Penang may be home to countless artists as well as a source of, and an inspiration for, classic works. But the collection of publicly viewable masterpieces in the state still leaves much to be desired.
The figure stands at an impressive 578. This is the number of art pieces amassed by the Penang State Art Gallery (PSAG) from 1965 to 2011.
While many of them are certainly of high quality, the poser is whether they express enough artistic merit and stylistic innovation, possess the “ka-pow” factor of the respective artists and contain enough social context to offer a credible narrative of art developments in Penang and the country.
Unlike institutions such as the National Visual Art Gallery, Bank Negara, Galeri Petronas, Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM), Universiti Malaya (UM) and Khazanah Nasional, the PSAG cannot really be expected to own a grand suit of masterpieces.
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