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This article first appeared in Options, The Edge Malaysia Weekly on January 21, 2019 - January 27, 2019

What does it take to become a respected art collector in Malaysia? Mae Chan looks for the answer by spending an afternoon with lawyer and eminent art collector Pakhruddin Sulaiman, who talks about how he started collecting art and some of his favourite pieces as well as what drives his acquisitions today.


In a quiet and unassuming low-rise office block in the heart of Ampang Jaya, Kuala Lumpur, the lift opens to the fourth floor office of Pakhruddin & Partners. The cosy reception area is not unlike those of many law firms in town, but visitors will find a few interesting details if they are discerning.

The most obvious is an odd poster-like frame of what can only be described as a superwoman — with a red cape, no less — flying up, up and away, carrying a school-age child while the parents wave and look on with a smile in the background. Entitled Super Girl, it is from Malaysian artist Wong Hoy Cheong’s 2008 Maid in Malaysia series of digital photographs that highlights the unsung heroes in local communities.

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