Art Talk

Auction Day - The Young Contempo Auction
By Swee Chin PAN


4 PM
It was my first time at MATRADE Exhibition and Convention Centre…yes, I have never been to any of the Art Expos.

Registration was at 2 PM and when I got there just after 3 PM, it was relatively quiet at Level 3. The 35 artworks for auction were unfortunately not on the same level but on the Ground Floor where the Art Expo was.


The Henry Butcher team was ready for action with the Paddle Collection and Registration table as well as the Payment table all strategically set up. The sprinkling of people grew to quite a crowd by 4 PM. The 200 chairs in the Auction Room had to be doubled up when the auction was about to commence! I thought that I had sat at the last row but after the auction, I turned round and found that several rows have been added after mine! Yes, I was totally engrossed in the proceedings that I did not realise all this was happening. I found it amazing that anyone could sleep in an auction – an aunty 2 chairs away from me was doing just that!
The auction itself kicked off very slowly with Lot 1, Roslisham Ismail (Ise)’s Super Fiction 8. But once the bidders got over their initial shyness, the auction chugged away with Ise’s piece selling at RM5,000, double its estimate of between RM2,500 – RM3,000.

Bidding was generally conservative with most of the artworks selling within or slightly over their estimates. There was no interest for 8 pieces, so if you are interested in these artists’ works, their pieces are still available: Cheng Yen Pheng, Fadly Sabran, Haslin Ismail, Loke Kerk Huang, Najib Ahmad Bamadhaj, Poodien (Shaifuddin Mamat), Wong Chee Meng, and Zuraimi Rahim.

Kuan, Pakha & Joshua


Michael Tan & Foong
Michelle Peterson & Charlene Ponce De Leon

Sue Yong & Vicki Lim

Yee, Rachel & Ai Lei

 Both Najib Ahmad Bamadhaj and Haslin Ismail had 2 pieces in the auction and they both also only sold one a piece. Haslin’s The Very Extraordinary Voyage was the highest selling piece at RM28,000, RM6K over the estimate of RM18K – RM22K. It was also the largest piece at 305 cm x 305 cm.
A possible argument why Najib’s Fragile did not sell is because his current theme of work is in this vein? And his Shark Night is different, hence not available anymore?


Najib Ahmad Bamadhaj's 2 pieces

I would say that this first TYCA was a success. Many present were curious (they definitely outnumbered the bidders) to see just how things would fare. Anyways, it was good to see old and new faces that afternoon! And even some out of towners!
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are solely the current opinions of the author and should not be construed to reflect the opinions, policies or positions of any entity other than the author's.