Starhill Gallery Arts Festival 2009

Kuala Lumpur, October 2, 2009

The annual Starhill Gallery Arts Festival in October this year will be celebrated with the theme “Passions” in collaboration with the National Art Gallery to focus on sculptures and installation art by Malaysian artists.

Sculptures and installation art are generally not as widely popular or promoted in Malaysia, hence, it is indeed timely for Starhill Gallery to create more awareness in enhancing the appreciation of these arts by Malaysian artists.

Internationally acclaimed Malaysian artist, Yusof Ghani will reprise his role as the curator of Starhill Gallery Arts Festival on Muse floor to ensure a magnificent showcase of works that will be displayed throughout Starhill Gallery, both indoors and outdoors.

Among Malaysian sculptors and installation artists who will be participating include Yusof Ghani himself; Abdul Multhalib Musa and Raja Shariman; as well as the internationally acclaimed Eng Tay and other renowned artists including Phillip Wong, Chin Wan Kee and Azahari Khalip.

Many sculptures and works by these artists will be revealed for the first time to the public at Starhill Gallery Arts Festival in a showcase of over 80 masterpieces,  transforming Starhill gallery into a “museum” of fine arts which further underlines YTL Corporation’s strong support for the arts and its powers of communication in enriching the human experience.

Outdoor Art In the Heart of Bukit Bintang

“It has always been our passion to bring the Arts closer to the people” says Tan Sri Dr Francis Yeoh in his speech, “from art festivals to the Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre, celebrations with operas, musicals and as international Friends of the Louvre, as well as with our award-winning architecture of YTL properties.”

In this unique showcase that will excite the public with sculptures that will overflow into the outdoors of Bukit Bintang at Starhill Gallery – meet the big “Boy” by Eng Tay and suspensions of the “Heart Series” by Azahari Khalip, and encounter astonishing shapes and structures from “Rooster” by Yusof Ghani to “Swans” and “Table” by Abdul Multhalib Musa and intriguing lines of “The Human Mind” by Phillip Wong.

In the whole month of October, the public will also be inspired by outdoor exhibitions of “Wood Pago-pago” by Shafee Ramli, and “Leaf Series” by Nur Hafiza Ali to enhance the appreciation of the arts for the enrichment of all Malaysians.

The World’s Most Beautiful Book

For once in a lifetime, admire a masterpiece that is worthy of the Smithsonian Museum and the world famous New York Public Library, courtesy of Tan Sri Dr Francis Yeoh.

Hailed as the most beautiful book in the world, “Michelangelo, La Dotta Mano” (The Learned Hand) was presented to Tan Sri Dr Francis by the Fondazione Marilena-Ferrari, Italy in appreciation of his worldwide contribution as a true patron of the arts.

The cover features an exact replica of Michelangelo’s “Madonna of the Steps” carved from marble of the same Polvaccio quarries which Michelangelo himself used in his work. The handmade folios are created according to centuries-old tradition, while the book’s measurements comply with the Fibonacci Sequence and the Golden Ratio that is used throughout the ages in architecture, sculpture and painting to represent the universal law of harmony.

Viewing Schedule: The folios of “Michelangelo, La Dotta Mano” will be flipped page by page by an attending personnel for the public’s closer examination and appreciation of the book’s contents at intervals of every hour of the day starting at 10.30 am to 7.30 pm.

Exhibitions On Muse Floor, Starhill Gallery

The nucleus of inspiration and imagination, Muse floor at Starhill Gallery will continue the excitement with exhibitions by art galleries, spilling over to the open areas of its surroundings to promote dynamic interactions between art and the people.

Art Seni will feature “Line Series” by Phillip Wong, and special showcases of bronze exhibits by Chin Wan Kee, lecturer at the Malaysian Institute of Art and wood hanging exhibits by Azahari Khalip, lecturer at the Universiti Teknologi MARA. 

The Gallery @ Star Hill will highlight the masterpieces of “Biring I and II” by Yusof Ghani and “Swirl” among other sculptures by Abdul Multhalib Musa, “Heron & Fish” by Suhaimi Fadzir, “Sea Series” by Mohd Asli, including the creations of National Art Laureate Dato’ Syed Ahmad Jamal, Raja Shariman, Mat Anuar, Ramlan Abdullah and Anthony Lau.

Heng Artland presents a repertoire of paintings by French artists entitled “Romance & Beauty 2” featuring Alain Bonnefoit, Jean-Marie Zacchi, Maryvonne Le Diest, Claude Fauchere, Bernard Koawalczuk, Frederic Menguy and Zhu Qingtang.

EDI. A Art will bring to life interpretations of Koi fish in “Mutiara Koi” with oil and mixed media on canvas, while House of Suzie Wong reveals “Treasures of the Deep” with mix media paintings by Susanna Goho-Quek; jewelry from corals by Datin Nazlee Samad and Marina Samad; underwater photography by Rizal Adnan; porcelain of junk wrecks by Karen Goh; and “Art & Living” photography by Kenneth Quek.

Interactions Between Art And People

In addition to exhibits of sculptures and exciting art installations, interactive workshops and art talks will also be hosted to stimulate interest and understanding to enrich the vocabulary of art appreciation in Malaysia at Starhill Gallery. 

Master classes on “Bronze Sculpture” by Chin Wan Kee’ “Wooden Sculptures” by Azahari Khalip  and “Public Sculptures by Multahlib Musa” by Azahar Ahmad will offer invaluable insights into the art of sculpture that manipulates form with a wide range of methods and medium which also has to take the laws of gravity and balance into consideration.

“Line Series: The Brain” by Phillip Wong will certainly enhance understanding and appreciation of the intriguing lines of the sculpture by the artist displayed in the outdoors of Starhill Gallery.

In appreciation of art as created by Nature, “Conservation of Coral Reefs in Malaysian Waters” will be conducted by Fiona Kwok in conjunction with the exhibits of “Treasures of the Deep” by the House of Suzie Wong.

Never before until now, for the entire month of October, experience exciting encounters of inspiring sculptures and artistic installations from the outdoors of Bukit Bintang to the indoors of Starhill Gallery.

Speech by Tan Sri Francis Yeoh,
Starhill Gallery Arts Festival 2009

Our Guest of Honour, Encik Haned Masjak,
Director of Art Development, Collection & Conservation of the National Art Gallery,

Dato Yeoh Soo Min, Executive Director, YTL Corporation Berhad,

Yusof Ghani, curator of Starhill Gallery Arts Festival for the second consecutive year; talented artists of Malaysia; and tenants of Muse floor, Starhill Gallery. 

Respected members of the media.
Distinguished guests. Ladies and gentlemen.

It is truly by the grace of God that today, “angels are set free” among us in this celebration of sculptures and installation art at Starhill Gallery – as Michelangelo has once said about his sculptures, “I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free”.

Today, we are touched that so many “angels” and interpretations of the sublime are set free – from the outdoors of Bukit Bintang to within the halls of rich experiences at Starhill Gallery – thanks to the collaboration of the National Art Gallery for the second consecutive year, and to the many artists, especially Yusof Ghani who have masterminded this wonderful showcase. Thank you.

It is indeed inspiring to see that so many people have come together, bringing their talents together to celebrate the arts, and by doing so, affirm their belief in life – as Henry Moore has said “To be an artist is to believe in life!”

Thus, we are deeply encouraged that our passion for the arts – from art festivals to KLPac and The Actors Studio; celebrations with operas, musicals and as friends of the Louvre to designer architecture of our properties – are all blessed as affirmations of our belief in life.

Interestingly, your presence here tonight in celebrating the arts with YTL – not for any material gains, but for art and the appreciation of art’s sake also tells me that you too must believe in life – which is indeed an occasion to rejoice!

This year, in addition to sculptures and contributions by The National Art Gallery and names like Yusof Ghani, Eng Tay and Abdul Multhalib Musa, there will also a showcase of the “world’s most beautiful book” hailed by publishers worldwide, honouring the genius of Michelangelo in offering us a glimpse of the divine with his art.

The book “Michelangelo, La Dotta Mano” (The Learned Hand) was presented to me last year by the Foundation of Marilena-Ferrari, Italy in tribute to the arts, and the cover features a marble replica of Michelangelo’s “Madonna of the Steps” – carved from the same quarry of marbles which Michelangelo himself used in his work.

There are only limited copies of the book in the world  – one is in the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, one in the New York Public Library, one is in the Prado Museum, among Europe’s finest in Madrid and another is in the custody of the state of Bologna in Italy, where Michelangelo first started his career.

And now, one is in Kuala Lumpur right here on Muse floor at Starhill Gallery Arts Festival. Throughout the month of October, you can appreciate the artistry and craftsmanship that goes into the book – which will be flipped page by page at intervals of every hour from 10.30 am to 7.30 pm.

I am very happy to be able to share some of my passion like this masterpiece with you, and it is in my prayers that more and more of God’s “angels will be set free” at Starhill Gallery for the enrichment of our human experience. 

Thank you.
May God bless all of you!