Singapore’s Business Times polls Malaysian auctioneers and dealers who see an opportunity in the devaluation of the Malaysian Ringgit.
The currency crisis has its advantages, adds Mr Komala. “In fact, the boom in Indonesian art started with a crisis. With the ringgit down in value, this could be a chance for the average collector – professionals in their 30s and above, with savings in Singapore or US dollars – to come into the market,” he points out.
The prices of some 80 per cent of Malaysian artists’ works haven’t risen and won’t go up, since art isn’t like manufacturing where raw materials make up half the cost. “So I think, for collectors, this is probably a good time to collect very good Malaysian works.”
[…] “People might take a step back on the higher-priced artists, but the middle-tier artists shouldn’t be affected that much,” says Mr Komala.
Overseas collectors would benefit the most from the fall of the ringgit, as prices will not be raised arbitrarily.
Valerie Cheah of Jada Art Gallery in Singapore, confirms this. “So it’s a good time for Singapore collectors to consider buying,” she says.
She carries works by Kow Leong Kiang, Chong Ai Ling and Mior Rizuan Rosli, who have not raised prices. “I do a straight conversion of ringgit to Singapore dollars, with some adjustments for freight and other costs.” Chong’s works range around S$8,000-S$10,000, for example, while Kow’s figurative works are between S$12,000 and S$20,000. Kow’s work was sold last year at Christie’s Hong Kong auction for just under US$28,000.
Valuing Malaysian art, Arts & Entertainment (THE BUSINESS TIMES)