Victor Hugo Gomes, a restorer by profession, always had a fascination for the various rituals and traditions that were an integral part of his young days. When based in Lucknow as a painter, he joined a team from M S University (Baroda) in researching tribal art and lifestyles in various places in North India. On being offered a Lalit Kala Academy (Goa) scholarship, he chose to study “Experimental transitions in the world of art”. This subject covered the use of different materials and processes in art over time. He furthered his restoration techniques on joining a course in restoration and conservation of art conducted by the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH). On completion, Victor returned to Goa in 1991 to become the curator of the Museum of Christian Art that was being set up at the Seminary of Rachol. During his tenure he became aware that artefacts of artistic and historical value were being neglected around the state. Traditional implements were being thrown out or left to decay in many old Goan houses.
This focussed his enthusiasm for collecting items of cultural heritage value, premised on the concern that the loss of hundreds of years of accumulated wisdom in agrarian practices. The rich tradition of implements, tolls, arts, crafts and the heritage of our ancestors — would be irrevocable.
Victor Hugo Gomes is the creator, curator and owner of Goa Chitra — an ethnographic museum in Benaulim, Goa, showcasing traditional Goan farming implements and other Goan antiques.