According to Lim Eng Chong, the director at Henry Butcher Sdn Bhd, there is a growing interest among foreign collectors in Malaysian art in recent years which is why there seemed to be more and more exhibitions and art auctions being organised. Lim said that the art auction industry, which have became quite popular in recent years would only encourage more participation of the acquisition of art especially with the rising interest of Malaysian art among foreign art collectors.
Lim said during the launch of the Henry Butcher Art Auctioneers ‘Art Auction 2012’ that there are many foreign workers in Malaysia today where they will buy the works of local artist during their time here. For the upcoming auction, works from the early generation of Malaysian artists to the current ones will be going under the hammer and this will include 2 canvas paintings of Datuk Ibrahim Hussein which are expected to fetch up to RM180,000 and RM280,000 respectively.
Apart from auctions, there has also been other efforts like the National Art Gallery of Singapore which, in their efforts to become a regional and international hub for visual arts have been acquiring a lot of local art work. The gallery is scheduled to open in 2015. Lim added that there have been a lot of Malaysian art work that were traded in Singapore which is more developed than the Malaysian art scene. The upcoming Henry Butcher Auction will be the fourth instalment following its 100% sale edition in May 2012.