Everyday when you go on to your social media, the news of the global pandemic is present everywhere. All these can make your life harder if you are already stressed and worried. Tired of hearing the novel coronavirus outbreak (COVID-19)? Keep on reading to feed yourself with some positive news locally and internationally!
No New Cases for The First Time in China
According to CNN, China has reported no new cases for the first time since the pandemic began. Just last month, China was the most high-risk infection area in the world. It reported thousands of new cases every day. The result today (updated on 19.3.2020, 0826 GMT) undeniably marks a major turning point in the global battle to contain the coronavirus outbreak.
Museums Reopened After Months Being in Lockdown
Not only that, museums in China, South Korea, and Japan are beginning to cautiously reopen. The Art Newspaper announced that Shanghai’s public contemporary art museum Power Station of Art (“PSA”), best known for hosting the Shanghai Biennale, reopened on 13 March. Indeed a great news after months of being in lockdown.
To prevent escalating the coronavirus outbreak, the PSA has compiled with the official sterilising protocols. Including temperature measurement for all visitors, compulsory 1.5 metre distance from every person during their visit, protective mask, etc. Besides that, there is a temporary quarantine area on every floor in case of any emergencies. Limited slots are available daily with pre-booking on social media, i.e. WeChat.
The National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (“MMCA”) in South Korea, a similarly badly affected country tentatively plans to reopen its four locations on 23 March. Also, one of Japan’s oldest public art museums, will also hold private previews on 19, 20 and 23 March. This is before a public opening on 4 April.
“A prolonged shutdown would create a bad atmosphere for the economy and society. I think it would be better for the nation’s cultural and artistic museums and institutions, with thorough disinfection and management, to open their facilities first”. — Tiffany Yun, an MMCA spokesperson
Local Art News
Undeniably, March 2020 is a tough month for Malaysians. It started off with the abrupt change in government which magnified its economic malaise. Followed by the oil price war, stock market crashed and now the spike of cases for coronavirus outbreak. Despite the unsettled global economy and the pandemic, local art scenes seem to be surviving.
Check out how these creative people find ways to overcome adversity and went on to live life the fullest in spite of hardships and constraints.
Henry Butcher Art Auction
In view of the COVID-19 situation and the advisory from the Ministry of Health Malaysia, Henry Butcher Art Auctioneers (“HBAA”) conducted its auction on 15 March 2020 via absentee bids, telephone bids and online bids only. This is the first art auction in Malaysia without any floor bidders. However, the sales for this Malaysia and SouthEast Asia Art Auction at Galeri Prima are encouraging.
Through absentee bids, telephone bids and online bids, a total of 102 paintings were sold for RM2.2 million within four hours. According to New Straits Times, the artwork “Little Things” (1995) by legendary Malaysian artist Datuk Ibrahim Hussein, fetched the highest price of RM403,200 at the auction. Sim Polenn, the HBAA director, contended that the second-highest bid artwork was Yusof Ghani’s “Siri Tari”, a 1993 oil-on-canvas artwork auctioned at the price of RM168,000. Subsequently, the third-highest bid was the “Red Legong” (2004), then an acrylic-on-canvas piece by Ahmad Zakii Anwar. It fetched RM108,000.
The second series of the Malaysian and Southeast Asian Art Auction will be in June. We hope the coronavirus outbreak will be getting better by then so we can again welcome all floor bidders to come together.
As a consequence of the coronavirus outbreak, the ArtEDecor 2020 which was scheduled to happen in 5-8 March 2020 was forced to postpone to a later date. This unexpected rescheduling was a difficult decision to make, leaving many exhibiting artists in the midst of the unknown. However, the founder and the organiser Nor Azmi Sulong was quick in responding. In just a week, the alternative date and venue was announced.
ArtEDecor is now rescheduled to 23-26 July 2020. Kindly take note of the venue change as well. The new venue for ArtEDecor 2020 is at World Trade Centre Kuala Lumpur (formerly known as PWTC), due to the unavailability of the previous venue in MECC.