A part of one of the largest corporate art collections in the world, the Deutsche Bank’s “Time Present”, is in India for the first time.
Enter the National Gallery of Modern Art in Mumbai, and you will be struck by a vibrant, 13 by 4 feet large photograph of a concert hall. The scale and colours of the photograph mesmerize you, but once you pay closer attention to the details in the photograph, you are left awe-struck.
German photographer Martin Liebscher, in this photograph, populated the entire Suntory Hall in Tokyo with himself. He posed over and over as the conductor, the musicians and the listeners and then put together individual photographs to form the panoramic final product. No digital tricks, no Photoshop – only painstaking human effort to create a photograph with dramatic quality.
This is only one of the many stunning photographs from the exhibition showcasing Deutsche Bank’s collection. Over the last 30 years, Deutsche Bank has built up one of the largest corporate collections of art in the world. ArtWorks – their global art programme – is an integral part of the bank’s cultural activities.
“Deutsche Bank started this collection of ArtWorks to buy pieces for our buildings and then give access to them for our clients, staff and guests. We started it more than 30 years ago, and today, we have more than 61,000 artworks being presented in 900 buildings in 40 countries,” said Freidhelm Hutte, the Global Head of Art, Deutsche Bank.
In the 1990s, Deutsche Bank began joint projects with museums, art fairs and other cultural institutions to promote and display emerging artists. Their objective, with these exhibitions, is to reach a broader global audience. This is the first time that “Time Present”- a collection of international photography – is touring India. Previously, the collection was on display in Singapore, and will be heading to Tokyo from Mumbai.
“From the very beginning, we decided to focus on photography. It was not considered very well-respected in the art world and it was an outsider medium at that time. The collection, as a whole, is about works on paper, so it has various drawings, prints and collages as well. We also wanted to focus on new talents and the younger generation. Even today, we look out for the next generation,” Hutte said.
“The theme of Time Present looks at the connections and interaction between time and photography. After deeper research, we developed four chapters, examining time in a more technical sense. We picked photographs that reflected how time is linked with the camera; how photography can capture a moment, freeze it and preserve the past; and how it can look into the future.” Hutte explained.
The four chapters are titled “Time Exposed”, “Today Is The Past”, “A Moment Of Intense Concentration” and “My Future Is Not A Dream”. Over the four chapters, the photographs also show how this medium has changed from the 1970s until today. The collection comprises more than 60 works by 40 international artists.
Time Present: Photography from the Deutsche Bank Collection is on display at the National Gallery of Modern Art in Mumbai from March 21 to May 10.