Malaysian Art Friends: Highlights from 15 private collections

Why do people collect art? What does it mean to collect art? How do you start an art collection? These are questions explored in the book 30 Malaysian Art Friends: Appreciating Southeast Asian Art, a project by a group of collectors from Malaysia and Singapore, in which they share their experiences acquiring and living with art.

A show in conjunction with the book’s launch will be held featuring over 40 works from the book, where each of the collectors has made a selection of three of their favourite art pieces, revealing the fascinating stories and relationships behind their choices.

This is a rare opportunity for the public to view important Malaysian and Southeast Asian artworks in private hands before it ends next Tuesday.

The collectors who have contributed to this project number among them established professionals in law, medicine and education, financiers, corporate leaders, captains of industry, and a leading film-maker, joined together by the spirit of friendship and their mutual interest in the modern and contemporary art of our country and of our Southeast Asian neighbours.

“We are collectively taking – through this endeavour of art collecting in this country to a higher level, a new milestone,” collector Pakhruddin Sulaiman, the driving force behind the Malaysian side of the project said.

Collectors form a crucial part of our cultural and artistic life, providing much support and encouragement for artistic practice. A project initiated by Singaporean collector TK Quek and collectively financed by the collectors involved, 30 Arfriends seeks to add to this support by donating profits from the sale of the book to art education and development in the two countries.

The Malaysian artists featured in their collections include such seminal figures as prioneer Georgette Chen, the late Ibrahim Hussein and Redza Piyadasa, modern masters Latiff Mohidin and Syed Ahmad Jamal, as well as prominent contemporary artists like Wong Hoy Cheong, Chang Fee Ming, Ahmad Zakii Anwar, Jalaini Abu Hassan and Bayu Utomo Radjikin, among many others.