Trip the Light Artistic 点亮艺术之旅

Dato’ Kenny Tan
Group Executive Chairman of Ken Holdings Bhd
高胜控股执行主席


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“We must mix and match the old and young talents.  We can always learn a lot from the new generation.”

‘Mottainai’ is a Japanese exclamation that conveys regret over waste.  Listed as one of their corporate core values, Ken Holdings Bhd is Malaysia’s multiple award-winning green developer, and an important component of the Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange.  Not a bad show for someone who describes himself as a young and die-hard upstart businessman in the early 80s. Today as group executive chairman of Ken Holdings Bhd, Dato’ Kenny Tan is still the genteel, modest and earnest person that he was decades ago but with added impact, wisdom and even more humility.  Heavily invested in social and environmental responsibilities, this real estate mogul shares, “We strive to remain aware of our effect on the environment, and in the spirit of Mottainai, embrace sustainable practices to prudently and wisely use our resources.”   

Operating from his plush office on the 12th floor of Menara KEN TTDI, Ken Holdings continues to make its mark as a leader in green building design.  What started as a specialist engineering firm in 1980, branched out to construction, development and finally, the coveted listing.  “It has always been my aim to get the company onto the KLSE.”  With projects all over Malaysia, Ken Holdings is proud to call Menara Ken TTDI, Ken Bangsar, Ken Damansara, Ken Aman, Ken Rimba (current), Ken Kota Bahru and Ken Johor Bahru, their own. His successes can be attributed to a singularly firm principle – “You promise, you have to deliver” – heavyweight words from a real estate developer.   

With the KLSE buckle firmly on his belt, and Ken Holdings operating like a well-oiled machine, Dato’ Kenny Tan is delivering more than prestigious homes and smart commercial spaces these days. An avid and discerning collector, great patron and supporter of the arts, Tan recently launched Ken Gallery at Menara KEN. The 20,000-sq-ft art space houses his private collection and an impressive display of local and foreign works. “I have been collecting art for more than 30 years, mainly Chinese paintings, ceramics and antiques.  Previously, most of my acquisitions were kept in stores, my home and office. I am hoping to strengthen my collection as well as show more of Malaysian art through Ken Gallery.”

As a conservationist in nature and art works, Dato Kenny Tan is also a keen restorer and philanthropist. Ken Foundation represents a charity arm that provides scholarships for deserving students to study architecture, business, art restoration, marketing and human resource.   

“I think the Malaysian art industry is in neglect. Malaysian artists are not earning what they should. It’s better now but in the early 70s, Latiff Mohidin’s Pago Pago was only sold for RM20,000”, says this art enthusiast who once modelled for Ahmad Zakii in one of his paintings. 

Zakii may have immortalised Dato’ Tan in a painting, but his son Sam Tan stands in good stead to carry on Tan senior’s legacy at Ken Holdings Bhd. With an engineering and law background, Sam is at the helm of the company as managing director. The proud father shares, “Doubtless, I will continue to work for as long as I can but we must mix and match the old and young talents. We can always learn a lot from the new generation.” 

‘Mottainai’ is a Japanese exclamation that conveys regret over waste.  Listed as one of their corporate core values, Ken Holdings Bhd is Malaysia’s multiple award-winning green developer, and an important component of the Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange.  Not a bad show for someone who describes himself as a young and die-hard upstart businessman in the early 80s. Today as group executive chairman of Ken Holdings Bhd, Dato’ Kenny Tan is still the genteel, modest and earnest person that he was decades ago but with added impact, wisdom and even more humility.  Heavily invested in social and environmental responsibilities, this real estate mogul shares, “We strive to remain aware of our effect on the environment, and in the spirit of Mottainai, embrace sustainable practices to prudently and wisely use our resources.”   

Operating from his plush office on the 12th floor of Menara KEN TTDI, Ken Holdings continues to make its mark as a leader in green building design.  What started as a specialist engineering firm in 1980, branched out to construction, development and finally, the coveted listing.  “It has always been my aim to get the company onto the KLSE.”  With projects all over Malaysia, Ken Holdings is proud to call Menara Ken TTDI, Ken Bangsar, Ken Damansara, Ken Aman, Ken Rimba (current), Ken Kota Bahru and Ken Johor Bahru, their own. His successes can be attributed to a singularly firm principle – “You promise, you have to deliver” – heavyweight words from a real estate developer.   

With the KLSE buckle firmly on his belt, and Ken Holdings operating like a well-oiled machine, Dato’ Kenny Tan is delivering more than prestigious homes and smart commercial spaces these days. An avid and discerning collector, great patron and supporter of the arts, Tan recently launched Ken Gallery at Menara KEN. The 20,000-sq-ft art space houses his private collection and an impressive display of local and foreign works. “I have been collecting art for more than 30 years, mainly Chinese paintings, ceramics and antiques.  Previously, most of my acquisitions were kept in stores, my home and office. I am hoping to strengthen my collection as well as show more of Malaysian art through Ken Gallery.”

As a conservationist in nature and art works, Dato Kenny Tan is also a keen restorer and philanthropist. Ken Foundation represents a charity arm that provides scholarships for deserving students to study architecture, business, art restoration, marketing and human resource.   

“I think the Malaysian art industry is in neglect. Malaysian artists are not earning what they should. It’s better now but in the early 70s, Latiff Mohidin’s Pago Pago was only sold for RM20,000”, says this art enthusiast who once modelled for Ahmad Zakii in one of his paintings. 

Zakii may have immortalised Dato’ Tan in a painting, but his son Sam Tan stands in good stead to carry on Tan senior’s legacy at Ken Holdings Bhd. With an engineering and law background, Sam is at the helm of the company as managing director. The proud father shares, “Doubtless, I will continue to work for as long as I can but we must mix and match the old and young talents. We can always learn a lot from the new generation.” 

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“もったいない”这句日文感叹语是表达对于浪费所造成的遗憾。高胜控股(Ken Holdings Bhd)是马来西亚屡屡获奖的绿色概念开发商,同时是吉隆坡证券交易所的上市机构。对于自称是 80 年代初期崛起,年轻而顽固的新贵商人来说,其实这算是相当出色的业绩演出。如今,作为高胜控股执行主席,拿督陈文江仍然保持十年前温雅、谦虚和认真的作风,但他累积了影响力、睿智和豁达。在回馈社会和环境责任方面,这位房地产大亨也分享了他的理念。“我们努力维持对于环境影响的高度意识,本着“もったいない”的精神,接受可持续的做法,谨慎而明智地使用我们的资源。”

从位于 Ken TTDI(敦依斯迈花园)大厦 12 楼的豪华办公室开始,高胜控股继续引领着绿色建筑设计的延伸。1980年,一家专业工程公司历经了从建设、开发到最终挂牌上市。“让公司得以在吉隆坡证券交易所上市一直是我的目标。”而纵观马来西亚所有的房地产发展项目中,高胜控股自身引以为傲的发展计划包括:Menara Ken TTDI、Ken Bangsar、Ken Damansara、Ken Aman、Ken Rimba(近期),Ken Kota Bahru 和 Ken Johor Bahru。他的成功归结为一个不可撼动的原则—“你承诺了,就必须完成与交付”,这是来自房地产开发商的重量级宣言。

随着成为吉隆坡证券交易所的上市公司,他也丝毫没有松懈,高胜控股的全盘运营更犹如效率奇高的精密机械转动着。另外,拿督陈文江目前交付实践的不仅是著名房产计划和精明规划的商业空间,他同时也是一名热心的收藏家,艺术赞助与支持者,他最近在 Menara Ken 创办了 Ken Gallery。这个 2 万平方公尺的艺术空间收纳了他的私人收藏,并展示当地和国外作品。“我收藏艺术品逾 30 年,主要是中国画、陶瓷品和古董。”以前,他收购的大部分珍藏品都是在商库、家里和办公室内存放,但他希望继续深化收藏质量,并通过 Ken Gallery 尽情展现马来西亚艺术。

除了是自然生态和艺术的保护主义者,陈文江也是修复者和慈善家。他所创立的Ken 基金会为那些在建筑、商业、艺术修复、市场营销和人力资源相关的优秀学生们提供奖学金。“我认为马来西亚的艺术领域被忽视了,艺术家们无法获得相应的回馈。虽然现在有点改善,但在70年代初期, Latiff Mohidin 的名作 Pago-Pago 仅卖出2万令吉。另外,这位艺术狂热者还曾成为知名艺术家 Ahmad Zakii 画笔下的模特。

纵然 Ahmad Zakii 的画作可能以不可磨灭的方式定格陈文江,但他的儿子陳致祥却完美继承父亲在高胜控股的业务精神,具备工程和法律学识背景的陳致祥已任职董事经理掌管公司。这位骄傲的父亲说,“只要能继续工作,毫无疑问的,我不会轻易言休,但我们必须更好的融合资深和年轻的人才。我们总能从新一代的身上学到许多。”


By Billie Ooi-Ng Lean Gaik

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