The idea of an Art Expo for Malaysia in a large scale was envisioned by Vincent Sim, an art collector and a curator who wanted to hold a trade-like event to help promote Malaysian art to the world. On the other hand, it was aimed also to bring art from other parts of the world into the Malaysian art scene as well. Countries like Hungary, Singapore, Sweden, Philippines, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Germany, India and South Korea were among those who participated while Iranian artists too joined in for the first time through 2 galleries. Apart from that, Brazil, Cuba, Switzerland and Ecuador too were involved at the Embassy Row booths.
The exhibition this year was organized by 2 of Sim’s children and brought about artists from all over the world and their galleries into the country. The exhibition saw all related players in the art scene congregating at the MATRADE Convention Center to create a healthy networking environment for artists, galleries, collectors, enthusiasts and dealers as well as those from the academia to share their artwork and masterpieces.
The organizers had brought in foreign galleries and artists from as far as Spain and China so that they will be known here. The 2011 edition had the largest scale ever with 65 exhibitors involved. They came from different parts of the world from 23 countries with a majority of them being galleries. Apart from that, museums, auction houses and other art related organizations were also involved. All in all, there were over 400 artists whose works were displayed and represented and visitors to the expo were flooded with more than 2,000 pieces of artworks which include paintings, sculptures and even digital art. Well known artists like Yue Minjun and Wang Guangyi had their works shown in Malaysia for the first time while Picasso and Dali’s work too travelled here.