A mischievous feline balances on a rooftop while another whizzes across a multicolored sky on a magical broomstick. One perches on a windowsill and another rests atop a moon, watching the adventures of his friends below.
These are just a few of nine cats roaming the cheerful environment created by artist Poesy Liang, who was commissioned to paint a 105-foot x 35-foot mural along Jalan Pudu, Kuala Lumpur, as part of an initiative by corporate social responsibility from Chubb Insurance Malaysia Berhad.
Titled Victorythe mural is the latest incarnation of the artist’s signature Cats on the roof series. Whimsical details aside, the vivid painting aims to convey a message of aspiration and leadership.
“This public mural is the kind of breakthrough I’ve been waiting for,” he says. Using the characteristics of a cat as an analogy, Liang explains how curious creatures are often not afraid to climb new heights and how those attributes are found even in fearless leaders. “When it matters enough, we risk comfort to sustain integrity: reach the top, give it our all to fulfill high dreams, aim high, stand up for what’s right and do good despite danger and inevitable loneliness.
“Someone pursuing their dreams may not find understanding easily, but they will meet other dreamers.”
Liang started Cats on the roof in 2011. The following year, he faced a series of difficult health problems. “The roof of my art studio started to collapse and I was financially blocked from doing repairs due to medical bills,” she shares. “My mental health deteriorated very quickly.”
Her roof eventually gave way, but then a little tuxedo cat appeared, making her days better by distracting her with his funny antics. She named him Harry Putter and became her dear companion. The cat often appeared in her street art after her. He is present several times in the new facade of Jalan Pudu.
He is portrayed with two of his other white cats, Dot Dot and Miss China – the latter sadly died a few months ago and now sits thoughtfully on the moon in the artwork.
The mural was completed over the course of a week with the assistance of two other artists, Drewfunk (Andrew Yeoh) and Nestwo (Edmund Yew). However, due to bad weather conditions, the crew had to do grueling 10 to 12 hour shifts. A documentary film on the production will be released soon. “It was worth it,” says relieved Liang, who celebrated her 47th birthdayth birthday on the last day.
“My streak of perfectionists will never be over and you will probably find me on the spot at some point, with a brush to dot more eyes and cross more tees at eye level,” he jokes. “The good thing is that I will no longer have access to an arm lift to allow my insanity on the surface.”
Liang hopes his artwork will touch the hearts of others. “With flying colors, we can find victory in all the small and big details of our life.”
See Liang’s mural at 175, Jalan Pudu, Kuala Lumpur.