Sunday, November 25

Framing Business in Malaysia

A guest from Australia walked in to our gallery last week. We are glad to know that he is a picture framer from Adelaide. He told us that he was attracted by the window sticker, " Guild Commended Framer"( GCF). And I think may be he was surprised to find out there is a UK's Fine Art Guild Framer in Malaysia.

According to one of the leading wood frame exporter in Malaysia, most of the picture framers in Malaysia are not well educated in this field. They learn the skills of making frame from the older generation (frame maker) or their parents. Normally they don't realize if the framing method is appropriate or not, as long as they think it is right and getting the job done. I have seen a framer try to wet mount a RM55,000 oil painting to a plywood backing board. He said this will make the oil paint looks flat and even! And another framer trimmed down an old water colour painting as he had not enough wood moulding for that framing job. Sounds crazy, isn't it?

Some of the frame maker friends are making joke of me for sitting the GCF test. They said I was wasting my time studying and wasting my money flying to London and get a "nobody care"'s certificate! I am sure they don't understand at least now I know better what is the proper way of frame making. Now I know how to help my customer to preserve their artworks or collection. With the qualification, I feel more confident to consult and help my customers. (Never mind, let them laugh! The customer's eye is bright....sooner later....they know who is the right person to frame thier artwork!)

However, as one of the many framer in Malaysia, we find difficulties to get the good framing materials in Malaysia. For example we don't have the conservation mount board selling here, no UV glass, form board, acid free or cloth tape, no hanging systems kits,.....and many more. The local framing wholesalers told demand for this stuffs! so, sorry for that! That is why, we always have to scratch our head to find a way and making used of the local materials for our framing works.

Another issue,.....we are facing problem to get the good quality frame woods.... we have the good wood frame manufacturers in Malaysia but they are keen on export business ( making more money....US and Europe currency is profitable!) rather than supply to the local framers. (Good frames are not available for Malaysian...and dont blame the framers!) So, we have a very limited choices. I went to a few places like Perth, Rome, Paris, Amsterdam, London, Munich.... and I am so admired the framers there. They have all the good suppliers like Larson & Juhl ( ), NielsenBainbridge ( ) .... where they can provide more than 300o choice of frames to their customers! And they don't have to keep big quantity of stocks...In Malaysia, we have only 200-300 choices. And we need to keep the stock! See, how pity is the framing business in Malaysia.

Yes...this is the fact of FRAMING business in Malaysia. Accept it!

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