The Star, 3 December 2005
Exploring the pet owner bond
by Lim Chia Ying
THRILLED by what they saw, guests squealed and pointed excitedly at pictures of their pets and of themselves that were plastered all over pearly white walls.
The evocative photos showed dogs and cats playfully cuddling with their owners or in endearing poses that immediately warmed viewers.
It was a special and intimate moment for the 24 pet owners featured in the black and white photographs with their pets.
Pet lovers, including parents with children in tow, came in droves last weekend to the Wei-Ling Gallery in Brickfields to view the works produced by photographer Debra Tan for the exhibition ‘Instantly Involved.’
The crowd had also come in support of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) which has been made beneficiary of all proceeds raised from sales of limited edition wall calendars.
The calendars consist of black and white prints of the animals that participated in the year-long project and were priced at RM38 each.
ABN AMRO Bank sponsored the publication of the calendars.
According to the gallery’s art dealer Lim Wei-Ling, the project was conceived to ensure sustainable fund-raising through art.
“Apart from showcasing the relationships between each owner and his or her pet, we wanted to highlight the fact that pets are not cute toys – owning them requires serious commitment and responsibility,” said Lim.
Asked on what the theme ‘Instantly Involved’ meant, she described it as the experience of an unintentional voyeur who just stumbled upon a private moment and with that intrusion, wanders into the minds of owners and the pets to seek answers.
“The voyeur could be thinking questions like how the paths of owners and their pets crossed, the bond between them, and the story behind.
“As much as he seeks for the information, there is none, however, and is left to only his imagination. And before the voyeur knows it, he is already instantly involved,” she chirped.
Also present at the launch, which is Tan’s first solo effort, was SPCA chairman Christine Chin.
Those who wish to buy the calendars can do so at either SPCA or at the gallery. Meanwhile, the Instantly Involved exhibition continues until Dec 6.