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Masterpieces going under the hammer

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HIGHEST BIDDER: An auction organised by KL Lifestyle Art Space offers collectors a chance to bid for prized paintings

GEORGE TOWN: ART lovers, collectors and investors, get your cheque books out and be ready to  spend anything from RM10,000 to RM500,000 on more than 110 masterpieces by renowned artists from Malaysia and Indonesia on Sept 30.

The exclusive auction, organised by the KL Lifestyle Art Space in its inaugural venture, will be held at the Nusantara Ballroom, Sheraton Imperial Kuala Lumpur, from 1pm to 6pm.

Themed Malaysia's Inaugural Malaysian and Indonesian Modern and Contemporary Art Auction 2012, its sneak preview was held at the Alpha Utara Gallery on China Street recently to showcase 29 of the masterpieces which will go under the hammer at the hotel.

Penang was the second venue after Kuala Lumpur for the sneak preview, which drew great interest from the art fraternity in the island.

Among the star attractions during the three-day preview were Ibrahim Hussein's Fighting Cockerel acrylic on canvas circa 1971 going for a whopping half a million ringgit, Cheong Soo Pieng's 1968 oil on canvas, the Kenyan Orchestra, Long Thien Shih's 1963 oil on canvas, Satay Seller, China-born Lee Man Fong's 1960 oil on board Ikan Mas Koki, Khoo Sui Hoe's Big Eyes oil on board and Indonesian Srihadi Soedarsonso's Oleg Tambulilingan -- The Energy of Love and Care, a 2012 oil on canvas.

KL Lifestyle Art Space chief executive officer Datuk Gary Thanasan said it took several months for the panel to scour for the art pieces, many of which were in the hands of individuals who were reluctant to part with their valuable assets.

"It was tough to convince the collectors to part with their prized possessions, but we managed to convince them to release the masterpieces to be sold.

"We are here to complement other art auctions which have been successful in giving recognition to our local artists and creating more interest in Malaysian artists and their works," said Thanasan at the opening.

Thanasan said he started the art gallery about three years ago. He opened his first gallery in Tropicana City before his second in Bangsar last year, both in Kuala Lumpur.

A television personality and host of the popular game show Lingo 10 years ago, Thanasan is also an avid art collector.

"My involvement in art has made me more aware of the talent of Malaysian artists, and my hands-on approach has made me more knowledgeable about art and artists," he said.

"Planning the auction was a heck of a job. We needed to look at the market response of previous auctions, and plan our strategy accordingly," he added.

The sneak preview was later held at Global Auction Pte Ltd in Singapore, before the full preview at KL Lifestyle Art Space from today to Sept 29 in Jalan Maarof, Kuala Lumpur, prior to auction day.

To register as a bidder, call Ho Sau Fong at 019-333 7668, or Thanasan at 019-311 1668.

Blue Moon by Jeihan Sukmantoro.

Indian Rubber Tappers by Khaw Sia.

Penerbangan Merak Sakti Cenderawasih by Ismail Latiff.

Datuk Gary Thanasan (right) taking questions from visitors.

Portrait of Zoebaidah by Datuk Hoessein Enas.


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