I have always been the person behind the artist; providing technical support, carrying out marketing activities, chirping in with the finances, doing manual labour, being a cheerleader.
My father is an artist, the artist Low Hai Hong. I have been helping him for the past twenty years.
"Paintings are meant for the walls, not in the store."
Most of our paintings are kept on shelves, placed against each other. I always felt it is a pity that our expensively framed beautiful paintings are displayed for a very short time during an exhibition and then unceremoniously chucked back into storage.
So one day I told my father, why don't we rent out the paintings? If our paintings are rented out, they will be up on the walls where they should be and more people can look at them and enjoy them. It's so sad that they are kept in the store, where even we can't see them.
"Art lovers need not be art collectors to be able to enjoy paintings at home."
My father said, nobody does that, but why not?
We decided that our idea of renting paintings is for those love art.
For the art lover, who by renting paintings, can have paintings at home without breaking the bank, can explore different types of paintings and art style, can ignore investment and re-sale value, can focus on just enjoying paintings.
For the artist, who by renting paintings, can have some cash flow, can free up space in the studio to create more paintings, can be glad to know that someone is enjoying his work.
"We are the first in Singapore, and possibly South East Asia, to rent paintings to individuals for their homes."
After some research, I realised that only big organisations lease paintings, and for long lease periods. And no artists rents out paintings on their own. There are some companies doing art rental promising returns to their investors.
What we want to do is totally different from the what market is doing. We just want paintings to be enjoyed purely for what they are.
With my father's paintings, I started renting out paintings to individuals for their homes - rental is charged at 1% of the price of the painting for 1 week with a minimum rental period of 1 month. And that's it. No long list of terms and conditions.
My father is no longer around to see how our idea of renting paintings will work out, but I am sure he will be behind me, supporting me all the way.