Interview Dialogue With Malaysian Antique Dealer, Edwin

Melaka, the historical city, is where you will be spoiled with cultures and scrumptious food. In this very delightful city, we have learned new things and we are glad to introduce you to the owner of the Artistic Heritage House, an antique shop that offers a variety of antique furnishings and items.

“Hey, why do you even buy junks?”

Edwin had this type of question asked before but it does not faze him. The current owner of the Artistic Heritage House in Jonker Street Melaka always believes in himself and perceives things on the bright side. The 30 years old antique shop had been run by Edwin’s family and passed down to him. For the love of his birthplace, Melaka, he is keen on widening his horizon in sharing the beauty of Melaka through antique furniture.

We had a good time interviewing him at his store.

#1 What was your very first job — ever?

I was a sales marketer, in Australia, but after some time, my heart longs for my genuine passion. I find it very pleasing to be back, I am back to the hugs of my exquisite culture, it is the complete opposite of Australia.

#2 Tell us about your journey into the art industry; when did you realize that you could turn your love for art into a career?

I was brought up by an amazing family who has the deepest enthusiasm for antique goods. I remember coming back from school and just submerging myself in the beauty of each collection. That is when I find myself admiring the old stuff, the artistic value, and know very well that the contemporary concept does not soothe my soul. A thousand people could like it, but if it does not meet my taste, it will never be good, just like the chairs I have in this store, they are mostly mid-century; not too old and not too new, it is evergreen and will never go out of trend.

#3 If you could go back in time and give your young artist self-one piece of advice, what would it be?

Always stick to your passion, devote yourself to cherishing the things you love, and ditch the negative thoughts. One thing that lingers in my mind is when someone asked me —

‘Hey, why do you buy “junks”?’

Do not let people put you down, believe in yourself.

In the end, I am making a living out of the “junks”, I am proud of myself and all of the things I have achieved, it is a long journey but the reward of self-achievement is always worth it.

#4 Where do you find the most inspiration for your work?

I believe each of these precious antique items carries more than just the aesthetic appeal, it has a story, it is a form of art, and that is what makes it divergent. And when in search of inspiration, I will go back to the good ole books, internet surfing, and exposure to the things I see, hear and observe. I love being my own creative, what could go wrong when you do not stick to the rules? eventually, it makes you stand up!

#5 What does your creative process look like?

My usual creative process would start with a collaboration with an interior designer, we will come out with ideas and propose it to them, they will then seek approval from the end-user or the client, and when it is approved we will let the magic happen. I had learned a lot from connecting with interior designers, maybe the two first parties could agree on the ideas but it will all come down to how the end-user prefers it. Usually, we receive tremendous support as the trend of having preloved stuff is increasing and I am glad more people are enjoying it. It serves our mother nature a purpose; there will be lesser and lesser trees being cut down, the world is being taken care of and I always stick to the motto to always, reuse, recycle, reduce and repurpose.

I also see the new or the modern furniture could not compete with the quality of the older ones. The craftsmanship and dedication put in the making of each antique piece are very thorough, they use the joints technique which makes it almost impossible to destroy, and to find carpenters that still practice this technique is quite hard, so the modern making usually sticks to the glues and nails.

#6 What was the most significant design or business challenge that you have encountered and grown from?

When selling an idea to the interior designer, they will need to persuade the end-user, sometimes it works and sometimes it does not. But the key to a successful deal would be having the same interest or being on the same page for both parties; myself and the interior designer.

#7 What has been your biggest achievement? When was the last time you thought, “wow, I can’t believe I just accomplished that!”

Definitely, the moment when I joined art museums, a few big events, my shop, and my antique furnishings appeared in shows, commercials, and movie production.

#8 Which upcoming project or endeavour are you most excited for?

I am soon will be opening up a cafe, but for the rest, I would like to keep the audience wondering about the location, the interior and the food. I am thrilled about it.

Walking around the shop has taken us through a time capsule filled with amazing things, a lot of the furniture, such as the chair, the frames, and the lamps are from different countries and it is very well made. There are also a lot of Peranakan motives and design around the shop, everything is captivating and sparks a lot of conversation, we totally get why cafes like Kleptokrat and Timoti love everything Artistic Heritage House has to offer.

The interview and the trip was definitely an eye-opening moment. Also a tip for anyone planning to visit Melaka soon, Baba & Nyonya heritage museum is a place you must come to, and if you wonder where you can get things similar to what they have in there, definitely check out Artistic Heritage House! It is just 5 minutes walk from the museum.

Studio Pandan will always strive to bring our local creatives and entrepreneurs to the spotlight. Make sure to follow us on Instagram to keep yourself updated!
#supportlocal #artisticheritagehouse #studiopandan #melaka #barangantik #antique #peranakandeco #malaysiandeco #malaysiaherritage #malaysianinteriorstyle

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