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Sought-after paintings up for auction

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LIKE treasures salvaged from sunken ships, precious gems of Malaysian art will be up for auction at Henry Butcher's Art Auctioneers (HBAA)'s fourth edition, to be held at Sime Darby Convention Centre in Kuala Lumpur on Oct 28.

GEORGETOWN: Hot on the heels of last May's very successful bidding, which saw a 100 per cent sale that grossed RM4 million, the company's latest offering of 91 recently unearthed art pieces of exceptional quality by established and contemporary artists will go under the hammer in the second auction for this year.

To cater for a wider range of collectors and to encourage art collection among all strata of society in the country, the prices for the items start from as low as RM5,000.

With an estimated value of RM3.1 million, the whole spectrum features quality works by a formidable line up of internationally-acclaimed artists including Datuk Ibrahim Hussain, Abdul Latiff Mohidin, Datuk Chuah Thean Teng, Chang Fee Ming, Datuk Hoessein Enas, Lim Kim Hai, Dzulkifli Buyong, Anuar Rashid, Cheong Soo Pieng and Chen Wen Hsi, so this is one art auction not to be missed.

A preview of 37 pieces were showcased at A2 Gallery on Bangkok Lane, here, for three days recently as part of its travelling exhibitions.

HBAA director, Lim Eng Chong, said the selection for this sale was whittled from 500 items and further narrowed down to just 91.

"It is a significant honour for Henry Butcher to have been entrusted with the sale of such rare gems. The selection for this sale was made all the more stringent, with the unparalleled quality in the consignments received," he said.

"Narrowing down to 91 lots, we anticipated that collectors and art lovers will be thrilled with the opportunity to admire these rediscovered treasures."

Datuk Ibrahim Hussein's two untitled significant works, circa 2001 and 1973, exemplified his outstanding oeuvre of semi-abstract paintings and are expected to realise between RM180,000 to RM280,000 and RM150,000 to RM250,000, respectively.

Artist-poet Abdul Latiff Mohidin's Samarkand 3 (1994) and New Landscape (1991) are set to generate attention for collectors as these two masterpieces were extremely hard to come by.

Estimated at between RM150,000 and RM250,000 and RM120,000 and RM180,000, respectively, bidding for these two pieces will be hotly contested.

The late batik painter Datuk Chuah Thean Teng will be represented with three of his most exquisite works to ever appear at an auction.

Chuah's Bathing Baby (1992) at RM90,000 to RM120,000, Mothers and Children from RM55,000 to RM90,000 and Portrait (1970) from RM25,000 to RM35,000 are expected to be quickly snapped up.

Three other pioneering batik artists, Khalil Ibrahim, Fatimah Chik, Lee Long Looi and Ismail Mat Hussin, are also represented.

Other artists expected to fire up the biddings are works by watercolourist Chang Fee Ming, oil paintings by Datuk Hoessein Enas from his Morning Mist series, surrealist painter Lim Kim Hai, Dzulkifli Buyong with his oil on board Pohon Sireh, Anuar Rashid's oil on board Untitled (1979), Nik Zainal Abidin's oil in canvas Kresna Dibangunkan (1967) and Nanyang artists Cheong Soo Pieng with his creations on rice paper and Chen Wen Hsi's watercolour works.

HBAA business manager, Linda Leoni, said many artworks from various media were scrutinised by consultants before these 91 were chosen for their quality and marketability.

"We are truly excited by the range of works presented in this latest collection," she said.

"We are pleased to be consigned these important works by such pioneer as well as contemporary artists who have constantly sought to represent the local identity and culture in their art."

Leoni added that HBAA will henceforth hold art auctions twice a year.

The next preview exhibition will be in Singapore, at Helutran's Artspace, from tomorrow to Oct 14.

The full viewing will be held at White Box, MAP@Publika in Kuala Lumpur from Oct 18 to 27.

For more information, call HBAA at 03-2691 3089/012-227 5325 or visit

Morning Mist 4 by Datuk Hoessein Enas.

Pink Lily (2007) by Chong Siew Ying.

Kopi Kau? Kopi Pok? by Ismail Hashim.

(From left) HBAA chairman/business adviser Tan Sri Kamal M. Hashim, HBAA director Lim Eng Chong and HBAA director Vincent Sim Tiak Choo admiring an untitled artwork by Ibrahim Hussein.

New Landscape by Abdul Latiff Mohidin.

Bathing Baby by Chuah Thean Teng.

Untitled (undated) by Eng Tay.

Siri Tari X by Yusof Ghani.


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