Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Malaysian Art Friends' Exhibition

Recently our friends, art collectors themselves, Pakhruddin & Fatimah Sulaiman, invited us to the launch of The Malaysian Art Friends' exhibition which showcased selected works from private collections at the National Art Gallery Malaysia on 26 June 2010 .

Of the exhibition, Pakhruddin, one of the project directors says it is ' a logical progression from the book, 30 Art Friends: Appreciating Southeast asian art, which is the product of a friendly collaboration between 30 private collectors from Malaysia and Singapore.'

This rare public display of collections is indeed a wonderful sharing with the public. It is by no means a definitive exhibition of the amassed collection of the 15 collectors; the majority of them only started collecting art in the early 1990s . For now, it was just a peek . My hubby and I were part of the audience that evening. It was a good feeling to see so many people gathered. Also, many artists(collectors too!) were there. How nice to bump into my daughter's former art teacher Thangarajoo and Long Thien Shih, a well -known artist from whom we bought his painting way back in 1991.

With the 2 countries unique collaboration to bring art to the public, it would have been ideal to have all the 90 artworks for the book exhibited together. But the logistical issues and huge costs did not work in favour of such an attempt. The Singapore Art Friends exhibited alongside Christie's preview exhibition for its Southeast Asian art auction, to accompany the official launch of the book on 1 May 2010. We bought a copy . Never mind the heavy weight of the book, the wealth of the art in it is heaven -sent. Indeed it is a privilege to view 30 collectors artworks and to read their innermost thoughts of their prized possessions . All profits from the sale of the book will be donated towards art education and development in the two countries.

Some of the artists featured in the private collection were: Bayu Utomo Radjikin, Ibrahim Hussein, Jolly Koh, Latiff Mohidin, and Long Thien Shih. I was too busy viewing the paintings and chatting away with friends across the Causeway that I didn't capture any for the evening! It was redemption time when we took our friends M and G from Australia to visit the exhibition again.

Beyond any doubt, the exhibition has been a labour of love by all involved. To think a personal desire to document the family art collection for posterity by Quek Tse Kwang, architect/director of RT+Q Architects Pte Ltd, Singapore , the idea took off and has resulted in a book and an exhibition. Through this highly commendable effort, it shows art speaks across borders . The sweet outcome is 2 hearts beating as one! Am taking my time to enjoy the book, 30 ArtFriends Appreciating southeast asian art.

Chang Fee Ming Good Luck To The Young Rice 2002 Watercolour on paper

Natee Utarit Micro History of Politics No.I 2006 Oil on Canvas

Ahmad Zakii Anwar Devotees 2008 Charcoal on paper

Jimmy Ong Ivan Rehearsing The Kantan 1987 Charcoal on paper

Kow Leong Kiang Silent Conversation series - One Afternoon II 2006 Oil on Canvas

Redza Piyadasa Nyonya Serenade II 2006 Acrylic & mixed media on board

Chang Fee Ming A Last Puff 1999 Watercolour on paper

Georgette Chen Malay Woman Year Unknown Oil on Canvas

Zulkifli Yusoff Malay Sketches (Conflict: Morning at Batu Gajah) 2008 Acrylic on canvas

Chang Fee Ming Chords of Friendship 1986 Mixed media on wood

Jalaini Abu Hassan B Anjing An 2009 Bitumen on canvas

Jimmy Ong Ivan Rehearsing the Kantan 1987 Charcoal on paper

Ahmad Zakii Anwar Daging 1 2009 Bitumen on Canvas


  1. Thanks for sharing. Please check my guest post over Chow and Chatter, I put your blog as reference for Tunku story.

  2. Keats, as usual you made a very interesting entry.

  3. wow, these are great!
    My favourites are Good luck... and A last puff :)
    Just yesterday we watched the 2nd part (of 5) BBC series 'How art made the world' - it's amazing series.
    It's only 30.000 yrs we've been describing our world by drawing/painting...

  4. Wonderful collaboration of lovely paintings!

  5. So glad to see such beautiful art from our shores.

  6. These are wonderful! I wish I could go to the exhibit myself!

  7. Beautiful pictures, Keats. The art exhibition looks wonderful, the paintings are truly marvellous. I wish I could go :)

  8. Sorry I missed seeing these in person (:

  9. Nice collection of arts, havent been to one before..maybe one day :)

  10. Aaah! I should have gone for the exhibition! What a pity! The pictures are all so beautiful and moving! I wonder what impels an artist to paint the way he/she does... it's like putting a little piece of your heart or your soul into each painting.

  11. Fantastic! What a wonderful exhibition.

  12. Great photos and write-up about the artists and book. I love hanging out at art galeries.

  13. I am surprised they let you take pictures in there. Usually in the US people get very mad at you when you take photos in museums.( I do it anyway. :)
    Thanks for sharing.

  14. I'm more of a landscape, flowers and birds kind of art person. I didn't appreciate art before but now, definitely taking the time to learn these things. Great samples that you posted here.

  15. That is a novel idea, artists getting together to bring out their work. Great shots shared. Thanks for the glimpse.

  16. That looks like a wonderful exhibit. I especially like the watercolors.

  17. It must be a wonderful experience to gather among the artists! I like all your photos of the exhibit..

  18. Beauty is not in the eye of the beholder,like they say.It is a perception,somewhere in the brain.If we get the same feel and emotions the artist had, then he is successful.Exhibitions are as important to a painter,the way a publisher is to a writer.
    Contemporary artists need this kind of support.
    For example,you have introduced me artists whom otherwise I would have never known.
    Beautiful pictures. Excellent post.


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