Pride of the nation

Kwai Chai Hong hopes to build a meaningful connection between the artwork and humankind.

THE Chinese Zodiac dates back to the Qin Dynasty over 2,000 years ago and is rooted in a system of zoolatry (or animal worship). According to legend, the Jade Emperor challenged all animals in the Kingdom to a “Great Race.”

The prize would be becoming the Emperor’s favoured one. Despite his confidence, the Tiger got third place, behind the wily Rat and hardworking Ox. The words competitive, courageous and ambitious come to mind when speaking about the majestic Tiger.

This year, Kwai Chai Hong has installed some art pieces inspired by the glorious Malayan tiger. The iconic symbol of national pride, these tigers are under serious threat of extinction. The art installation themed Live Wild & Prosper is aimed at raising awareness about the importance of saving the Malayan tigers.

In collaboration with two passionate local artists, Kwai Chai Hong hopes to build a meaningful connection between the artwork and humankind.

Artist Alice Chang of Lai Lai Art Studio created an impressive sculpture named the Malayan Tiger Family, where a pair of parent tigers are looking after their cub. We can relate to the themes of love, hope, nurturement, protection and support portrayed here.

Strength and power is synonymous with the feline creatures but they would be at risk without care and respect, the same way human life would be.

In support of WWF-Malaysia’s WWF-Malaysia’s conservation efforts, 100% of the proceeds from the sale of the sculpture will be donated to help save the Malayan tiger.

$!Pride of the nation

Meanwhile, artist and music DJ Odd has his rendition of avant-garde Stretch Fabric and traditional Chinese papercut hanging along the iconic Kwai Chai Hong lane. Named Stretch Out, the installation fused new and old techniques which encapsulate the essence of the modern Chinese community.

The symmetry in traditional paper cutting reflects a mirror effect, which is seen in the positive change that comes about from conservation efforts of the Malayan tiger. The stretched fabric represents resilience while each anchor point represents the connections that sends a message of inclusivity at Kwai Chai Hong – a place where everyone is encouraged to share, learn, celebrate Chinese culture, and participate in a noble cause.

Zeen Chang, managing partner of Bai Chuan Management which revived and maintains Kwai Chai Hong, said: “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.”

$!Pride of the nation

Known worldwide for their extensive work in saving endangered wildlife, WWF-Malaysia continues to advocate for its cause.

WWF-Malaysia’s director of partnerships Helina Yow said: “Our fundamental effort in tiger conservation consists of several components designed to reduce threats towards tigers and other wildlife living within the same landscape. 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.”

Tiger Beer is the proud sponsor of this year’s Live Wild & Prosper art installation. Tiger Beer Malaysia marketing manager Joyne Lim commented: “As an occasion that only occurs once every 12 years, the Year of the Tiger is a very special year for us, and our year-long campaign starts with Chinese New Year.

“With a brand name and identity associated with this magnificent animal, we are proud to lend our support to Kwai Chai Hong for this initiative to save our Malayan tigers. We believe that everyone has an inner tiger, so let’s make this the year we roar together to champion a meaningful cause!”

Kwai Chai Hong will be open to the public daily from 9am to 10pm, with strict SOPs observed within its premises. The Live Wild & Prosper art installation ends Feb 20. Those who drop by can refuel at any of the 10 eateries in the area.

For more details about the inspiration behind the Live Wild & Prosper art installation, visit www.kwaichaihong.com/live-wild-prosper.

For regular updates, visit Project Kwai Chai Hong’s Facebook, Instagram or website at www.kwaichaihong.com