December 4, 2008

Conspiracy Theorist???

Interesting follow up in thestar on Whither Malaysian Art article:

Too Much Secrecy for Comfort
ANDREW Sia’s splendid article, Whither Malaysian art? (Arts, StarMag, Nov 23), presented us with a wide selection of opinions about the state of the visual arts and the art market. However there is an underside to the story that might add to your readers’ understanding of this issue.

What I would like to know in the case of artist Jailani Abu Hassan’s painting, (which sold for about RM200,000) is, who put up his painting for sale at the Christie’s auction?

What if this sale was an inside job by a profiteering cartel ~Wow! there's a theory! , where one party puts it up for auction and members of that group bid on it just to push up the price, and hence the profit margin? What if they happen to have a monopoly on the artist’s works?

And why is it always the same few artists’ works from the same few merchants that are popping up at these sales? Why are the works of other artists, which are just as good as any, not in the picture when it comes to promoting Malaysian art here and elsewhere?

The auction houses will not reveal the details of the sellers and buyers, but they will profit from both sides, and this is the standard business practice everywhere.

But the secrecy and non-transparent methods, in part, have led to the present worldwide financial crush.

What sort of artists will emerge from this present system dominated by finance, unfettered by any government or professional regulations?

How will creative minds operate in an increasingly closed market in the hands of a few self-appointed profit minded “gate keepers” of Malaysian art?

Why can’t there be moves to improve the production of art and widen the market place with less self interest but more transparency, and with fair incentives to all parties involved with the aim of serving not just Malaysian art but all Malaysians?

Victor Chin
Petaling Jaya

see original article

1 Comment:

erin said...

Stimes i think Victor Chin needs to sign up for Art History 101 or buy the next available plane tix for an International Biennial.


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