“I started collecting artworks from the early 1990s, when I made my first major purchase in 1996 – a large painting by Khalil Ibrahim – which my wife and I treasured for years. Iwas bitten by the art bug and, from then, began collecting in earnest with my wife. Currently, we have close to 200 art pieces of mostly paintings and sculptures.
“My love for art has taken us around the world, and we’ve met famed Pakistani sculptor Amin Gulgee, Australian artist Stewart MacFarlane, Czech artist Michal Macku, renowned South African photographer Roger Ballen, glass sculptors in Europe, and painters in China and India. It’s incredible how this has led me to like-minded people, connecting and creating new relationships. I have been very fortunate to meet and befriend many of the artists whose work I collect.
“There is an amazing world of art out there and experiencing it has been a great pleasure. I am privileged to be close to the scene as my wife runs a couple of art galleries in Kuala Lumpur. Being immersed in the world of art, I have obtained a deeper insight which has ‘trained my eye’ and influenced the type of acquisitions I have made over the years. Understanding the language of the artist and the message expressed in their work beyond the physical two-dimensional form, also makes the experience of enjoying art incredibly special. One of the favourites in my collection is a limited edition Balloon Venus piece by Jeff Koons, and I am in absolute awe of his ability to surprise people through his narration of popular art and seemingly banal objects.
“If you ask why art is important, Koons perfectly sums up in this quote: ‘I think art takes you outside yourself, takes you past yourself. I believe that my journey has really been to remove my own anxiety. That’s the key. The more anxiety you can remove, the freer you are to make that gesture, whatever the gesture is. The dialogue is first with the artist, but then it goes outward, and is shared with other people. And if the anxiety is removed everything is so close, everything is available, and it’s just this little bit of confidence, or trust, that people have to delve into’.”