Cats in capes and other escapades: Mural has personal significance, says artist

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A COLOURFUL mural on the side of an old shoplot along Jalan Pudu, Kuala Lumpur stands out from its canvas of the aged structure, capturing the eye of pedestrians.

Vibrant colors splash the highest of the mural above a black-and-white base, while cute little cats stand at the height of the buildings, overseeing the scenery.

The whimsical artwork is the newest street art by Malaysian-Taiwanese contemporary artist Poesy Liang.

Titled “Victory”, it’s one among Liang’s “Rooftop Cat” series of artwork that goes beyond a good looking and “Instagrammable” scene because it bears a meaningful message.

“The art features playful felines with big dreams scaling extraordinarily high roofscapes while striving to succeed in for the colorful sky that is stuffed with wonders.

“The cats try and balance uncomfortably at the head of a roof – similar to a frontrunner who will make personal sacrifices to sustain their values and beliefs and reach for the highest,” said Liang.

Liang also revealed the mural is a self-portrayal of her life and to advertise mental health awareness.

“The ‘tuxedo’ cat within the painting is my beloved cat at home.

“It began within the 12 months 2012 once I had one other surgery and the roof of my art studio at Jalan Imbi began to collapse,” she said.

Liang said she was financially strapped and unable to pay for repairs and her medical bills. This, she said, caused her mental health to say no – to the extent of getting harmful thoughts.

“It was at the moment the cat appeared,” she said, adding that its antics distracted her from doing anything drastic.

“I named him Harry Putter,” said the 47-year-old, who celebrated her birthday on July 31.

Liang has recurring spinal tumours – which cause her to be paralysed every time – since she was 17, but she has defied the chances by learning to walk again every time.

Liang said that the mural was commissioned by an insurance company as a part of their corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiative to spread mental health awareness.

“Humour is an important ingredient to recovery if you happen to are facing a tragedy, so I attempted to inject humour into the piece.

“I hope that this could function an inspiration to people to grasp their dreams,” she said.

Liang said there are various tiny details within the mural.

The general public will certainly see black and white cats, representing the animals cared for by the artist.

The nine colors are the company colors of the client Liang collaborated with.

On one among the roofs, Harry Putter wears a cape and is drawn next to a white cat.

“The white cat is Dot Dot and this shows even heroes need love,” Liang added.

One other tiny detail is “Miao”, drawn at ground level.

“When painting the mural, it surprisingly attracted quite a variety of real cats,” she said.

Visitors can try the mural in conjunction with the shoplots at 175, Jalan Pudu, Kuala Lumpur.