05.03.2007 - 22.03.2007
After I left P. Carey, I returned to KL thinking that since art was such a good avenue to meet loacls, I'd try it again. After some hunting around I found a local artist colony and the more I researched, the more I came to believe that KL would be a good place to purchase contemporary art... either that or I was rationalizing my desire to be an art collector.
Either way my thoughts were this: Malaysia has only been independent for fifty years and seemes to have little concept of its own self identity especially given its dramatic diversity of Indian, Chinese, Malay and Indonesian people. As a county, Malaysia also has no history of artistic production outisde of the craft and traditional art circles. So the artists who are now making contemporary art will influence any subsequent artistic tratition in Malaysia and are helping to nurture the young country's artistic identity. Seemed like a good time to be buying to me...
Though I did not see any art that I could recognize as brilliantly innovative, im not sure that anyone really can identify who will be important in the future. What I did see however, was some works by two artists (Yusof Gajah and Long Thien Shih) which I believe are aesthetically attractive and may be historically important. I suppose time will see if the investment pays off but it will substantially shorten my trip.
After hammering out the details of the sales of the paintings, I went to Pulau Perhentian (a tiny island of the east coast) for a week to relax on the beach and get my open water scuba certification. Diving is cool.