KUALA LUMPUR: The Edge Galerie opened its doors yesterday to welcome its latest collection on display: “Shared Passion — Art of Yusof Ghani”.
Among the attendees were The Edge Media Group executive chairman Datuk Tong Kooi Ong, The Edge Communications Sdn Bhd managing director Au Foong Yee and The Edge Media Group publisher and group chief executive officer (CEO) Ho Kay Tat.
Yusof — one of Malaysia’s finest abstract artists — will have 30 of his artworks displayed at The Edge Galerie, Mont’ Kiara, here from Jan 15 to Feb 13. The collection is from the private cache of corporate collector, ECM Libra Group chairman and CEO, Datuk Seri Kalimullah Hassan, and presents a unique collaboration between these two well-known Malaysian personalities.
Amongst the 30 pieces of art, 15 will be available for purchase, while the other 15 will only be available for viewing pleasure. The artworks originate from two collections that date back from the 1980s (the “Tari” series) to the recent “Ombak” series.
Yusof, a graduate from the George Mason University in Virginia, the United States had his first solo exhibition at the Anton Gallery in Washington where his “Protest” series became a resounding success.
He firmly believes that his art is a documentation of life and a discovery of the occasion. He paints what he sees, and he’s seen a fair bit in his lifetime. An extensive traveller, he picks up on cultural elements that fascinate him.
“When I look back at my old work I always remember that period, that time, that stage, that emotion also. Through your experience, it’s also a prediction; you can see what’s going to happen, that also makes it different now as an older person, as a senior. When you get older there’s more definition as well. There’s no more experimentation. It’s more definite, more focus. It’s still interesting the process, through the years,” said Yusof.
Over the years, some of Yusof’s most successful series have been: “Tari”, “Topeng” and “Wayang” — most of which have been bought by private art collectors around the world, and as of today, have appreciated significantly in value.
Originally a graphic artist, Yusof did not venture into fine art until 10 years after the start of his career as a graphic artist. That was when he met Walter Kravits, a professor at the George Mason University. That was when he started taking elective courses in painting, and got hooked onto fine art.
The “Shared Passion” collection features pieces from various series in Yusof’s career, including some sketches that are owned by Kalimullah.
“I am here mainly to view Datuk Seri Kalimullah’s private collection, as these pieces are usually not available for public viewing, so it’s interesting to see what collectors have that we don’t know about,” said Tan Chien Li, an art collector.
Yee Tak Hong, an art friend who owns several of Yusof’s works from his previous series “Tari”, “Wayang”, “Topeng” and “Hijau” noted that the pieces on exhibition are of a slightly different style than his previous works.
“I think these pieces on sale resemble those in the ‘Tari’ series, and are sweeter in colour,” said Yee.
“In recent years, art in Malaysia has appreciated tremendously in value. For many years, art was greatly underappreciated in Malaysia, so it’s nice to see that more and more Malaysians are beginning to see the value in art,” he continued.
For details of the exhibition, contact The Edge Galerie at [email protected] or call 03-7721 8251. Opening hours are Tuesday to Sunday, 11am to 7pm. Closed on Mondays and public holidays. Visit the website at www.theedgegalerie.com.
This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on January 15, 2015.