Malaysian artist Alice Chang Oi Lai is disappointed that her sculptures of a Malayan tiger family at Kuala Lumpur’s Kwai Chai Hong have been damaged for the third time this year.
Known fondly by her clients as Lai, the tiger sculptures installed on January 11 are part of her “Live Wild and Prosper” theme that was designed to raise awareness on saving the Malayan tigers in conjunction with the Year of the Tiger.
The first time the tigers were damaged by irresponsible people was on January 17, the second time was on January 20, while the third time the tigers were damaged was two days ago.
“Frankly, I was in disbelief and was more shocked than angry because I couldn’t believe what I was looking at.
“When the first ‘injury’ occurred, I was not overly shocked as I thought it was an act of careless people on a more fragile part of the sculpture — and that’s ok.”
“But when I saw this, I was so taken aback and felt sad, disappointed and angry. We need to educate more people to educate and respect art,” Lai said.
She added that the Kwai Chai Hong team and her then met up to address this issue and this led to them putting bandages around the tiger’s ‘injured’ parts to educate the public.
Kwai Chai Hong’s managing partner Zeen Chang said that CCTV footage showed some people climbing on the sculptures while others were trying to sit on the tigers made of materials such as metal frame and metal mesh.
“We had to protect the art and so we placed a guard to stop people from committing such acts while the rest sprung into action to sketch ways to add a barricade surrounding the sculpture.
“Within two days, we began constructing the barricade made from tiger’s natural habitat such as rocks, stones and fallen branches,” she said.
Chang added that she hopes that others would learn from this experience and will learn to appreciate art and to know the importance of saving the real Malayan tigers from extinction.