John Ang

Collector, curator


The collector of Asian heritage artefacts has devoted his life to Malay textiles

Johnnie Walker Blue Label

After his two-year stint as an art journalist for Japan Times, John Ang, who holds a masters in Asian Art History at the University of Michigan, moved to Taipei and established a gallery that specialised in historical Asian artefacts. During his 28-year term as gallery director, Ang continued his prolific writing career, contributing to many established art magazines in Hong Kong, Singapore, and the United States.

The collector has also done talks and organised exhibitions on Asian art in the aforementioned regions. Ang also mounted shows in Malaysia, like the exhibition on Malay kelingkan embroidery at Terengganu State Museum. In July of this year, Ang showcased his own collection of 650 Malay textiles that he amassed in the past eight years. Titled 'Splendours of the Malay World Textiles', it gave the visitors a rare opportunity to appreciate the full range of Malay fabrics.

Ang is presently working on the completion of his encyclopaedic book devoted to Malay textiles, a hefty volume consisting of 660 pages spread over 10 chapters. Ever the busy bee, he is also curating the Merdeka 118 Textile Museum collection.


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Did You Know?

John Ang’s great-great-grandfather, Tan Hiok Nee, began trading textiles in what is now modern-day Johor and worked closely with the first sultan of Johor Bahru in the mid-1800s. He was one of the few people given the Mejar Cina title for his contribution to the state’s economy.

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Imran Sulaiman

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