Initiated by several art enthusiasts within Rahmat Lim & Partners, Project H<3rt marked a remarkable milestone for our Firm as we organised a charity art auction for the very first time! The title “Project H<3rt” was inspired by our love for art combined with our desire to support those that are marginalised, neglected and forgotten within our community. There was no better time to hold the art auction than in conjunction with the annual Allen & Gledhill Partners’ Retreat which was held in St Regis Kuala Lumpur from 5 to 7 July 2019, as we welcomed over 180 partners and friends from the Allen & Gledhill network.
Featuring a total of 61 paintings by various renowned and up-and-coming Malaysian artists who have generously contributed their works of art at great discounts, the days leading up to the auction were hectic as Team Project H<3rt was busy shortlisting the paintings and preparing them for viewing. Much effort was placed in identifying the charities as only those truly in need of funds were chosen by the team. The charities that were selected to receive the proceeds raised from the art auction are:
- Persatuan Kanak-Kanak Istimewa (PKKI) – a training centre for children with special needs;
- Second Chance Animal Shelter (SCAS) – a shelter and rehabilitation centre for homeless dogs; and
- Rumah Kasih Charity Home – a home for the senior citizens abandoned at the KL General Hospital.
Successful bidders were given an option to select one or more of the above charities that will receive the balance of the auction proceeds of their winning bids.
Lawyers being lawyers, the team did the necessary due diligence on each of these charities by visiting the home/centre and speaking to the persons-in-charge to verify their funding needs.
Preparation for the viewing of the paintings was definitely no easy feat. The team personally set up each painting for display which meant moving paintings as huge as five by five feet! On top of that, these paintings had to be moved back into a room for safe keeping at the end of the day and out for display by early morning of the next day.
Beautifully displayed across the Grand Ballroom Foyer and the State Room of St Regis Kuala Lumpur, partners and guests were treated to the mesmerising pieces of batik paintings by Tony Ng, the works of Yap Chin Hoe which encapsulates traditional porcelains and beautiful watercolour paintings by the skilful Maamor Jantan. The cool blue underwater paintings by Ajis Mohammad that greeted everyone as they entered the Foyer and the quiet zebras depicted by Wan Ahmad Ngah, delivered a sense of calm and serenity to many. The bright and whimsical images created by Tang Hong Lee juxtaposed with the abstract and vibrant works by Voon Kim Cheong and the energetic paintings by Alex Chung (also known as Master Roong Huah) further elevated the display. The paintings of historical buildings by both Lee Weng Fatt and Lui Cheng Thak, too won the hearts of many judging by the competition for their works during the live auction. The captivating works of Nizar Kamal and Jeremy Lee also evoked stimulating conversations.
We were fortunate to have Sharon Lok, a professional auctioneer from Masterpiece Auction House joining Sanjiv Rajan from Allen & Gledhill as co-auctioneer for the live auction which took place in De.Wan@1958. Only Sanjiv, through his entertaining blend of charm, cajoling, mock intimidation, gentle roasting, and unabashed “guilt-tripping” could get our partners to part with their money with grins on their faces amidst laughter from everyone. The night of the art auction fuelled the stereotyping of lawyers being overly-competitive as we witnessed paddles flying through the air as partners attempted to outbid one another.
The surprise anonymous cash donations announced at the conclusion of the live auction was the perfect ending for the evening. Just when we thought that the dust had finally settled, we received more anonymous cash donations and sold six additional paintings, increasing the amount of funds raised for all three charities to a staggering grand total of MYR233,888.00.
Project H<3rt was a huge success and we would not have been able to achieve results without the support of the participating artists, WL Framing & Art Sdn. Bhd., for arranging for the collection of each painting subsidising the workmanship cost of the frames and complimentary packing of the paintings for delivery, the ever charismatic Sanjiv Rajan and Sharon Lok who gave us “fair warning” and whose assistance made us look more professional, and all our partners, colleagues and friends who were present in person or via proxies at the live auction.
Team Project H<3rt