Lot 68: T. SELVARATNAM (b. 1920 - d. 2008) UNTITLED, 2000, Oil on canvas

Est: MYR4,000 - MYR7,000
MYR3,200 0 bids
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Henry Butcher Art Auctioneers

April 29, 2018, 1:00 PM SGT
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
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Description: Mould it while hot in the fire and then on the anvil, when things could still be shaped at will and to the desired effect. What is the norm for a blacksmith is the same with moulding a child’s character when still young, not when older when one is set on his ways and hardened. Here, T. Selvaratnam showed the blacksmith with back turned, indicating anonymity and a profession that was dying off. This little workshop was presumably around Brickfields where he stayed during his teens after coming back from Sri Lanka at the age of 16 after spending 10 years there. Blacksmithing is a tough job as can be seen by the man’s sturdy body and strong arms despite looking advanced in years. Blacksmiths doing the old traditional way of forging and iron-mongering are a rarity nowadays because it’s tough, dirty and laborious. T. Selvaratnam did not have formal training in art but was fortunate to be apprenticed under India’s N.N. Nambiar, who was stranded in Malaya during the Japanese Occupation from 1942 to 1945. He learnt from Nambiar mainly portraits in oil. His other sources were Informal lessons in sculpture under Anthony Gray, and the odd evening classes at the Stanhope Institute and the Hammersmith College of Art, London, in 1966 when studying transport management in London. Selvaratnam lectured at the Mara Institute of Technology from 1975 to 1986, after retiring from the Malayan Railway as chief administrative officer and secretary of the Railway Board (1946-1975). He had solos at the Creative Centre in 1991, Maybank Art Gallery in 1994 and 1996, as well as The Art Gallery, Penang in 1995. He became a fulltime artist in 1988. Before that, he took part in group shows of the Selangor Art Society and the Malayan Arts Council during the 1950s and 1960s. Writing in The New Straits Times (July 11, 1994) on his 1994 solo, Ooi Kok Chuen remarked: “His works are almost always clean, neat and compositionally and texturally balanced with an inclination for balance, harmony and symmetry – the smooth even layers of paint, the ‘clinical’ touch-ups, the cohesive lines and forms of his sculptures – a fount of symmetry and grace.”
Dimensions: 90cm x 60cm
Artist or Maker: T. SELVARATNAM
Medium: Oil on canvas
Date: 2000
Provenance: Private collection, Kuala Lumpur
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20. Transfer of risk
Any lot purchased is entirely at the buyer's risk from the earlier of:
(a) the time the buyer collects the lot purchased; or
(b) the time that the buyer pays to HBAA the full amount due for the lot; or
(c) seven (7) calendar days after the day of the sale.
The buyer shall be solely responsible for insuring the lot purchased from the time risk passes to the buyer. The buyer will be compensated for any loss or damage to the lot which occurs after sale but prior to the time risk passes to the buyer. The maximum amount of compensation shall be the hammer price of the lot, and shall exclude any indirect or consequential loss or damage. However, HBAA will not, in any circumstances, be liable for any loss or damage caused to frames or to glass which is covering prints, paintings or other works unless the frame or glass is, in itself, the object sold at auction.

21. Packing, handling and shipping
The packing, handling and shipping of lots is entirely at the buyer's risk and expense (which shall be paid in full before the lot is shipped out) and HBAA shall not, in any circumstances, be responsible for the acts or omissions of the packers or shippers. In circumstances where HBAA proposed handlers, packers or carriers if so requested, HBAA shall also not accept responsibility or liability for their acts or omissions.

22. Export license
The export of any lot from Malaysia or import into any other country may be subject to one or more export or import licences being granted. It is the buyer's responsibility to obtain any relevant export or import licence. Lots purchased shall be paid for in accordance with Condition 17 above and the denial of any export or import licence required or any delay in the obtaining of such licence shall not justify the rescission or cancellation of the sale by the buyer or any delay by the buyer in making payment of the full amount due for the lot. HBAA shall not be obligated to rescind a sale nor to refund any interest or other expenses incurred by the buyer where payment is made by the buyer in circumstances where an export license is required.
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