Contemporary Art aficionado’s and husband-and-wife team Sharif Bangi and Khamaliah Salleh opened their East Coast showroom, Chope4me, in 2014. It’s named after the Singaporean slang word ‘chope’ for reserving a table at a hawker centre- use it or lose it! And they feel the same way about art; if it speaks to you and you love it, ‘chope’ it, because if you don’t someone else will and it will be gone forever.
They’ve built their collection by handpicking original paintings, etchings and prints from across Australia, Indonesia and Malaysia on regular scouting trips, selecting the pieces on account of their appeal to art lovers, their timeless relevance and their affordability. Sounds right up our street!
Ubud Community Artists
One visit to Ubud – a favourite scouting destination for Sharif and Khamaliah - is enough to tell you that it’s the cultural heart of Bali with a flourishing art and craft centre. The Pitamaha (Great Vitality) Art Guild was founded back in 1936, with the goal of support local painters by providing them with guidance, developing their existing natural talent with Western influences and skills and creating a market for the artists’ work.
Fast forward 80-or so years and the Ubud Community Artists are delivering on this heritage. The artwork they produce is unique in that it doesn’t have one artist delivering the work from start to finish; many artists will collaborate to paint one piece, that in the end will look flawless. (The secret lies in the artists all understanding each other’s approach and strokes.) Chope4me has selected a number of beautiful, vibrant pieces for their collection.
Sydney-based Contemporary Artists
On a recent trip to Australia, Sydney-based Nigel Gillings along with the artists from The Ashley’s Art piqued the interest of Sharif and Khamaliah, and now specific original pieces are exclusively available through Chope4me’s website and showroom – great news for our stark, lonely walls!
Nigel Gillings always felt a compulsion to be creative; although he was initially attracted to a wide range of creative pursuits, the gift of being able to draw steered his career into the visual arts. Originally from Leeds, he attended Art College in Northern England before the urge to travel the world took him on many adventures.
Nigel’s work – paintings and etchings covering a wide range of genres from abstract to romantic, landscape to figurative – explores the nature of love and relationships, celebrating beauty in its many forms. Many of his paintings are one-offs, (we love an exclusive!), but he also produces different versions of the same painting based around an established image, as he believes this helps to evolve the form and different colour relationships.
Etching plates have a limited lifespan, due to the deterioration of the image on the metal plate used to make the impressions and prints, so Gillings updates his plates with new images as the older ones disappear. His etchings available on chope4me are limited edition, printed on quality art paper and mounted.
His work may look familiar if you’ve spent time wandering around Paddington and Manly markets in Sydney. He values instant feedback from his buyers and is always up for a chat! He’s also known for creating portraits of beloved pets – a commission would be a perfect present for the totally pet-obsessed among us.
Printmakers Alison Macmillan Ashley & Allan Ashley exhibit a unique and contemporary style. They’ve lived in and around Sydney for over twenty years, drawing heavily on their local environment and extensive travel experiences for inspiration. Their work hangs in private and corporate collections throughout Australia and across the globe. Now their The Three Samurais could soon have pride of place on your wall, as the original is exclusively available at Chope4me.
Set during the era of the Tokugawa Shogunate, this triptych features the male Warrior flanked by two Lady Samurai Warriors carrying katana, back sheathed swords and other weapons. The artwork embodies the idea that the Warriors will attain enlightenment through the practise of Zen Archery.
To view these original pieces, and see their whole collection, make an appointment with Khamaliah on 9339 4380 or 6748 1009 and visit Chope4me’s showroom located at 81 Ubi Avenue 4, #10-04 UB.One, 408830 or shop online
For further information about their contemporary collection, read our previous feature here.