[Art Affairs] Premium Collection Achieved RM2.25 Million At Henry Butcher's Malaysian & Southeast Asian Art Auction

Written by  Sarah Abu Bakar

KUALA LUMPUR – On 29 March 2015, Henry Butcher’s Malaysian and Southeast Asian Art Auction realised a total of RM 2.25million from the 88 lots on offer. A success rate of 91% by lot was achieved and 54% soared beyond higher estimates. A notable feature was the utilisation of live online bidding system introduced in September 2014, allowing participation from 17 countries.

The crowded saleroom accommodated new and seasoned collectors as well as art enthusiasts who witnessed competitive bidding for works by Malaysian and Southeast Asian pioneer and contemporary artists bearing strong provenance. Intense bidding between room and telephone bidders was seen at the start of the sale for Zulkifli Yusoff’s intricate paper work titled Ku Pinang Puteri Gunung Ledang (estimate RM3,000 – RM5,000) which achieved a striking RM12,320 – a four-fold increase from the lower estimate. Khalil Ibrahim’s Fisherman Series (estimate RM6,000 – RM9,000) also performed remarkably well attaining RM16,800, sold to a successful room bidder. One of Malaysia’s leading contemporary artists Samsuddin Wahab caught the interest of collectors with his paper work titled Mandatory-On-Air (estimate RM800 – RM1,200) which attained RM3,920, nearly five times the lower estimate.

Artworks by highly sought-after abstract artists continue to excite collectors with Yeoh Jin Leng’s Icon III which graced the front cover of the auction catalogue realising RM78,400. Highlight pieces by abstract maestro Abdul Latiff Mohidin performed well with the early Siri Gelombang canvas piece dated 1985 attaining RM275,000 while Green Landscape (Rimba Series) was sold at RM268,800. A rare gem by Yusof Ghani titled Liat (Siri Protes) dated 1989 obtained a striking RM112,000, won by a room bidder. Suzlee Ibrahim’s Fire Inside Me (estimate RM10,000 – RM13,000) obtained a whopping RM33,600 while Hoe Say Yong’s soothing water ripples composition (estimate RM20,000 – RM30,000) fetched RM47,040 after intense bidding across the saleroom. Heavily contended artwork by Khalil Ibrahim titled Reclining Nude (estimate RM40,000 – RM60,000) witnessed an intense battle between room and telephone bidders for this 1965 abstract piece, which was eventually sold to a prominent collector in the room for a staggering RM100,800.

Acrylic on canvas, 148cm x 153cm

Oil on canvas, 100.5cm x 75.5cm


Hailing from a private collection in the United States of America is an intricate and vibrant batik piece by Dato’ Chuah Thean Teng titled Mother and Children attaining a remarkable RM56,000. A collaboration with One East Larasati featured works such as an epic piece by Eric Chan titled Innocent (estimate RM22,000 – RM28,000) which performed well obtaining RM44,800 – a two-fold increase from the lower estimate - and Indonesia’s leading contemporary artist Yunizar’s Composition of Empty Bottles (estimate RM23,000 – RM27,000) fetched RM38,000.

In the contemporary segment, collectors demonstrated particular appetite for refreshing and thought-provoking artworks through competitive bidding namely for Chong Siew Ying with her alluring piece Idylle II (estimate RM35,000 – RM50,000) attaining RM72,800 and contemporary luminary Yee I-Lann’s Kerbau (estimate RM13,000 – RM18,000) achieving RM38,000, a three-fold increase from the lower estimate. Raduan Man’s Warrior I (estimate RM5,000 – RM8,000) was also heavily competed by room and telephone bidders and was eventually sold to the latter for RM16,800. Fresh-to-the-market artwork by Singaporean contemporary artist Ruben Pang, an ephemeral abstract piece titled Fire in the Hive (estimate RM4,000 – RM6,000) also performed triumphantly well selling for a whopping RM20,160 – a five-fold increase from the lower estimate.

Works by Southeast Asian masters such as Francisco ‘Paco’ Gorospe from the Philippines and Bui Xuan Phai from Vietnam performed well with the former’sTwo Women dated 1966 – a first time feature - (estimate RM3,000 – RM5,000) achieving a remarkable RM8,400 and the latter’s Lady with Flowers realising RM6,160. First appearance by Filipino contemporary artist Wire Tuazon attracted positive interests by local collectors with a colossal piece titled Beyond Another Image attaining RM5,600. Internationally acclaimed Filipino artist Juanito Torres gained significant attention by collectors with a figurative piece dated 2007 titled Artificial Dreams 4 (estimate RM5,000 – RM7,000) selling for a buoyant RM10,925.

Oil on canvas, 60cm x 50cm

Mixed media on paper, 29cm x 20cm



The insatiable demand for Nanyang-style works remains strong as seen by versatile Nanyang artist Lee Cheng Yong with an impeccably painted piece titled Waiting (estimate RM20,000 – RM30,000) which depicts a group of women in the style of Primitivism attaining a remarkable RM61,600, triple the lower estimate. Other Nanyang-style maestros such as Chia Yu Chian, Tew Nai Tong and Khoo Sui Hoe all experienced extraordinary performance with their results. Chia Yu Chian’s Jetty View was realised at RM36,960 while Temple obtained RM39,200. Tew Nai Tong’s In The Morning (estimate RM8,000 – RM10,000) was realised at RM12,320 and Khoo Sui Hoe’s Two Divers (estimate RM25,000 – RM35,000) obtained a striking RM56,000. The final lot by Lee Cheng Yong titled Rubber Collection (estimate RM25,000 – RM40,000) ended our sale on a high note with intense and competitive bidding between telephone bidders and it was eventually sold for a staggering RM80,640, setting an all-time record price for the artist.

Mr. Lim Eng Chong, Director of Henry Butcher Art Auctioneers commented: “Thanks to the GST, March was the most hectic month in the local art auction history, and our auction was the last to be held. Despite of this, our performance is satisfactory, achieving 91% by lot. This is not possible without strong support from our friends and collectors. To you all, we wish to say a big THANK YOU!”

Henry Butcher Art Auctioneers continue to pursue its objectives of fostering sustainable growth for the Malaysian art industry as well as to encourage art collection and investment in Malaysia while providing a transparent and competitive platform for collectors to buy and sell artworks. We are very pleased that there are now more representations of Malaysian art in the regional and international auction houses which marks the beginning of a new journey to build a global platform for Asian art.

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We are now accepting consignment for our next sale in October 2015. For more information, kindly contact 03 2691 3089 or 03 6206 2282 or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it




Last modified on Tuesday, 07 July 2015 03:37