KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 9 — It’s not surprising many contemporary artists are often crippled with financial difficulty while pursuing their careers as full-time artists.
It's no different for local contemporary artist Poesy Liang.
She recently had no choice but to become a Grab driver for two months to pay her bills in May and June.
“I’ve been financially stressed over the past few months to pay the bills and cope with higher rental.
“I then had no choice but to launch a crowdfunding to raise funds for my documentary film about my The Rooftop Cat project.”
The film will capture Liang’s life as an artist and the challenges she went through to pursue her passion.
It will also feature the making of her latest work, The Rooftop Cat mural which she did for Chubb Insurance Malaysia Berhad on a private building located along Jalan Pudu next to Lalaport Bukit Bintang City Centre.
Liang said as a full-time artist she usually has to find ways to fund her career through art sales, donations, corporate projects or resorting to doing Grab.
“I don’t have money to pay rent for this month, and my monthly overhead is around RM3,800 for rent, building maintenance and utility, not including food and petrol.
“I usually sell artwork to make a living but there will be seasons where there is no art sale, so I have to prepare to be resourceful.”
Liang said she enjoys doing Grab as she tends to get lots of new ideas when she drives around new places in town.
The film, titled The Rooftop Cat Has Nine Lives, will be narrated by Datuk Yasmin Yusuff with a focus on catering to the visually impaired community.
“I want to reach even the blind, so my approach in filmmaking is prioritised on the audio experience.”
Liang said she is grateful to receive support from various people for her film project.
“The support comes from people like Yasmin, violinist Joanne Yeoh, guitarist Dave Cleveland and storyteller Mark Lovett, who are not being paid to make this film happen.”
The Rooftop Cat mural is on a private building along Jalan Pudu in Kuala Lumpur. — Picture by Devan Manuel
The Rooftop Cat mural project was commissioned by Chubb Insurance Malaysia Berhad and executed by the contemporary artist along with two other graffiti artists, Andrew Yeoh, known as Drew Funk and Edmund Yew known as NesTwo.
The same artwork was recently re-produced into 1,000 special edition umbrellas by Chubb.
The documentary film is currently in the post-production stage and is slated to be released in November.
Liang said she hopes to raise RM30,000 through the crowdfunding initiative to fund the project.
The crowdfunding has four packages at RM33, RM66, RM99 and RM333.
Those who wish to support Liang’s project may surf over here.