Tuesday, April 28, 2009

A Sunday affair of art, food, books and conversation...

On Sunday, Bingley, Fatima and Azma came over to the studio to view my works. Azma has just started to collect artworks with the guidance and advice from Bingley and Fatima.

We first met at Eric Quah's exhibition in Starhill where we shared a table with Bingley and Pakharudin, talking about art, artists and collectors. After that first meeting, I often saw her at other art exhibition launches. I suppose, fired by Bingley's own interest in art, she, too began to develop a taste for it. With Bingley's advice and guidance, I believe she is off to a good start!

So that Sunday, my wife and I prepped up our home studio for the arrival of the special guests(my wife said that for the first time in many months, our house actually looked like a home instead of a makeshift store room for my art work and materials!).

After watching Scandinavian Cooks on the Asian Food Channel a few days ago, Ena was inspired to make something Swedish, so she tried her hand at making Swedish meatballs, complete with the cream gravy and lingonberry sauce! We served elderberry juice with some fizz -- the elderberry is a Nordic berry but with the addition of club soda, it tasted a bit like 7up! She also made some really nice potato mash.

And since we recently discovered the joyful combination of grapes and cheese, we served that up as dessert. For anyone who has never tried this before, you are in for a real treat! The sweetness of the grape combined with the tart creaminess of the cheddar cheese went down beautifully! My contribution to the Sunday lunch was my own creation of swiss brown mushrooms baked with mozzarella cheese...these were gobbled up the minute they were served.

In the end, the Sunday affair was filled with art, food, books and lots of conversation. Azma chose two pieces of my landscape works -- one was Ferns at Janda Baik and the other was Sunset at Tanjung Rhu, Langkawi. After seeing all the works, these were two that she wanted, she was sure of that. They struck a chord in her.

To Azma, I hope that you will always enjoy having them in your collection. I wish you all the best in your new adventure of appreciating and collecting art.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

In aid of Force of Nature

I haven't updated my blog for such a long time. Actually, I have many stories to tell, just that I don't have the time! This entry should have been written in January, but I kept postponing it. Well, here it is now.

When my friend and art collecter, Bingley Sim, called to ask if I would like to donate a painting for the 7th Inter Malaysian Accounting Group's Golf Tournament 2008, which he was organising, I obliged. The above painting was to be the prize for the Hole-in-One winner of the tournament.

As it turned out, there was no winner for that category. However, during the golf tournament, I was introduced to Dato' Ali Kadir who was there for the prize-giving ceremony. He is a prominent figure in Malaysia's financial sector, and was among the few individuals called by our former PM, Tun Mahathir, to help the Government during the financial crisis.

Dato' was interested to purchase the painting in aid of a cause that he was supporting, i.e. Force of Nature Aid Foundation. Apparently, the Force of Nature Aid Foundation and PACE Art Gallery were working together to sell selected paintings to raise funds for the survivors of natural disasters. The artists involved included Ivan Lam, Yusof Majid, Ahmad Shukri Mohamed, Bayu Utomo Radjikin, and Ahmad Zakii Anwar. Dato' Ali Kadir had been invited to officiate the event.

To cut a long story short, on the night of the launch event, my painting was exhibited together with the works of other artists who had been invited by PACE Art Gallery. It was a rather awkward moment for me since my work wasn't part of the show's original lineup and only became part of it due to Dato's interest in it.

I hope I didn't step on anybody's toes on that night, and I sure didn't intend to offend the owner of PACE Art Gallery with the sudden showing of my painting. At the same time, I wasn't able to decline when Dato' Ali Kadir insisted on putting my painting, the one he purchased for the show, at the gallery.

It was, however, an honour for me to be part of the show and to do my bit to help out the survivors championed by the Force of Nature team.