Art pieces still very sought after. (Auction in Malaysia)

In case readers of do not know, I am a licensed auctioneer. So, I get to knock on the table and get paid. By the way, it’s illegal to conduct any public auction in Malaysia without a licensed auctioneer yeah. As a licensed auctioneer, I have conducted auctions for special car plate numbers, coins, banknotes and of course properties. I have been involved with auctions for art pieces but has never conducted one thus far.

I missed a recent one by Henry Butcher Art Auctioneers (HBAA). It was held at the Galeri Prima and entitled, ‘Malaysian and Southeast Asian Art Auction.’

Article in A total of 120 paintings were sold for RM2.2 million within four hours at the Malaysian and Southeast Asian Art Auction on Sunday. This is despite the current turbulent global ecoomy and the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Little Things”, a 1995 artwork by legendary Malaysian artist Datuk Ibrahim Hussein, fetched the highest price of RM403,200 at the auction organised by Henry Butcher Art Auctioneers (HBAA). HBAA director Sim Polenn said the second-highest bid and most sought-after artwork was Yusof Ghani’s “Siri Tari”, a 1993 oil-on-canvas artwork auctioned at the price of RM168,000.

The third-highest bid was the 2004 “Red Legong” – and acrylic-on-canvas piece by another famous Malaysian artist, Ahmad Zakii Anwar. It fetched RM108,000. 200 bidders were bidding through online and phone calls. For more details, please read Article in

I know, someone may be thinking… is art considered an investment? I have no answers for you on the initial prices for the paintings which were auctioned off in the Malaysian and Southeast Asian Art Auction versus their latest sold price. However, there is this possibility.

“On average, art returns 7.6 percent to investors each year, according to Artprice.” (Read full article here)

“A painting of Christ believed to have been painted by Leonardo da Vinci has just sold for a record $450m (£341m). Just under 60 years ago, the very same painting, then generally reckoned to be the work of a follower of Leonardo and not the work of Leonardo himself, sold at auction for a mere £45.” Read the full article here.

Well, whether it’s the 7.6% per year which you are looking at or that special one time lucky piece of art which your great grandmother passed to you, art pieces have been an investment item for a very long time. The only thing we need to know that beyond just buying, making sure the painting is well preserved will not be an easy thing to do yeah.

Beyond just my own art piece which I display at my office previously, I have not bought any art pieces. However, I love and could spend hours in art galleries just admiring these pieces with their own history. Yes, I spent many hours in the Louvre Museum in Paris. (That’s where the Mona Lisa painting is and it’s protected by bulletproof glass…) I do hope that I could have time to visit more art galleries here in Malaysia too.

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