自那時起我們生命中美術的部分就不斷的交集，從95年在Syed Alatas Mansion的聯展開始，到後來共同參與南洋民間文化及檳城水彩畫會的活動，以及和一班朋友辦了個清荷人文空間，從一起外出寫生，到後來一起玩數碼相機，這位當年羞澀的少年如今已是一間設計公司的老闆。
邱昌仁 • 檳城
In 1995 I returned from Singapore to work in Penang. I met Kiah Kiean on my first day at work sometime in May. He was then an attachment student at an architectural firm. Both the firms we worked with were in the same building. He was modest and reticent. I saw him almost on a daily basis but we did not interact much. A polite greeting was all we exchanged when our paths crossed.
I only found out about his love for art when he showed me his portfolio one day. Once acquainted, I realised we both share a passion for art and we were at different times active in the art society of our alma mater Chung Ling High School. Both of us were president of the art society. These common backgrounds brought us close together.
Since then, we interacted much in art. From the joint exhibition at the Syed Alatas Mansion in Armenian Street in 1995, to being involved in the activities of Nanyang Folk Culture and the Penang Water Colour Society. With some friends we set up the Ching Lotus Humanist Space at China Street. From sketching outdoor together to discovering the fun with digital photography together, the shy reticent young man is now the owner of a graphic design firm.
Kiah Kiean’s accomplishments in art are expansive. Among the many are his streetscape sketches. He has a sensitive perception for buildings. With his exaggerated yet balanced form and his seemingly chaotic yet emotive lines, he brings the streetscape, especially old buildings, he sketches to life. Each modest or even dilapidated old building seems to come alive with vigour, proudly showing off.
You would realise Kiah Kiean’s tidiness if you visit his office or his home, everything is spick and span, very much the image he projects of himself. The wild lines produced by his hand seem incongruous with his character. Perhaps that’s the real Kiah Kiean.
I wish him the very best for his third solo exhibition and the publication of this marvelous collection of his works.
Khoo Cheang Jin • Penang