A mischievous feline balances itself on the apex of a roof while one other zips across a multicoloured sky on a magical broomstick. One perches on a windowsill and one other rests atop a moon, overlooking the adventures of its friends below.
These are only a number of of the nine cats gallivanting across the cheerful setting created by artist Poesy Liang, who was commissioned to color a 105ft x 35ft mural along Jalan Pudu, Kuala Lumpur as a part of a company social responsibility initiative by Chubb Insurance Malaysia Berhad.
Titled Victory, the mural is the most recent incarnation of the artist’s signature Rooftop Cats series. Quirky details aside, the vivid painting goals to pass on a message of aspiration and leadership.
“This public mural is the form of breakthrough I’ve been waiting for,” she says. Using the characteristics of a cat as an analogy, Liang explains how the curious creatures are sometimes unafraid to scale latest heights and the way such attributes are also present in fearless leaders. “When it’s important enough, we risk comfort to uphold integrity — reaching for the highest, giving our all to attain tall dreams, aiming high, making a stand for what is true and doing good despite danger and inevitable loneliness.
“Someone who chases their dreams may not find understanding easily but they are going to meet other dreamers.”
Liang began Rooftop Cats back in 2011. The subsequent 12 months, she was confronted with a series of adverse health challenges. “The roof of my art studio began to decay and I used to be financially strapped to make repairs because of medical bills,” she shares. “My mental health declined very rapidly.”
Her roof eventually gave way but then appeared a small tuxedo cat, who made her days higher by distracting her with its amusing antics. She named him Harry Putter and he became her dear companion. The cat often appeared in her street art after that. It’s featured multiple times in the brand new facade at Jalan Pudu.
He’s portrayed with two of her other white cats, Dot Dot and Miss China — the latter unfortunately passed away a number of months ago and now sits thoughtfully on the moon within the artwork.
The mural was accomplished in the middle of one week with the help of two other artists, Drewfunk (Andrew Yeoh) and Nestwo (Edmund Yew). Nevertheless, because of bad weather conditions, the crew had to tug gruelling 10 to 12-hour shifts. A movie documentary concerning the production shall be released within the near future. “It was all value it,” says the relieved Liang, who celebrated her forty seventh birthday on the last day.
“My perfectionist streak won’t ever be done and you’ll likely find me on site in some unspecified time in the future, with a paint brush to dot more eyes and cross more tees at eye level,” she jokes. “Good thing is, I won’t have access to a boom lift anymore to enable my madness above ground.”
Liang hopes her artwork can touch the hearts of others. “With flying colors, may we discover victory in all the massive and small details in our lives.”
Take a look at Liang’s mural at 175, Jalan Pudu, Kuala Lumpur.