ArtsAsia Valentine Willie Fine Art

valentine willie Fine Arts artsasia

They are a contemporary art gallery and consultancy based in Kuala Lumpur, focusing on Malaysian and Southeast Asian works. This is an exciting and growing area. The last decade has seen an explosion in demand for Asian art and antiques. This is partly a reflection of the region’s dramatic economic advance, but also a sign that a new breed of art collector exists here. These collectors are dedicated to Asia’s heritage, and not just yesterday’s treasures like Ming porcelain or jade. Contemporary artists offering dynamic new interpretations of old cultural traditions are also enjoying new found attention and much admiration.

With a selection of over 350 paintings in ArtsAsia or Valentine Willie Fine Arts, sculptures and drawings they hope to attract a wide range of art enthusiasts who can discover and enjoy these works. The gallery has an extensive selection of works by some of Southeast Asia’s finest artists, including Mohd Hoessein Enas, Latiff Mohidin, Syed Ahmad Jamal, Onib Olmedo, Thawan Duchanee, Chen Wen Hsi, Cheong Soo Pieng, and many others.

Operates in Bangsar

Founded as a pioneer consultancy for modern and contemporary Southeast Asian art in 1996, Valentine Willie Fine Art operates a gallery in Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur. They also run an artist’s residency programme in Bali.

Representing the best of regional work, from the historically important to the cutting edge, they also work with major bodies and institutions on regional exhibition projects.

On June 29th 2001, Valentine Willie Fine Art opened its second exhibition space at THE CHEDI in Ubud, Bali. Tucked away in the art district of Bali’s central foothills boasting lush tranquil views of green river valley, Valentine Willie Fine Art at THE CHEDI will continue to pursue its aim in showcasing Southeast Asian art as well as maintaining a keener focus on contemporary Indonesian art.

Valentine Willie Fine Art at THE CHEDI will also introduce an artist in residency programme where a Southeast Asian artist will be invited to work in and live at our residence in Ubud for up to 2 months.

As part of their effort to better understand the great diversity of art forms in Indonesia, they will be curating several shows a year at other venues in Bali including Komaneka Fine Art Gallery in Ubud and The Legian down by Legian Beach.

Valentine Willie Fine Art @ Art Singapore

Past Shows

@Suntec Singapore Hall 402, Level 4, booth B19,
1 Raffles Boulevard Suntec City
Singapore 039593

VWFA travels down south end September to participate in this year’s edition of ART SINGAPORE, the 5th Contemporary Asian Art Fair. Being the only international art fair in SE Asia, visitors will have an excellent opportunity to see a gathering of the most recent and exciting artistic creations from the region and beyond.For its fourth participation in the fair, VWFA will be featuring the works of 15 outstanding artists. They are: Chang Fee Ming, Jalaini Abu Hassan, Nadiah Badmadhaj, Wong Hoy Cheong, Wong Perng Fey, Yee I-Lann from Malaysia; Agus Suwage, Mella Jaarsma, Nindityo Adipurnomo from Indonesia; Kamin Lertchaiprasert, Manit Sriwanichpoom, Natee Utarit from Thailand; and Emil Goh (born Malaysia), Lindy Lee from Australia.

ASTRA: Works by Fernando Botero,

Syed Ahmad Jamal, Latiff Mohidin and Sophia Varifrom 27 July – 16 August 2005

@ the Loft Gallery,
MUSE Level (4th Floor), Starhill Gallery

In conjunction with Starhill Gallery’s grand opening, Valentine Willie Fine Art is proud to present Astra, a group exhibition showcasing leading lights of modern art from both East and West. Gathered at Starhill Gallery’s Art Loft are works by world-renowned Colombian artist Fernando Botero, Malaysian artist laureate Syed Ahmad Jamal, seminal Malaysian artist-poet Latiff Mohidin, and eminent Greek artist Sophia Vari.

The Astra group exhibition will be open to the public from 27 July to 16 August 2005 at the Loft Gallery, MUSE level (4th Floor), Starhill Gallery, No.181, Jalan Bukit Bintang, 55100 Kuala Lumpur.

Viewing hours are from 10:30 am – 9:30 pm daily.
Admission is free.

Chang Fee Ming: MEKONG

Fee Ming’s depiction of the Mekong world brings us a bit of its past, present and uncertain future. With its shadowed history, the Mekong River has slipped from the imagination and attention of many in Southeast Asia. Isolated from modern progress, many of its people have maintained a traditional way of life that has scarcely altered over two centuries. With today’s forces of development, progress and tourism, the survival of the peoples traditional customs are under threat; many grappling with the meaning of a modern identity and finding new strategies of coping with change

Faith + the City

A Survey of Contemporary Filipino Art

Curated by Valentine Willie. Exhibition venues since 2000 include: Earl Lu Gallery LASALLE SIA College of the Arts (Singapore), National Art Gallery and ABN AMRO House, Penang (Malaysia), Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok (Thailand); Metropolitan Museum, Manila, (Philippines). Comprehensive website with information and works by all artists involved, as well as essays by Emmanuel Torres, Ana P. Labrador and Jessica Zafra.


26th April -12th May re-Group-30 years on:
Selected works by Anthony Lau,
Cheong Laitong, Ibrahim Hussein,
Jolly Koh, latiff Mohidin,
Syed Ahmad Jamal & Yeoh Jin Leng
15th May – 24th May Tribal Textiles:
An exhibition of Pua Kumbu
26th May – 10th June 3 Young Contemporary Artists:
Chai Chang Hwang, Chuah Chong Yong, & Helen Guek Yee Mei
22nd June – 2nd July Works on Paper
by D.Jack Solomon & Jeanette Fintz
5th July – 20th July Anthonie Chong:
Solo exhibition
23rd July – 8th Aug Ahmad Zakii Anwar:
Solo exhibition
13th Aug – 30th Aug Kok Yew Poh:
Klang and Beyond
4th Sept – 23rd Sept Susie Wong & J.Anurendra:
Soul & Fresh
27th Sept – 11th Oct Yusof Masjid:
Quiet Concerns
18th Oct – 31st Oct Askandar Unglehrt:
Pictures with a Past
4th Nov – 19th Nov I-Lann Yee & Syed Khamal:
22nd Nov – 5th Dec Francesca Enriquez:
Interior World

Faith & The City : Contemporary Art from the Philipines

7 Feb – 24 Feb
HEADLIGHTS (Group Show with Jai, Zakii, Siew Ying, I-lann, WHC, Yusof, Anum, Tengku Sabri, Chong Yong)

27 Feb – 17 Mar
Intimacy: Voon Poh Yin and December Pang

21 Mar – 7 April
3 Young Contemporaries 2001 :
Fadzila Azahar Isahak, Gan Siong King and Sidney Tan.

2 May – 19 May
Still Life Show: John Wong Hong Chean, Tsai Horng Chung, Chang Fee Ming, Ahmad Zakii Anwar, KF Wong, Noor Mahnun, Nadiah Bamadhaj and Yee I-Lann

23 May – 9 June
Eric Chan Solo Exhibition

13 June – 30 June
Helen Guek Yee Mei : Pilgrimage

18 July – 4 Aug
Abdul Hamid Hassan : Into the Light

8 Aug – 18 Aug
Art Under 1000

22 Aug – 15 Sept
Approaching The Modern : Selected Works by Malaysian pioneers
Selected work by Yong Mun Sen, Kuo Ju Ping, Chen Wen Hsi, Cheong Soo Pieng, Tsai Horng Chung, Tan Choon Ghee, Chia Yu Chian, Lee Cheng Yong, Latiff Mohidin, Joseph Tan, Ibrahim Hussein, Chuah Thean Teng, Jolly Koh, Yeah Jin Leng, Nik Zainal Abidin, Ahmad Khalid Yusof,

22 Sept – 13 Oct
Thai Contemporary in collaboration with Numthong Gallery, Bangkok

17 Oct – 3 Nov
Inhabitant : Choy Chun Wei & Yau Bee Ling

7 Nov – 24 Nov
From the Sea to the Mountains and Delicate Colours:
Choo Beng Teong & Moy Siew Ting

28 Nov – 15 Dec
Beautiful, Beautiful an exhibition of functional objectcs byThai floral artist Sakul Intakul, Singaporean ceramicist Jessie Lim and Yee I-Lann.

12th Aug – 28th Aug
Wong Hoy Cheong:
of Migrants Rubber Trees, Creative Centre,
National Art Gallery, Kuala Lumpur

11th Sept – 6th Aug
Imaging the Contemporary Body:
Selected works of Art from the Philippines,
Singapore and Malaysia, Petronas Gallery,
Kuala Lumpur

Gallery Artists

Their gallery of artists currently includes premier Malaysian figures such as Redza Piyadasa, Nirmala Dutt Shanmughalingam, Joseph Tan, Askandar Unglehrt and Wong Hoy Cheong, and Indonesian-born sculptor, Ahmad Osni Peii. From a younger generation of artists, the gallery represents Anthonie Chong and Singaporean artist Susie Wong. Part of our policy will be to showcase the work of each artist together with separate publications of his or her work. Commissions by gallery artists will be accepted

Their collection includes a wide selection of works by Malaysian masters like Latiff Mohidin, Syed Ahmad Jamal and Ibrahim Hussein and contemporary Southeast Asian artists like Thawan Duchanee, Ang Kiukok and Onib Olmedo.

They have an extensive library of art books, journals, magazines and catalogues from around the world and from Southeast Asia especially, as well as a growing selection of slides and transparencies of regional artworks. They also maintain a current index of auction prices for Southeast Asian artworks. These resources will be available for use by artists, students, researchers, journalists and collectors. Talks and workshops on Southeast Asian art will be periodically organised at their gallery spaces.

Yusof Majid

Yusof Majid (b.1970) was trained at the prestigious Chelsea School of Art in London on its Herbert Read Scholarship. His work is raw, instinctive, and dedicated to the process of drawing and painting. Some of his earlier work plays with 1970’s minimalism, thickly textured, earth encrusted and multi paneled occupying the high art territory while others seems playful and directly spontaneous.

The manner in which he fuses art traditions displays his unique inventiveness and thought process. Constantly making references to literature, urban life and popular culture, Yusof’s most recent series of works suggests a return to landscape. Submerged in Blue and Coloured Sands, are reminiscent of shorelines or horizons as the viewer’s attention is guided across the poetic stillness of each surface.

Noor Mahnun Mohammed

Noor Mahnun Mohammed’s (b.1964) exposure to art began at an early age. Family weekends spent painting with watercolours nurtured an interest in art which led to fine art studies in Germany. She has exhibited widely in Germany, Italy and in Malaysia and Mahnun is the current Malaysian artist-in-residence in Rimbun Dahan, a year long residency programme which invites a Malaysian and an Australian artist to live and work on a private estate outside of Kuala Lumpur.

True to her German training, Mahnun’s works are meticulously controlled and delicately painted. Her bijou-like canvases convey certain child-woman seductiveness belying wrenching statements made about femininity and womanhood. Apart from her private practice, Mahnun is also a full time lecturer at Lim Kok Wing Institute of Creative Technology.

Niti Wattuya

Niti Wattuya (b. 1944) is an autodidact who became a driving force in Thailand’s abstract painting genre. Since his solo exhibition in 1979, he has represented Thailand at international venues such as America, Germany, France, Australia and at Kwangju Biennale 2000. Niti’s gift lies in the manner which he creates veils and layers of refreshing colours inspired by his surroundings through a special staining technique. In his indefatigable search for a unique visual language, his recent paintings see the artist developing from pure abstraction towards symbolism and figuration. The clarity and fluidity of his floating forms inspired by water and spirituality has become synonymous with the search for balance and tranquility.

Natee Utarit

Natee Utarit (b. 1970) is one of Thailand’s emerging stars. Already considered one of the most exciting painters of his generation, Natee’s work has been exhibited around South East Asia since mid 90’s. A graduate from Silpakorn University with a BFA in Fine Art, majoring in painting, sculpture and graphic art in 1992, his work has moved through a variety of different styles and explored a number of subject matters. His current series further explores and challenges the changing realities and ideals in the history of European landscape paintings. Natee also represented Thailand in the Third Asia-Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art in Queensland, Australia in 1999

Kiko Escora

Kiko Escora’s (b. 1970) bold and figurative works represent a facet of the urban Filipino psyche. Inspired from the cool and trendy world of cafe societies in Manila, his macabre paintings are populated with anonymous figures seemingly detached and on-edge. Apart from working as a graphic and web designer, Kiko has drawn much attention as one of Philippine’s exciting young artists and has been active in the art scene since the mid 1990’s.

Karen Ocampo Flores

Karen Ocampo Flores (b. 1966) graduated from the University of the Philippines with a bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts in 1988. She is the co founder of the collaborative group Sanggawa with Mark Justiniani, Elmer Borlongan, Joy Mallari and Frederico Sievert and a writer for broadcast and print media. Sanggawa meaning “one work” were renowned for their commentaries on the Filipino social and political situation. The collective has since disbanded and Karen is now pursuing a successful solo career and at the same time working on further developing her writing ouevre. Working mainly in oil on canvas, her paintings delve into the struggles within religion, history and sexual politics while utilizing images borrowed from Catholic icons, colonial paintings and popular media.

Jalaini Abu Hassan

Jalaini Abu Hassan (b.1963) or “Jai” was born in Selangor. Trained in Fine Arts at MARA Institute of Technology (ITM), he continued his post-graduate studies at the Slade School of Fine Art in London and the Pratt Institute in New York. Jai’s work has essentially revolved around objects – as symbols, as forms, as keys to personal memory, as artefacts of daily life yesterday and today. In the grand tradition of the still life genre in painting, the artist is constantly stretching the visual possibilities of his subject. While early charcoal works focussed on monumental natural forms, his painting since has been concerned with relating everyday objects, or objects from memory to each other in an open narrative.

Jai has exhibited in Malaysia, Singapore, America and the UK and also in Spain and Iraq. His works are in the collection of the National Art Gallery in Malaysia and in private, corporate and gallery collections around the world and is currently teaching at ITM.

Niti Wattuya

Ian Woo (b. 1967) has drawn critical attention for his distinctive style of drip and leak paintings. His bustling and vibrant abstract paintings touch on the systems of encoding imageries and one’s journey of visual experience as he explores various framing devices combined with spontaneous doodling and hard-edged mark making. One of the Juror’s Choice winners in the Philip Morris ASEAN Art Awards 2000, Ian is one of Singapore’s most active and prominent young contemporary artists. He has exhibited widely locally and in Europe since the early 90’s. Ian also lectures in LaSalle-SIA College of the Arts Singapore.

Eric Chan

Malaysian born Eric Chan (b. 1975) is one of Singapore’s emerging stars. Already fast gaining recognition within the Singaporean and Malaysian art scene; Eric is perhaps one of the finest painters of his generation. His work addresses the image and the impression, how we register objects or remember the fleetingly glimpsed. Tantilising and sensuous with his delectable colours and skillful technique, his diffused images are both stylish and redolent of the evocative paintings from the Impressionist era.

Elmer Roslin

Elmer Roslin (b. 1977) is quickly making a name for himself as one of Philippine’s promising young painters. A recent graduate from the University of the Philippines with a bachelor’s degree in Fine Art majoring visual communication, Elmer’s paintings focus on the alienation of Filipino youths brought on by the numbing stimuli of a culture steeped in television and video games. Rendered in thick impasto in grey and sepia tones, his limited palette further emphasises the brooding atmosphere.

Ahmad Zakii Anwar

Ahmad Zakii Anwar (b.1955) was trained as a graphic designer at the School of Art and Design, MARA Institute of Technology. The creative mind behind some of the most memorable advertising images we have seen in the region, Zakii is now a successful artist having exhibited in Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Beijing, Perth, Fukuoka and the UK. Lit sees the artist’s departure from his previous Smoking Man Series onto new grounds. While maintaining the stylish, sophisticated and evocative veneer of previous work, the new painting also possesses a heightened emotional intimacy. Fused with his deft painterly touch and design sensibilities, the present painting make reference to film noir from the 50’s through its evocative background and lighting.

Valentine Willie Fine Art launches into the New Year with Painted an exhibition featuring new and recent works by leading painters from our region’s contemporary art scene. Pulling together some of the most extraordinary talents in the field of painting, Painted spotlights individuals who are redefining and pushing the boundaries of painting to interpret contemporary thought and aesthetics. Two young up-and-coming artists, Kiko Escora and Elmer Roslin bring bold figurative work and evocative interiors delving into the psyche of Philippine’s urban youth, while Karen O Flores, member of Sanggawa (a collaborative group of visual artists in the 1990’s) as well as one Philippine’s leading contemporary female artists, continues to explore issues about femininity, social politics and history.

Rising stars Ian Woo and Malaysian Eric Chan, are rapidly making names for themselves in Singapore’s contemporary art scene. One of the Juror’s Choice winners in the Philip Morris ASEAN Art Awards 2000, Ian’s abstracts touch on the systems of encoding imageries and one’s journey of visual experience, while the evocative imagery of Eric’s deftly painted canvases continues to tantalise the senses.

Leading Thai painters Niti Wattuya and Natee Utarit with vastly differing styles represent the diverse genres in Thailand’s contemporary art while Malaysia’s Ahmad Zakii Anwar, Jalaini Abu Hassan, Noor Mahnun Mohamed and Yusof Majid, represent the impressive stylistic and interpretive range of local artists working in this medium.

Valentine Willie to close doors for good in 2014

It is not something to announce to the world but it is a saddening fact that come 2014, one major art gallery in Malaysia is set to exit the art scene. This is Valentine Willie which  was recently reported to be slowing down in next year’s art scene and eventually closing its doors for good.

The move was surprising by most parties in the art scene especially among artists, collectors and art lovers alike over Valentine Willie Fine Art which have been a permanent fixture in the art events calendar for many years. Apart from developing the Malaysian art scene where Valentine Willie brought out many artists today, it was also involved in the transformation of the Tanjong Pagar Distripark in Singapore into becoming a major arts hub there.

For next year, Valentine Willie will be scaling down its events which will see the closing of its Singapore branch while its ‘homeground’ in Bangsar Baru will be hosting lesser shows before closing the doors permanently in 2014. According to the 58-year old owner, the reason for the drastic move was due to financial reasons and despite making some RM2million annually, it is still not able to cover the escalating costs of running 4 galleries around the region.

Basically, Valentine Willie’s galleries in Kuala Lumpur, Singapore and Yogyakarta will be hosting only about 4 shows each year

During the good times, there was an average of a show each month. That is for 2013 and come 2014, only the Manila Contemporary, Valentine’s Filipino branch will remain where together with his 2 business partners in the Philippines will continue to go full force complete with a 12-events a year plan but it might be without his involvement.

Valentine plans to venture into helping private collectors around South-East Asia to showcase their works as a museum consultant. He is currently involved in the setting up of a private museum dedicated to Malaysian Art in Penang. As an expert in this field, he wants to contribute more into influencing collectors to build museums.

Valentine Willie opened in 1995 and became one of the pioneers in hosting contemporary South-East Asian art and eventually grew to become one of the major players in the art scene not only within Malaysia but also the region. The prominent art space then went on with an aggressive expansion when it opened branches in Singapore, Yogyakarta and Manila in 2008.


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