Art Auction Malaysia – Official Launching & Opening

Date:               Saturday, 31st July 2010

Time:               10.30 am

Venue:             Level 4, Wisma Bentley Music

No. 3, Jalan PJU 7/2, Mutiara Damansara, 47810 Petaling Jaya, Selangor

(next to Lexus showroom and IKEA)

Tentative programme:

10.30 am         Arrival of guest and press.

11.00 am         Arrival of YB Dato’ Sri Dr. Ng Yen Yen, Minister of Tourism Malaysia

11.05 am         Welcome speech by Tan Sri Datuk Seri Kamal Hashim, Honourary Chairman of Henry Butcher Malaysia Group

11.10 am         Speech by YB Dato’ Sri Dr. Ng Yen Yen and the official opening of Art Auction Malaysia

11.30 am         Guided tour of exhibition

11.40 am         Press conference

11.50 am         Refreshments


Saturday, 31st July 2010

For immediate use


KUALA LUMPUR: The 1st Henry Butcher Auction of Malaysian Modern and Contemporary Art promises to be a historic occasion.

Some of the biggest names in Malaysian art, alive or not alive, with some of their finest or most unusual works are arrayed in this first ever major and most extensive auction of Malaysian artworks.

Art Auction Malaysia is organised by Henry Butcher Art Auctioneers Sdn Bhd, with the support of the National Art Gallery, BrandLaureate and Ministry of Tourism Malaysia. It is the largest and first full fledge auction dedicated exclusively to Malaysian art. A total of 62 paintings worth over RM1million will be put on offer during the Aug 8 auction.

“It is our vision to promote the development of a full-fledged secondary market that will set benchmark for prices of Malaysian artworks,” said YB Tan Sri Datuk Seri Kamal Hashim, Honourary Chairman of Henry Butcher Malaysia Group in his welcome address during the opening of the preview exhibition at Wisma Bentley Music, Mutiara Damansara last Saturday.

The Minister of Tourism Malaysia, YB Dato’ Sri Dr. Ng Yen Yen was accompanied by YB Tan Sri Datuk Seri Kamal Hashim, Pn. Zanita Anuar the Director of Research and Exhibition, National Art Gallery Malaysia, Mr. Vincent Sim the Director of Henry Butcher Art Auctioneers, Mr. Long Tian Chek the Director of Henry Butcher Art Auctioneers and Mr. Lim Eng Chong the Director of Henry Butcher Malaysia on stage for the official signing ceremony of Art Auction Malaysia.

In her speech, Dato’ Sri Dr. Ng Yen Yen applaud the effort of a local company to brand Malaysian artwork and artists to the forefront of international buyers and critics in line with the strategy of the Ministry of Tourism Malaysia to build high value sectors in arts tourism.

“Working on the smart collaborations basis via public private partnership, we are moving fast to offer new tourism products to cater to the more discerning, global and high end lifestyle tourists,” she said on the government’s focus on tourism as one of the key driver of the new economic model and the Malaysia Tourism Transformation Plan 2020 Towards 36:168.

The main attraction at the preview exhibition is a sensational painting, The Dream by Datuk Ibrahim Hussein (1936-2009) from his vintage 1969 period, which is returning to Malaysian shores after nearly 40 years and seasoned by world travels, having been taken by the previous owner all over the world in his postings with the United Nations.

While not in the league of Ib’s vintage 1969-70 masterpieces such as Pak Utih, Chairil Anwar, My Father And The Astronaut and May 13 1969, the work has many unusual qualities.  It is a rare piece as it does not have a political thrust like some of the better-known Ib works of the same year. It will be a very long time before another one of Ib’s 1969/1970 work comes into the open market.

The auction also sees two distinctive works by the world acknowledged founder of Batik Painting, Dato’ Chuah Thean Teng (1912-2008): an unusual batik cum acrylic work of two amorous cockerels and a hen, as well as another work of his signature Mother-and-Child theme in batik.

Also coming out of the woodwork are some interesting nuggets of works from the pioneers – Yong Mun Sen (1896-1962), Dato’ Mohd Hoessein Enas (1924-1995), Kuo Juping (1908-1966), Lee Cheng Yong (1913-1974) and Khaw Sia (1913-1984).

Mun Sen has several works including two from the fabled collection of his widow then, Yao Chew Mooi, which had been appraised by London’s Spink & Son Ltd. Hoessein Enas, dubbed the Father of Malaysian Portrait Paintings, seeks another suitor for his painting of Javanese Girl, first exhibited at the Arts Council of Malaya Picture Exhibition in 1954 and sold at Christie’s auction of South East Asian pictures in 1996.

Playwright-artist-theatre producer John Lee Joo For’s scathing graffiti-like 1963 print is ahead of its time, and for a soothing colourful respite no one else perhaps could set the mood better than Dr Jolly Koh, who has two works done during his time in Australia.

Even if scripted, one can’t possibly get a Khalil Ibrahim in all his creative spectrum of media – acrylic, batik/collage and of course, watercolours, and one from his rare turn into acrylic ‘abstract’ in 1982.

Also in the offering is an unusual but still upbeat commissioned piece by Dato’ Sharifah Fatimah Zubir, one of the two foremost women artists represented, the other being Nirmala Dutt Shanmughalingam with a deeply emotional work from her 2004-2005 Tsunami series.

Chuah Siew Teng and Chuah Seow Keng, the new overlords of the House of Teng (also known as Yahong Art Gallery in Penang), have a piece each that marks an advancement of the finest traditions of batik painting set by their illustrious father, Dato’ Chuah Thean Teng.

The ole Paris beckons in the works of Chia Yu Chian (1936-1991) and Lim Kim Hai, and for rough-hewn oil landscapes, the twin paintings of Malacca River by Fung Yow Chork and Peter Liew make a great couplet for their different approaches, styles and flavour.

Yusof Ghani celebrates with a ‘double’ with his much sought-after Tari work while his rousing 1992 Topeng, from his first chapter, is a work on multiracialism and multiculturalism done way before the mantra 1Malaysia was ever coined.

Echoes of Nanyang (Academy of Fine Art, Singapore) reverberate in the works of Cheah Yew Saik and especially so Tew Nai Tong, among others. Khoo Sui Hoe, still a true-blue Nanyang (AFA) stalwart, takes on a more philosophical reverie with Lovers’ Dance depicting the romantic interlude of two lovers.

Tan Choon Ghee is nonpareil for his lively capture of the Penang street bustle while a 1987 work of the bustling scene at the transport hub then, Kuala Lumpur railway station, is not only an interesting historical record, but also a great showcase of his fine draftsmanship.

And what can you possibly say but gasp at the Malaysian Watercolour Society award-winning piece by Chang Fee Ming, when he was on the threshold of fame?

The more contemporary works are also featured with younger, star-quality artists such as Jailani Abu Hassan, Yee I-Lann, Zulkifli Yusoff and Kow Leong Kiang.

The first Henry Butcher art auction boasts of some big names with works of impeccable quality and unusual pedigree that will create the reciprocal conjunction of serious buyers and sellers in Malaysia like never before.

The auction preview exhibition is open to public from August 1 to 7, from 11.00am to 8.00pm at Wisma Bentley Music, Mutiara Damansara (next to IKEA and Lexus showroom). Admission is free. Potential bidders are encouraged to view all the paintings that will be put up for sale prior to the auction on August 8. On August 8, registration of bidders will start from 2.00pm while the auction starts at 3.30pm. For enquiries or to register as a bidder, call 03-2694 2212 / 012-260 7303, email or visit



For further information, please refer media enquiries to:

Ms. Lim Sooi Ping, Public Relations Executive

Tel: 03-2694 2212                  Mobile: 012 372 1928                        E:


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