Maya Gallery was officially opened in historic Kampong Gelam on 12 April 2012 by Ms Janice Koh, Nominated Member of Parliament (NMP) for the Arts. Also launched was the exhibition ‘from the heart’ featuring works by Singaporean artists IDRIS MOHD ALI , SUJAK RAHMAN, SUNAR SUGIYOU, CHARLOTTE TAN, and JEFFREY WANDLY in oils, acrylics, watercolour, batik, charcoal and Chinese inks.
“Art galleries must be unique, make a stand for our local artists, give them an opportunity, and give due respect to their creations.” – Iskandar Jalil
The showcase includes a special collection of hand-crafted collectible pinhole cameras by KARTO, established local photographer, and ceramics by ISKANDAR JALIL, local master potter & Cultural Medallion recipient. The event was attended by close to 200 guests.
“It is certain, from the high quality work being showcased at this opening exhibition, that Singapore has no shortage of talented artists in our midst.” – Guest-of-Honour Ms Janice Koh, Arts NMP.
Directors of Maya Gallery Ms Masturah Shaari and husband Mr Jeffrey Wandly gave an opening speech sharing their passion for the arts, followed by Arts NMP Janice Koh, who encouraged more platforms to promote local arts, as thus heighten the level of appreciation for works by local artists.
“I’m drawn to art and beautifully designed things. I believe art inspires, and has a role to play in society.” – Masturah Shaari, director of Maya Gallery
“I grew up listening to my father’s piano, violin, clarinet and saxophone, and seeing his paintings unfold before my eyes. Through art, we can know more about our heritage, our history.” – Jeffrey Wandly, director of Maya Gallery
The guests were privileged to hear music played on an antique violin and 100-year-old cello by a string quartet from the Wandly Yazid Orkestra, named after Jeffrey’s late father Hj Wandly Yazid – legendary composer, arranger, musician, and artist. The musicians performed original compositions by Hj Wandly with a new arrangement, European classical music, traditional music, and new compositions. A gallery publication was launched during the reception.
Since February this year, Maya Gallery has seen many visitors – tourists, locals and expatriates, who are appreciative of new art spaces promoting local Singaporean artists in the heritage district, and close to landmark places like Raffles Hotel and the Sultan Mosque.
“The selection of art works here are of high quality. The setting is beautiful, just like the galleries in Europe.” – Mr Hal Monique, France
On the second level, there is a mini gallery as a tribute to Hj Wandly Yazid, displaying his musical instruments, a photographic showcase of album and record covers, manuscripts and books, as well as a collection of watercolour paintings by this legendary local composer. Maya Gallery aims to be recognised and respected as a leading gallery for local artists. Its weekend activity, ‘Life Portraits’ has been a hit with locals, expats ad tourists. These on-the-spot sketches by renowned watercolourist Idris Mohd Ali, who once painted a portrait of, and for, former president Wee Kim Wee, is also showing his watercolour paintings at the gallery.