Malaysian masterpiecesto go to the highest bidders
PREVIEWS UNDER WAY: 86 works by iconic artists, worth some RM2.5 million, to be auctioned off
ATOTAL of 86 masterpieces worth an estimated RM2.5 million, mostly by established Malaysian artists, will go under the hammer at the White Box, MAP@PUBLIKA in Kuala Lumpur on May 6.
For the third year running, the Henry Butcher Art Auction will feature the finest and most significant works by Malaysian artists, past and present.
A four-day preview was held recently at Galeri Seni Mutiara, Whiteaways Arcade in Beach Street, here, for the benefit of art lovers up north.
The only art auctioneers in the country, Henry Butcher Art Auctioneers has seen growing success since its first auction in 2010 which generated sales worth RM1.7 million. Last year's gross was RM3.1 million.
"We expect the success rate for this year to exceed that of the previous years, due to the growing optimism on the quality and the public's positive perception on works by Malaysian artists," said Henry Butcher Art Auctioneers director, Vincent Sim Tiak Choo, at the opening of the preview.
"Malaysian artists have not had an auction of their works on such a big scale, and this is a platform to showcase their high-quality works to the world," said Sim.
"It is also an opportunity to bring out all those works by our pioneering artists from the mid-1990s, some of whom have passed on, as well as those by established and contemporary artists, to bring greater awareness to the younger generation of our local achievements."
Many works up for sale have never been seen by the public until now, as they had been in the private collections of individuals.
Datuk Ibrahim Hussein's 1984 masterpiece Red, Orange and Core, worth between RM800,000 and RM1.2 million, is expected to be the star of the auction.
This 198.3cm by 271.4cm precious gem has never been seen in public and is set to break the record for a painting by a Malaysian artist.
Henry Butcher Asset Auctioneers chairman, Tan Sri Kamal Mohd Hashim, added that the quality of the selected pieces were as good, if not better, than those by foreign artists.
"The time has come for Malaysians to have a better perception on Malaysian artists and art," he said.
"It is also an opportune time for Malaysians to shine in the international limelight, and the success of the previous auctions bear testimony to the growing interest of Malaysian and foreign buyers in Malaysian art," he said.
More than 500 pieces were received by the auctioneers, who then whittled the number down to the final 86 for the coming auction.
Artists selected include Latiff Mohidin, Khaw Sia, Datuk Syed Ahmad Jamal, Datuk Ibrahim Hussein, Datuk Chuah Thean Teng, Datuk Mohd Hoessein Enas, Yusof Ghani, Chia Yu Chian, Tan Choon Ghee, Ismail Hashim, Eng Tay, Datuk Tay Hooi Keat, Ahmad Zaki Anwar, Patrick Ng and Chang Fee Ming.
A Chinese ink section with works by Cheong Soo Pieng, Chen Wen Hsi, Chung Chen Su and Huang Yao will be making its debut.
Another preview will be held at Helutrans Artspace in Singapore from today to April 15, followed by a full viewing at the White Box from April 21 to May 5, with the actual auction the next day.
For more information, call 03-2691 3089/012-227 5325, email to email@example.com or visit www.hbart.com.my.