Art curator Vida Heydari |

“The ability to express myself and to express my vision without restraint is the absolute form of freedom” – Vida Heydari
In December of last year, one of the largest art spaces in Pune opened at Koregaon Park – Vida Heydari Contemporary (VHC). It is a gigantic space that spans 3,000 square feet and looks like something of high international standard. Vida Heydari, the founder of this gallery is an Iranian-Canadian art curator and gallery owner, who has worked in the art industry for almost 15 years.

Vida Heydari

On his love for art …
Heydari has spent most of his life working with and around art, and it’s something that has been close to him since childhood due to his family and their love for creativity. “I was born into a creative family and I have always assisted my mother in her artistic projects from a young age. His influence and attention to art led me to enroll in adult painting classes as a child and to paint in oils at the age of 5, ”Heydari said of of how she got into art at a very young age. “It has impacted me throughout my life and inspired me to want to be as involved as possible and to surround myself with art and artists.”

Vida Heydari

Image: Instagram

By moving to Pune …

Originally living in Iran, Heydari moved to Pune almost 4 years ago after being inspired by a book given to her by a friend. Speaking about how exactly it turned out, she said: “A dear friend gave me a book who strongly thought I would find it inspiring, which I didn’t do at the time because it was was a book translated into Farsi, and I found it a bit heavy to understand. She added: “About 3 years later, the same friend read me a page from the same book on the phone, which stopped my thought and my mind for a moment upon hearing those words. “

That same evening, Heydari found the book and finished it entirely. She realized that the address behind the book was that of Osho Meditation Resort in Pune and decided to visit it immediately. Moving to Pune, she fell in love with the city so much that she wanted to give it something in return. “I fell in love with the landscape, the trees, the birds and the people of Pune and they became an important part of my life that I have always wanted to give back. So, opening the gallery in Pune came naturally to me as I felt I could help and add to the city’s cultural and artistic scene.

Vida Heydari

Image: Instagram

On working with artists …
Obviously, Heydari has worked with a large number of artists during these 15 years, mainly contemporary artists from India, Iran and China. Even with the VHC gallery, she intends to continue working with contemporary art, and her main focus will be contemporary Indian and Iranian artists in all mediums.

On what type of pieces she would like to exhibit in the gallery, Heydari said, “Considering what we’ve all been through collectively with the pandemic, I’m more interested in showing works that evoke the sense of possibility, hope and optimism at this point. ”She further added,“ Works of art that build people toward positive space or thoughts or call attention to an issue that can ultimately improve their lives are those that I ‘aspires to exhibit and promote in this space. “

Heydari mentioned that she hopes to collaborate with unknown and young artists whom she has not yet met and discovered. “Finding these talents, nurturing them and helping them realize their potential gives me great joy,” she said of working with emerging artists. Apart from that, Heydari also wants to collaborate with museums such as Kiran Nadar Museum in Delhi and Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York on the artists she works with.

Most of the artists Heydari has worked with have been with her for over a decade, which allows her to develop a close bond with these wonderful artists and their work. Some of her favorite artists she has worked with include Khosrow Hassanzadeh, Pooya Aryanpour, and Kambiz Sabri. Currently Heydari is obsessed with Mr. Pravat’s work, here is what she said about it: “He has a very impressive practice where he uses natural materials such as brick, dust, slate, wood, metal, ink, graphite and pigments using intricate techniques to produce stunning sculptural works or designs on paper or canvas.

Vida Heydari

Image: Instagram

On the VHC Gallery …

The decor of the VHC gallery followed a very minimalist aesthetic. The appearance looks grand and expensive to the eye, but it does so without being loud and awkward. The color scheme used is very subtle and the greenery plays a big role in the ambiance. “The simplicity and clean aesthetic really appeal to me, the feeling of comfort is also of the utmost importance,” Heydari said.

Attached to the gallery is an exquisite gourmet restaurant that serves contemporary European cuisine, which will also have musicians performing from time to time. “At VHC, we express art through multiple mediums, food being one of them.” The restaurant was added to add to the overall experience of people visiting the gallery, Heydari hopes it could serve as an area where inspiring conversations between artists and art lovers take place.

Heydari hopes that once pandemic restrictions in the country are relaxed, they can invite and host leading artists from across the country and organize events such as exhibitions, art conferences, educational programs and dialogues. . She also hopes that she can one day produce projects that bring together Indian and Iranian artists and curators.

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