Rehman in the 1960s.  Since then the Rangoonwala Family have continued the M.A. Rangoonwala legacy with significant work across the globe, in particular in the UK, India and Pakistan.  Rangoonwala Foundation works through subsidiaries in those countries.

ZVM Gany Rangoonwala Trust – Pakistan

The Zuleikhabai Valy Mohammed Gany Rangoonwala Trust was founded in 1967 and operates out of Pakistan. It has three main objectives.  Firstly it aims to aid the advancement of education by building, establishing, maintaining and aiding educational institutions at all levels, and by providing domestic and foreign scholarships to students.  Secondly it aims to aid the advancement of health, relief of sickness and aiding those with disabilities by establishing, building, improving and helping maintain medical institutions, teaching hospitals and clinics.  Their third objective is to aid the sponsorship of the art and cultural activities of the individuals and communities that lack the resources to enhance and supplement their income and skills.

ZVM Rangoonwala Foundation UK

Founded in 1976, the ZVM Rangoonwala Foundation is a registered charity in the UK.  Its objective is to provide financial support for exclusively charitable purposes – education, health, livelihoods, arts and culture and disability.  The Foundation provides support to projects and programmes both in the UK and internationally.

Rangoonwala Foundation India Trust

Rangoonwala Foundation India Trust (RFIT) was registered as a Public Charitable Trust in Mumbai in February 2003. It is a Mumbai based, non-political, not-for- profit development organisation committed to sustainable people-centred inclusive development.  Their mission is to enable marginalised communities to become more vibrant and dynamic by engaging them in socio-economic development initiatives directed at building capacities, thereby ‘helping people help themselves’.  They have a development programme focused mainly on the issues of education, health, livelihoods and community services across population groups, including the multi-disabled.

VM Gallery- Karachi

The VM Art Gallery is a venue for art exhibitions and displays. The Gallery is fitted out to create intimate spaces for the display of traditional and contemporary art. Installation facilities, assemblage, suspensions, group of various object d’art and artifacts. These thematic factors radiate an atmosphere that is not only welcoming and dignified yet essentially contemporary in its ambiance. The Gallery caters to a multitude of artworks from both local and international art scene.

Our Team

UK Division

Asif Rangoonwala

Asif Rangoonwala

Trustee

Asif Rangoonwala, the chairman of Rangoonwala Foundation and VMIE is a successful business entrepreneur and is involved in philanthropic activities through the Rangoonwala Foundation. He is a fellow of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, Trustee of the Whitefield Development Trust, Vice Chairman of Indus Entrepreneurs UK, Trustee of British Asian Trust, and Chairman of the World Memon Foundation.

Meheen Rangoonwala

Meheen Rangoonwala

Trustee

Meheen Rangoonwala is the Global Programme Manager for the Rangoonwala Foundation. Meheen studied at the London School of Economics and went on to work in the banking sector, working at Deutsche Bank from 2005 – 2008. Since 2008, Meheen has taken a full time role within the Rangoonwala Foundation – coordinating and managing all aspects of the Foundations operations and programmes globally.

Sadia Mirza

Sadia Mirza

Programme Co-ordinator (UK)

Sadia Mirza is associated with the group businesses as Finance & Personnel Manager since 2011. She holds B Eng degree and pursued a Masters in HRM at the Westminster Business School, Lon-don. She served in Pakistan Textile Sector before establishing her career as Strategic HR and Business Management Consultant in UK.

Pakistan Division

Tariq Rangoonwala

Tariq Rangoonwala

Trustee

Tariq Rangoonwala is an entrepreneur and philanthropist. He is the Chairman of the ZVMG Rangoonwala Trust and the Rangoonwala Group of Companies is Pakistan. He chairs the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Trust in Pakistan and the National Committee of the International Chamber of Commerce in Pakistan. He serves on boards of public and private organizations, foundations, committees, forums, trusts, schools, colleges, associations, hospitals and community organizations.

Mallika Rangoonwala

Mallika Rangoonwala

Trustee

Mallika Rangoonwala has been working with the Rangoonwala Trust for the past 4 years in various cultural, art and educational development projects. She has an MA in Media Studies from the New School in New York and is Creative Marketing Director of VM Art Gallery, Director of Pakistan Calling Film Festival and Creative Director of RG Healthcare services. She also serves on the Executive Committee of the ZVMG Rangoonwala Trust.

Valy Rangoonwala

Valy Rangoonwala

Trustee

Valy Rangoonwala is CEO at BOML-TCW and is a director at the Rangoonwala Group. He serves on the Executive Committee of the ZVMG Rangoonwala Trust, which is involved in community projects in education, health, arts and culture. Valy also serves on the boards of the Pakistan chapter of The Duke of Edinburgh Award Program and the Dhoraji Foundation, an organization that grants academic scholarships to deserving students. He is also a member of the Asia Society.

Saeed Mirza

Saeed Mirza

Trustee

Saeed Mirza is serving as a Director and Trustee of ZVMG Rangoonwala Trust and VMIE. He represents the Trust on the scholarship Committee of DOW University of Health Sciences Karachi, Executive Committee of Indus Hospital Pakistan and the Board of the Memon Medical Institute Karachi. At present he is a Co-opted Trustee of the Duke of Edinburgh Award of Pakistan and a Trustee of VMIE.

Our Tutors

Dr. Lisa DeLong

Dr. Lisa DeLong

Tutor

Lisa is Outreach and Harmony Programme Manager at the Prince’s School of Traditional Arts (PSTA), in London, responsible for the PSTA’s Outreach programmes in China, Azerbaijan and now Karachi.

She studied painting and received her MA in Art History at Brigham Young University before moving to London in 2001 where she had the privilege of studying on the VITA Programme under Professors Keith Critchlow and Paul Marchant. Lisa completed her PhD at The Prince’s School of Traditional Arts in 2007, specializing in the principles of geometric design in Islamic and Western traditions. Her first book Curves: Flowers, Foliates and Flourishes in the Formal Decorative Arts was published in November 2013. In 2016 she presented a TEDx talk on geometry and education at Brigham Young University.

Her own paintings, in several important international collections, investigate the beauty found in the conversation between order and the unexpected, chaos and cosmos.

Farkhondeh Ahmadzadeh

Farkhondeh Ahmadzadeh

Tutor

Farkhondeh Ahmadzadeh is an Iranian artist based in London. Her work explores the disciplines of Persian poetry manuscripts, sacred geometry and Persian miniatures.

When she graduated with a Masters and a distinction from The Prince’s School of Traditional Arts in 2011, she was also awarded the Jerwood Art prize.

She now teaches Islamic manuscript and Persian miniature painting at The Prince’s School and regularly studies under calligraphy masters in Iran. She continues her geometry studies with Paul Marchant.

Her recent solo exhibition "Haft Paykar" based on epic poetry of Persian poet Nizami traveled from London to Scotland in 2016 and 2017 .

Farkhondeh believes that an observer’s aesthetic satisfaction arises from a subliminal appreciation of underlying sacred geometry and this informs both her teaching and her artistic practice.

Ghulam Hyder Daudpota

Ghulam Hyder Daudpota

Tutor

Ghulam Hyder was awarded a full Jameel scholarship to study at The Prince’s School of Traditional Arts (PSTA). In 2010, when he graduated with a Masters with Distinction, he was also awarded the Jerwood Art prize by HRH Prince of Wales.

For his final degree show project at PSTA, he constructed a fountain with geometric, cut Kashikari ceramic tiles, based on his studies of the Alhambra in Spain and in Fez, Morocco. He made Kashikari tile panels of the Jama Mosque in Nasarpur, Shrine Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai, Pakistan. He is the Founder and Chairman of NITA Crafts Development Co-operative Society Nasarpur.

Each year, Ghulam Hyder also joins the PSTA team in Baku, Azerbaijan as a consultant teacher of traditional ceramic techniques at the Icherisheher Centre for Traditional Arts.

Belonging to a family of ceramic tile-makers Kashikar in Nasarpur, Ghulam Hyder is intent on making sure the craft of Kashikari tile-making thrives and is maintained to the highest standards.

Isra Butt

Isra Butt

Tutor

Isra Butt is a surface pattern /textile designer and art educator. Isra is dedicated to the revival of historical traditional crafts and has been inspired by centuries of traditional Islamic pattern, geometry and the beauty of nature.

Isra currently works for The Prince’s School of Traditional Arts where she graduated with an MA, specializing in traditional textiles; natural dying, embroidery and painting. Isra teaches both within the UK and abroad. Her teaching, travels and experiences in the rich world of traditional art continue to inspire and inform her work.