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KaKi Creation - My Indie World

KaKi Creation


KaKi Creation

Eat & Shop • Penang • Owner: Ch’ng Kiah Kiean

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KaKi Creation
A showcase of the unique art of urban sketcher Ch’ng Kiah Kiean Book Now


Made with Love

As a schoolboy, Kiah Kiean always had a pencil in his hand, ever ready to capture the sights that caught his eye. The historical facade of his school started his love affair with heritage buildings in Penang, and that probably also planted his love for architecture.

He then started exploring Georgetown on his motorbike and experimented with different materials and tools such as  paper, ink, graphite, watercolor, pencils, even twigs, and brushes to express his artistic vision.

A trained architect by profession, Kiah Kiean draws inspiration for his sketches from the various elements of city architecture. He is particularly drawn to the patterns, windows, columns, and street furniture such as street lamps, signs, and traffic lights. These  features serve as the foundation for the rhythmic expressions of his sketches.

Driven By Purpose

Kiah Kiean’s series of sketches celebrating Penang’s unique heritage architecture stems from his love for the city’s cultural heritage. He is acutely aware of the threat posed by modern development and the resulting loss of historic buildings. This realization is often bittersweet, as he has observed many buildings disappear from his sight, leaving only his sketches as a testament to their existence.

Despite the emotional toll of witnessing the loss of these historic buildings, he  remains committed to using his art to raise awareness of their cultural and historical significance. He understands that change is inevitable, and that new developments can bring new perspectives and opportunities. However, he also believes that it is important to preserve the city’s architectural heritage for future generations to appreciate.

His appreciation for heritage comes from his parents who ran a clothing stall within the bustling Chowrasta market within the UNESCO Heritage Zone. When they had to move to another site, Kiah Kiean drew a sketch for them, to  serve as a reminder of the fond memories he had while working part-time with his cousins at the market.

Fuelled with Passion

Kiah Kiean’s unique style of work is deeply influenced by both Chinese and Western approaches to art, with his sketches often organized thematically into portfolios such as landscapes, streetscapes, Botanics, and found objects. In 2009, he joined the global Urban Sketchers movement and co-founded Urban Sketchers Penang in 2010.

For Kiah Kiean, the process of creating art is more important than the actual outcome, and he finds satisfaction in the patient, and time-consuming process of sketching. His sketches take around 2.5 to 3 hours  to complete, and while he doesn’t set specific goals, he wishes to explore other mediums of painting in the future. Kiah Kiean’s passion for his craft is evident in the care and attention to detail he puts into each sketch, driven by a love for the artistic process itself.

From human spectators to curious monkeys, playful cats, and even the occasional cockroach, Kiah Kiean finds inspiration in the everyday scenes and characters that define the urban landscape.