Artist’s Jalan Pudu mural depicts victory in mental health battle


Liang’s mural titled “Victory” along Jalan Pudu, Kuala Lumpur, has a meaningful message to convey. She is often spotted in her travels using a mobility scooter. – Photo: SAMUEL ONG/The Star

THE colourful street mural on the side of an old shoplot along Jalan Pudu, Kuala Lumpur, stands in contrast with the aged structure, capturing the attention of pedestrians.

Complementing its vibrant colours are paintings of black and white buildings with cute little cats standing at their peaks, looking over the scenery.

This whimsical artwork is the latest street art by Malaysian contemporary artist Poesy Liang.

Titled “Victory”, it is one of Liang’s “Rooftop Cat” artworks that is not just Instagrammable, but also has a meaningful message to convey.

“The art features playful felines with big dreams scaling the extraordinarily high roofscapes while striving to reach for the colourful sky that is full of wonders.

“The cats attempt to balance uncomfortably at the pinnacle of a roof just like a leader who would faithfully make personal sacrifices to sustain their values and beliefs and reach the top,” said Liang.

She revealed that the mural also portrayed her life and was aimed at promoting mental health awareness.

“The tuxedo cat drawn in the painting is my beloved cat at home.

“It all began in the year 2012 when I had a surgery and the roof of my art studio in Jalan Imbi started to collapse.

“I was financially strapped to make repairs and pay for my medical bills and because of this, my mental health declined rapidly to the extent that I had suicidal thoughts.

“It was that time a tuxedo cat appeared with his funny antics and distracted me. I named him Harry Putter,” said the 47-year-old.

Liang had personal battles with spinal tumours since she was 17, which left her paralysed, but she learned to walk again each time.

As a painter, designer, composer, poet and sculptor, she is often spotted in her travels using a mobility scooter and carries detailed insight to accessibility design for her building projects.

Liang said the mural was commissioned by Chubb Insurance Malaysia Bhd to spread awareness on the importance of mental health.

“Humour is the most important ingredient to recovery if you are facing a tragedy, so I try to inject humour into the whimsical piece.

“I hope this can serve as an inspiration to people to realise their dreams, and for myself too,” she said.

“This public mural is the kind of breakthrough I’ve been waiting for as the artist I aspire to be, and I get to do it in my birthday month.

“On top of the immense gratitude to the company which commissioned this work, and all the inspired folk who assisted in getting me this gig, I have to thank God for placing me on the path of abundance and that my life work shall touch the hearts of all.

“With flying colours, may we find victory in all the big and small details in our lives,” said Liang.

Her ability to incorporate the tiniest details makes the mural more meaningful.

The onlooker will see black cats and white cats, all of which are cared for by the artist.

The nine dynamic colours which are the corporate colours of Chubb depict victory with flying colours.

Visitors can check out the mural at the side of the shoplots at No.175, Jalan Pudu, Kuala Lumpur.

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street mural , shoplot , Jalan Pudu , cats , Poesy Liang

   

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