Monday, August 29, 2011

Art Talk


Finally the appointment was made to reframe  the painting we bought at the Henry Butcher's Art Auction. Things got in the way of the busyness of every day living. The art piece cut a lonely, unattended existence. Just standing on the floor of the dining  area. Waiting...

My son's pertinent remarks got us into action.'So that's how much you value your investment!' It was greeted with guilt and laughter.

I was looking forward to attend the auction, being a first -timer among 200 odd people. Some friends were there too for the 'auction fever'. After all, when money speaks, and the bids go higher and higher with hands popping up to the tune of the auctioneer's call for more and more till the final bid price. Bid assistants were at hand to help scan the bidders with the auctioneer. It was exciting for some pieces that we had taken a liking to. Some bids came through the phones.

Registration  before bidding

All set for the auction . In the background is Pago Pago Forms, 1968 by Abdul  Latiff Mohidin. It was a stunning buy at RM572,000 inclusive of the buyer's 10% premium. It came out tops out of the 104 lots.

Ring , Ring, Rrringing - bidders call in 

A pleasant surprise to have our friend as the auctioneer

The late Tan Choon Ghee's  pieces created some stir as the artist extraordinaire  had recently passed away and Henry Butcher Art auctioneers paid him a lovely tribute by exhibiting his paintings. His painting, Khoo Kongsi at Cannon Square,1985 was well received.

Khoo Kongsi at Cannon Square,1985 - Watercolour on Paper

Siri Tari 2,1990 by Yusof Ghani spoke to us. We thought we'd buy something different this time round. Luckily our bid was successful and when we were ready to leave, it was all wrapped and happily we carried it to our car.

Here's an excerpt from an interview with the artist :
'I felt that I could still communicate about how I feel about the world with a dance theme. I called them Siri Tari (Dance series).
I want to convey to the audience about the inequality of life that leads to chaos. I feel that dancing is chaotic and directionless. To achieve this effect, my approach to painting was based on immediacy, spontaneity and guided by my intuition for the colours and strokes. I had no specific sketches for the painting.'

Out of the old frame - Siri Tari -  Yusof Ghani - Acrylic on Paper  53.3cm x 35.6cm

Notes in the catalogue: Yusof Ghani's works of camouflaged figures in dynamic movement set forth his Tarian series which sashayed into public domain in 1989, with an exhibition at  GaleriCitra. In 1990 , he suffered a mild stroke but went to Penang and recuperated within months. This work showing two clasping figures done with soft touches and wash-like drip technique is likely to have been done after his stroke ordeal. The Tarian series is probably one of the artist's most popular series to date.
-    Reference Hijjas Kasturi, Siri Tari by Yusof Ghani ( Paintings and Installation Works), GaleriCitra , Kuala Lumpur, 1989

The framer recognised our new possession. Quickly he directed us to the front of his shop and there was Yusof's piece of a later series, Topeng (Mask). Someone wants to sell.

We settled for a plain look and a simple matt silver frame so as not to detract from the artist's strokes and composition.

Making a choice

Trying out the borders for the painting

Talking it over.

Another painting we saw at the shop. I like this one .

The framer says this is an artwork by a famous artist. In the background is one of  Yusof Ghani's Topeng (Mask).


  1. I like the Khoo Kongsi watercolor. Very sweet and detailed. The staring girl pic looks a little creepy.

    The Chinese words in the last photo is nice too.

  2. Wow, Keats, glad to know that you managed to get the specially meaningful Yusof Ghani painting that both you and hubby like. Are you going anywhere during this season? Wishing you happy holidays!

  3. Ooohh I love the Cannon watercolor! You always do the most creative posts on your blog!

  4. Going going gone. Never been to a real auction only seeing in movies or news. Nice painting of the Khoo Kongsi so light and easy and from Yusof Ghani with his bold strokes.

  5. I didn't know Henry Butcher does art auctions as well! I had previously dealt with them during property auctions! What fun! I can see your new acquisition appreciating in value! Where are you going to position it in your lovely home, Keats?

  6. Like the one on Khoo Kongsi...

  7. I've never been to an art auction before. It sounds exciting. Art is quite a good investment. They always appreciate and never ever go down in value.

  8. Very interesting! Though I know nothing about painting, the Khoo Kongsi is really beautiful! Congrats for acquiring the Siri Tari.
    Have a lovely week!

  9. Your framer should use cotton gloves when handling such valuable artworks!


Great to have you popping in!