PETALING JAYA - The 19 artists from China who were on MH370 were part of the 35-strong delegation who attended an art exhibition themed Chinese Dream: Red and Green Painting in Kuala Lumpur from Tuesday to Thursday.
Daniel Liau, who is the director of Art Peninsular Enterprise, the exhibition organiser, said he last contacted the delegation head Hou Bo when they boarded the plane on Friday midnight.
"He (Hou Bo) told me on the phone that everything was fine with them. I regret this thing happened to them. Most of them are old people and very professional. Despite their age, they stayed at the exhibition venue from 10am until 10pm and yet didn't complain of tiredness," Liau said when contacted yesterday.
Liau said he had never met the artists before but they had since become friends during the brief stay in Malaysia.
"We had really good communication. I am very saddened by the incident, more so as I have a very good friend (Hou Bo) in the group.
"All of them are very famous in China. Some of them are national-class artists while others are provincial-level artists," he said.
The artists, from Beijing, Jiangsu, Shandong, Sichuan and Xinjiang, included notable personalities such as China Calligraphy Artists Association vice-chairman Meng Gaosheng, Wang Linshi and Liu Rusheng.
Association chairman Ma Yong'an said 13 of the artists on the delegation are members of the association, including Meng.