嘉強的繪畫導師陳來和及三位知交陳耀威、邱昌仁與AMBIGA DEVY為這本書寫了感言，非常感謝他們。耀威是知名的建築修復家，曾修復榮獲聯合國教科文組織文化遺產獎的韓江家廟。身為檳城水彩畫會主席的昌仁是位建築師，也是位擅長畫街景的知名畫家。AMBIGA DEVY是位熱誠藝術工作者。他們為這本書寫感言自然很貼切。在此也感謝陳耀宗協助翻譯和校對。
李凱 • 檳城
I had the privilege of getting to know Kiah Kiean when I curated his art exhibition at Alpha Utara Gallery in 2005. Since then, we developed a friendship which has been greatly augmented by our service as members of the Penang State Art Gallery and our participation in publishing four art books, him as the designer and I as part of the editorial team.
Though I know him only for five short years, I felt as if I have known him all my life, or rather, all his life, since I am the older one. Kiah Kiean had started drawing early in his life. I have seen his drawings from age five, through his primary, secondary and tertiary schooling years, to the present. His drawings show that he possesses a God gifted talent and I am impressed with how he made use of that talent, with hard work and persistence, maturing into the artist he is today.
I admired Kiah Kiean’s works since I first laid eyes on them. Kiah Kiean has a keen eye for the essential details and essence of things, fortified by his architectural training at the Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang and his flair in graphic design. He is able to distill a chaotic street scene and reduce it to his now distinctive streetscape. Though his subject matter may be rustic buildings, his drawings exude an obvious elegance and stylishness which are most pleasant to the eyes. All his sketches in this book were done plein-air i.e. on the spot, in the open air. None of them is drawn from photographic images. Artistically, Kiah Kiean has developed a visual language of his own, elegantly distorting his subject matter, ruling out the use of a ruler, and demonstrating clearly that he is not reproducing photographic images. However, Kiah Kiean has the habit of taking photographic record of his subject matter. On hindsight, this habit has become an invaluable historic record as a number of the buildings and places found in this book are no more to be found (as at November 2009, the buildings at pages 18, 19, 24, 25, 28, 29, 88, 105, 127, 133, 144, 145, 156, 157, 158, 159, 161 have since been demolished).
I am glad Tan Lye Hoe, Kiah Kiean’s art tutor and three of Kiah Kiean’s comrade in arms lent their support to this book by writing an article each. Tan Yeow Wooi is an acclaimed restorer of historic buildings, whose projects include the UNESCO award winning Han Chiang Temple. Khoo Cheang Jin, the president of the Penang Water Colour Society, is a practicing architect and artist who, like Kiah Kiean, has combined his passion in both disciplines to produce well sought after Penang streetscapes. Ambiga Devy is a fellow State Art Gallery Committee Member and a fervent activist for the arts. I also thank Tan Yau Chong for his editorial contribution.
It has been a great pleasure editing this book. This collection of Kiah Kiean’s sketches lent to itself without much effort on my part. It depicts the Penang we seem so familiar with yet in a very fresh manner. It showcases the Penang we love and preserves the face of Penang which is fast disappearing. This is a book for every Penang lover.
Lee Khai • Penang