Sonny’s interest, and an eye for the art, began when he was a child.
His parents wanted him to be an architect but Sonny wanted to be a painter.
Things took an uncanny turn to his advantage when the travel agency he worked in (after 2 years of national service) decided to switch its tour business to one which sells commercial art. This was a clear sign to Sonny that art was to be his life-long preoccupation.
Sonny was determined to open his own art gallery but he had no experience. So, he started first with selling art reproductions at flea markets. Then is 1987, after saving enough money, he opened his gallery in Holland V.
Sonny’s vision was (and still is) to showcase original artworks in water colour, oil and acrylic from Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand and Singapore. Up till today, he continues to travel regularly throughout the region so as to keep in touch with artists and to source for interesting new works.
Sonny says, “I don’t paint much these days because of workload and travel. A painter needs a certain mental state and I can’t run a business and paint at the same time. But because I can paint, I have a keen eye for good pieces and this is reflected in the pieces I choose.”
D Artist Gallery also provides art consultation and handles projects for corporations. Sonny explains, “These projects are to make a statement about sophistication, art appreciation or to enhance corporate image. So, we also undertake commissioned art pieces in all mediums including calligraphy. We also offer framing services and handle all framing work in our own framing factory. We don’t outsource. We do everything ourselves to deliver the quality expected of our discerning clients who are both private collectors as well as corporations.”
D Artist Gallery’s list of corporate clients includes Hard Rock Café, Swiss bank SEB, Ministry of Home Affairs, Reckitt & Colman and others.
Sonny believes that his clients stay with him because of his understanding of their requirements. He adds, “Because we are artists, we know exactly what the client is talking about. We understand conceptual issues and challenges and we have the confidence to deliver what is specified. When the client speaks with us, they can pick this up. We know what we are doing. This is our competence.”
It is evident that Sonny’s talent is not only in picking up potentially valuable art pieces but also in identifying what his clients value in his service.
Sonny is assisted by Jasmine, his wife. His two children are aspiring artists (see their pieces on the right). It seems that Sonny needn’t worry about who is going to take over his business when he retires!
D Artist Gallery
211 Holland Avenue
Holland Road Shopping Centre
Tel: 6469 2296
Cell: 9795 7721
Fax: 6463 8339
11am to 7pm (Mon to Sat)
2pm to 6pm (Sun & PH)
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