September 2013 Auction Previews

Forced to move its auction day to avoid a lose-lose situation, KL Lifestyle Art Space (KLAS) one-ups Henry Butcher with its better quality highlights, notwithstanding its mediocre collection. The former avenges submission by offering a more beautiful painting by Ahmad Khalid Yusof, despite the latter's attempts to trump up its lot which bears the same reference to Tasik Cini. The pioneering auction house facilitates a corporate disposal exercise that includes encyclopaedic bird drawings, and poor renditions by Chong Siew Ying and Jalaini Abu Hassan. Among the auction d├ębuts promoted, private collectors could favour the colourful exuberance of Yusof Gajah, over Ismail Zain's digital collage that belongs more in a museum. Latiff Mohidin's 'Kembali Ke Air' presents great vigour among the blue chip artists, whose works offered in both auctions are uninspiring, especially the many Ibrahim Husseins.

Kow Leong Kiang - Mizell (2010)

At KLAS, modern painters Chia Yu Chian and Jolly Koh present great colour juxtapositions and confident brush work, whose contemporary evolution are manifest in the wonderful melancholic portraits of Kow Leong Kiang and Bayu Utomo Radjikin. Seah Kim Joo's batik nod to Louise Bourgeois' phallic sculpture promises laugh-out-loud hilarity, while the prehistoric cave painting by Najib Ahmad Bamadhaj delights in its naive tribute to art. Entering the Singapore market after this event, its reputation remains shaky when one notices the couple of Khoo Sui Hoe paintings in poor condition. In a brave but foolish attempt at claiming authenticity, KLAS states its own exhibitions (held within the past year) as literature reference. Recent emergence of other art auctions in Malaysia has both companies struggling to stay relevant, as one hopes that more professionalism can save the secondary art market from another early demise.

Najib Ahmad Bamadhaj - Secluded (2009)