(left to right) Deddy Kusuma, Patricia Chen, Marjorie Chu and Dr. Oei Hong Djien

An excerpt of a 4-page article published in C-Arts' "Collectors' Guide to the Southeast Asian art market" March 2011 issue.

Dear collectors

Why transcribe a panel discussion, you may ask.

When the column was first conceived, I wanted it for a singular reason: to cut through the thick clouds of opaqueness in the art market; and through independent and critical analyses, empower collectors to make informed decisions on the trading of art. It was not borne out of a stubborn preoccupation with charts or indices, sidelining the art or the artists. Rather, the preoccupation, if any, is a deep conviction to improve the flow of information and intelligence to elevate market practices to new levels.

Last November, I was asked to moderate a discussion on art collecting, to be held in conjunction with Borobudur’s 5th Anniversary sale, primarily for new collectors who are either casually acquainted with collecting and/or the Southeast Asian art market. The panellists were some of the most revered individuals in the collecting and dealing circuit in the Southeast Asian art scene - Dr. Oei Hong Djien, Deddy Kusuma and Marjorie Chu. Dr. Oei’s and Deddy’s collections are second to none; Marjorie has been a member of the art trade since 1975. Amongst the three, they pool together more than a hundred years of experience in art collecting/dealing.

I chose this panel discussion to end the column series because it deeply resonates with the ‘spirit’ of my work. It cuts across the ‘noise’ of fashionable trends, of scientific representations (mine inclusive), of clever marketing tactics and verbose art theories that barrage collectors. And in simple layman language and with ‘common-man’ sensibility, the session allowed aching questions that are seldom discussed to be talked about openly, up close and personal.

I trust that this will be part of a continuing dialogue to advance the workings of this emerging but highly promising landscape that we all are stakeholders of. Let’s do it in earnest as the wisdom-bearers reside in our time. Enjoy.

Patricia Chen

Copyright, Patricia Chen, 2011. All rights reserved. No part of this writing may be reprinted, reproduced or utilised in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means including printing, recording or information storage and retrieval systems, without written permission in writing from the author.

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