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Thursday, May 15, 2008

Commitment to Art

Some of Jolly Koh's oil and acrylic on canvas works at the Seni gallery. The space will be expanded to 2,000sq ft when the condominium project is completed.

Property developer Lai Voon Hon has always prided himself on his sense of aesthetics especially when it comes to art, architecture and contemporary design.

As a former architect who practised in Hong Kong, the president and chief executive officer of Ireka Development Management Sdn Bhd is concerned that the various condominium developments undertaken by his companies must project and deliver a certain standard of quality and finesse.

In projecting the upmarket image of his latest development Seni Mont’ Kiara, Lai has allocated space for a permanent art gallery aimed at supporting the Malaysian art scene.

This luxury condominium project, comprising 605 units set on 3.57 hectares (8.83 acres) is undertaken by Aseana Properties Ltd (19.6% owned by Ireka Corp Bhd) together with OCBC via Amatir Resources Sdn Bhd.

A guest at the launch shows Jolly Koh (centre) and Lai Voon Hon (right), one of the works featured in the book.

At the recent launch of the art book Jolly Koh at the Seni Art Gallery, Lai remarked that his companies have always strived to infuse each project with a sense of life enriching element, which he called “soul”.

“For Ireka and Aseana Properties, supporting art development and increasing aesthetic awareness have always been our corporate commitments.

"This is especially significant as the art infra-structure in Malaysia today is still lacking,” explained Lai.

“In keeping with our commitment to ensure fine arts become part of Seni’s heart and soul, we have commissioned and purchased exceptional art pieces from well-known Malaysian artists and sculptors.

"One such artist is Jolly Koh.

“It gives us great honour to support the first coffee-table book on the art of Jolly Koh which documents his achievements as one of Malaysia’s finest artists.”

Works from Jolly Koh's "Distant Mountains" series (left) and "Wild Flowers" series (right) at the Seni gallery.

The 272-page hard-cover book features significant paintings and major works done by Koh from 1955 to 2008.

Most of the 210 selected drawings and paintings were sourced from private collections and institutions in Malaysia and abroad.

Namely, the Singapore Art Museum; National Art Gallery, Malaysia; National Art Gallery, Victoria, Australia; Bank Negara Malaysia; Galeri Petronas, Malaysia and the J.D. Rockefeller III Collection in New York, among others.

*The book Jolly Koh is priced at RM180 and is available from Silverfish Books, 67-1 Jalan Telawi Tiga, Bangsar Baru, KL. Tel: 603-22844837

By The Star

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