As we get ready to usher in the Year of the Tiger next month, a tiger family roams the streets at Kwai Chai Hong in Kuala Lumpur's Chinatown.
After unveiling The Lady art installation last year at this public art site, Alice Chang of Lai Lai Art Studio returns with her Malayan Tiger Family sculptures, depicting a pair of parent tigers looking after their cub.
This latest installation, portraying love, hope, nurture, protection and support, is inspired by the majestic Malayan tiger, which is an endangered species.
Themed Live Wild And Prosper, it spotlights the importance of saving the Malayan tiger and encourages visitors of Kwai Chai Hong to help raise awareness in conjunction with this festive period.
All the proceeds from the sale of the Malayan Tiger Family sculptures will be donated to WWF-Malaysia's tiger conservation efforts.
“With less than 200 Malayan tigers left, the time to act is now. By collaborating with Kwai Chai Hong, we open ourselves to an audience who appreciate art and culture. Hopefully with their new understanding of the Malayan tiger, everyone can do their part and together, we will make a difference,” says Helina Yow, WWF-Malaysia’s Director of Partnerships.
The Malayan Tiger Family is also a timely reminder that despite the strength and power synonymous with this mighty creature, without care and respect, even the most powerful animals are at risk.
"I hope the Malayan Tiger Family will bring good health, resilience, happiness, and strong family unity to everyone, especially the Malayan tiger,” says Chang.
The tiger sculpture presentation at Kwai Chai Hong is complemented by musician-artist Odd’s artwork Stretch Out, his take on avant-garde Stretch Fabric and the ancient art of Chinese papercut.
It fuses new and old techniques that encapsulates the essence of the modern Chinese community.
Each anchor point of the stretched fabric represents the connections that sends a message of inclusivity at Kwai Chai Hong where people from all walks of life are welcome to share, learn, celebrate Chinese culture, and in this case, for a noble cause.
"This collaboration allows me to interact with the structures, trees, and grounds within Kwai Chai Hong. I love blending old and new techniques - ancient Chinese papercut represented on stretched fabric,” says Odd.
Project Kwai Chai Hong is Bai Chuan Management’s first project which features the restoration of the façade of 10 heritage shop houses and rejuvenation of the laneway in between Lorong Panggung and Jalan Petaling in KL.
“Chinese New Year is a big deal in Chinese culture as it symbolises the closing of the old year and welcomes in luck and prosperity to the new one. For the Year of the Tiger, my team and I wanted to do something special and meaningful, not just for the community around us but also the larger ecosystem which we live in.
"It’s devastating for the Malayan tiger to be on the brink of extinction, and we want to do our part, to influence and educate the public through art. We are fortunate to have met such wonderful artists who share the same passion as us. There is no effort too small and no help too little, we urge everyone to be a part of that change with us,” says Zeen Chang, managing partner of Bai Chuan Management.
Last year, the team behind Kwai Chai Hong won the Placemaker Awards Asean 2021 in the non-governmental organisation category.
The brainchild of Nextdor Property Communications, a placemaking consultancy, and Think City, a social purpose organisation focused on urban rejuvenation, this award showcases the best of placemaking projects and gives due recognition to community building in the South-East Asian region.
The Live Wild And Prosper art installation will be open to the public starting today (Jan 14) to Feb 20, from 9am to 10pm daily. Free admission.