In an ideal world, kind deeds would come naturally on any given day. To mark World Kindness Day this Nov 13, RHB Banking Group is promoting an act of kindness through the arts. The initiative comes in the form of its Art with Heart Exhibition 2017, which proposes “one of the kindest things you can do in the month of November”. Supported by RHB Foundation, the bank’s corporate social responsibility arm, the exhibition is designed not only for art lovers and supporters of local artists, but also for those who are looking to give back to society.
According to RHB group managing director Datuk Khairussaleh Ramli, last year’s inaugural exhibition was a huge success. “We witnessed great enthusiasm among our guests and the response was tremendous for a first effort. Last year, 11 Malaysian artists participated with 66 paintings and installations. The price of the paintings ranged from RM2,000 to RM18,000.”
Following this enthusiastic response, this year’s edition will feature more than 100 works in various mediums by Malaysian artists. Visitors to the exhibition and prospective buyers can expect to find abstract and figurative art and batik paintings as well as wood, bronze and steel sculptures, which will be priced from below RM1,000 to RM50,000. The exhibition was curated Tan Sei Hon, who has a special interest in abstract and outsider art. Among others, he co-curated the final exhibition of Datuk Chuah Thean Teng, who has been called the father of Malaysian batik painting and Malaya’s First National Painter.
What makes this exhibition special is that 20% of the sales proceeds will be channelled to deserving beneficiaries chosen by the RHB Foundation.
“World Kindness Day is a day to promote and highlight good deeds in the community. Art with Heart is aimed at promoting kindness through the arts by connecting art and artists with an audience and investors. It gives our guests the opportunity to view the works of local talent, be it as an investment or for personal enjoyment. At the same time, every piece sold will benefit not only the artists but also the wider community, as part of the proceeds will be channelled to selected individuals, families and charitable organisations. It is our way of raising awareness for a better and kinder world, not just to the community but also to ourselves through the appreciation of art,” says Khairussaleh.
This year, RHB Banking Group has increased the amount of its contribution by 10% from last year, to benefit more underprivileged individuals and families and charitable organisations. Though no specific target has been set, it aims to achieve higher sales this year compared with 2016.
“Last year, at the Special Preview Night, we sold 25 artworks with a value of more than RM230,000, and 32 deserving families and single mothers benefited from some of the proceeds. The beneficiaries were chosen based on their financial and social needs,” says Khairussaleh, who is also the chairman of RHB Foundation.
This year’s featured artists are Abdul Rashade, Agnes Lau, Alex Chung, Azman Hilmi, Badruddin Syah, Calvin Chua, Cheong Tuck Wai, Chin Wan Kee, Chuah Seong Leng, Donald Abraham, Hamdan Shaarani, Ismadi Sallehudin, Jasmine Cheong, Joy Ng, Khaw Soon Hoe, Kim Ng, Long Thien Shih, Liu Cheng Hua, Mark Tan, Ng Foo Cheong, Norlisham Selamat, S Amin Shahab, Shafee Ramli, Shiela Samsuri, Syahrul Niza, Vong Nyam Chee, Zaharin Mohammad and Zainal Abidin.
Through this initiative, the corporation wants to encourage its customers, business partners and members of the public to invest in a unique asset class and contribute to the flourishing local art scene while supporting worthy causes.
Khairussaleh says, “The Art with Heart Exhibition is RHB Banking Group’s corporate responsibility initiative aimed at promoting local talent and providing a platform for them to exhibit their masterpieces as well as to break into the local art scene, and at the same time, help the underprivileged.”
The Art with Heart Exhibition 2017 is open to the public until Nov 24 at the main lobby of the RHB Centre in Jalan Tun Razak, Kuala Lumpur. For enquiries, call (03) 9280 2288/2851.