Alex Leong 9 doggies 2018, Watercolour

Dogs are everybody’s favourite furry friend and they have been the subject of interest to artists for thousands of years; our distant ancestors have even painted them on the walls of the caves. Looking back at the paintings of hunting scenes in the middle ages, and moving on to 19th century and the portraits of the lap dogs, they are pretty much everywhere in art. They symbolize guidance, loyalty, faithfulness, protection, guidance and love.

The Dog Series, by Ch’ng Kiah Kiean

Dogs are very well loved and respected in the Chinese tradition, and are known as an auspicious animal. The invincible God Erlang in Chinese legend used a loyal wolfhound to help him capture monsters and protect his countrymen. According to the Chinese calendar, 2018 is the year of the dog, and in conjunction with Chinese New Year, The Art Gallery has proudly created the “Year of The Dog, 2018” group exhibition. The Art Gallery has successfully united different ways of expression by different artists, while introducing the subject of the dog as one cohesive matter.

The Art Gallery beautifully highlights the works of 14 artists in one vibrant collection. The exhibition features dog paintings in various mediums by 14 artists, thirteen of them from Malaysia and one from China. A catalogue with price information is available on request to the curator. Although several pieces were sold during the opening weekend they will all remain on display until the close of the exhibition period. The exhibition is particularly interesting in the sense that the exhibited paintings are not chosen for how stylistically or thematically they fit into a specific framework. In fact, you will be astonished when you view the paintings and realize how each one typifies that particular artist’s style, yet differs so much from those of the other artists, despite all of them depicting the same theme.

Feeling Lazy by Mandy Wee Yong Yee, Pencil on Wood

Take Ch’ng Kiah Kiean’s The Dog Series and his unique way portraying the interiors of the dogs as well as the more usual exteriors, using graphite and watercolour on paper for example! Or Mandy Wee Yong Yee’s special way of painting on wood using pencil! You also have Calvin Chua’s distinctive use of watercolour. As you walk though the gallery, Jeremy Lee’s portraits of dogs using oil on canvas makes you want to stand still a little longer in front of the dog and smile. The list goes on and it keeps on getting interesting.

The artists whose works are showcased are Wang Xiao Ling from China, and among the Malaysian artists, established artists such as Calvin Chua (Kedah), Ch’ng Kiah Kiean (Penang), Choh Kiat Siong (Kedah), Choo Beng Teong (Penang) and Tang Yeok Khang (Bukit Mertajam), Alex Leong (Penang) and Koay Shao Peng (Penang) and emerging artists such as Ethen Ng (Penang), Jeremy Lee (Kuala Lumpur), Koay Sheng Tat (Penang), Mandy Wee (Johor), Nasir Nadzir (Penang) and Yew Souf (Bukit Mertajam).

Anticipating Reunion by Jeremy Lee, Oil on Canvas

The exhibition period is from the 2nd until 25th of February (closed 15th-20th of February for Chinese New Year) and the viewing hours are Friday to Sunday from 2pm to 5 pm and Monday to Thursday by appointment only. To view the art works you may contact Ms. Tan Ee Lene by calling +6012 604 14 34 or emailing her at The Art Gallery is located in 368-4-8, Bellisa Row, Pulau Tikus, 10250, Penang, Malaysia, and on Facebook at Make sure to pay The Art Gallery a visit to enjoy the precious and uniquely presented “Year of The Dog, 2018” exhibition.


By Mojdeh Zarbakhsh