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Published: Friday December 27, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Updated: Friday December 27, 2013 MYT 1:05:36 PM

Books compile AmBank's culture and history

Appreciating art: Azman (right) showing Zeti some of the paintings featured in the Art Collection during the coffeetable books’ launch at The Majestic Hotel Kuala Lumpur.

Appreciating art: Azman (right) showing Zeti some of the paintings featured in the Art Collection during the coffeetable books’ launch at The Majestic Hotel Kuala Lumpur.

TAN Sri Azman Hashim’s keen eye for art has translated into three coffeetable books depicting some of the most notable works collected by AmBank Group as well as those from his personal collection.

At the recent launch, the banking group officially introduced the Camels Collection, Art Collection and Collection of Drawings by Datuk Mohd Nor Khalid, better known to Malaysians as Lat.

The Camels Collection celebrates the mascot of the bank that was introduced in 1982 and shows Azman’s collection acquired through gifts and purchases, while the Art Collection features over 280 prized paintings largely from local artists.

Lat’s comics have played a pivotal role in AmBank’s history as he was commissioned to produce cartoons for the bank’s advertisements and internal materials from 1984 up to the early 1990s.

Local flavour: The Art Collection mostly feature works of Malaysian artists.
Local flavour: The Art Collection features works by Malaysian artists.

“Through his cartoons, we got to show the personalities of the group, the camel, as well as the then Arab-Malaysian Merchant Bank in a light-hearted manner.

“He got messages across in subtle but effective ways, and not only did it give new meaning to local bank advertising, it also caught customers’ attention and made them smile,” noted Azman.

Lat’s partnership with the bank also led to the famous Savers Gang Members cartoon characters for the children’s savings account launch as well as the first animated cartoon TV commercial.

The collections have made AmBank Group one of the biggest corporate art collectors in the country, enabling the company to also play a key role in growing, encouraging and developing local art.

Camel galore: Some of Azman's figurine collection on display during the coffee table books launch at The Majestic Hotel Kuala Lumpur.
Camels galore: Some of Azman’s figurine collection on display during the launch.

Bank Negara Malaysia governor Tan Sri Dr Zeti Akhtar Aziz, who was at the launch, lauded banking institutions’ support for the local and international art scene.

She said the financial industry could consolidate efforts to preserve art and enrich society.

“Art is important as it is an integral part of our identity and heritage as well as carries our ideas and messages,” said Dr Zeti during the launch.

She also commended artists for pushing boundaries.

“Artists are honest and critical observers who help expand our understanding and remind us of the beauty we often take for granted,” she added.

Tags / Keywords: Central Region, AmBank Group, Tan Sri Azman Hashim, Tan Sri Dr Zeti Akhtar Aziz

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