(b. 1970, Malaysia)
Kow Leong Kiang is known for his portraits of East Coast Malaysian female beauty and his depictions of nostalgic rural scenes that capture pathos and nostalgia through a masterful feather-light rendering. In addition his work in portraiture has extended into new and challenging directions, both technically through exploring a range of painterly approaches and also in terms of subject matter and conceptualisation. Kow gained a Diploma in Fine Art from Kuala Lumpur College of Art in 1991 and he won the Grand Prize in the Philip Morris ASEAN Art Awards in 1998. In 2004 he was a resident artist at Vermont Studio Center, USA and in 2008 completed a residency with VWFA and Tembi Contemporary in Yogyakarta, Indonesia and has spent the last three years between Malaysia and Indonesia where he has exhibited regularly. To date he has held seven solo exhibitions, including: ‘Human’ in Red Mill Gallery, Vermont, USA and ‘Floating World’ in VWFA KL (2003); ‘Silent Conversation’ in VWFA KL (2005); ‘Other People’ in VWFA KL (2007); ‘Jogja Constellation’ in Tembi Contemporary, Yogyakarta, Indonesia (2009); and ‘Intimate Collisions’ in VWFA KL (2010). He has also participated in group exhibitions in Malaysia, Indonesia, China and Vietnam, which include: ‘Continuities: Contemporary Art of Malaysia at the turn of 21st Century’ in Guangdong Museum of Art, China (2004); ‘Tenggara: Contemporary Paintings from Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines’ in the Novus Contemporary Urban Centre. Liverpool, UK (2008); ‘Headlights’ in VWFA Singapore and ‘Tanah Ayer: Malaysian stories from the Land’ in Selasar Soenaryo, Bandung, Indonesia (2011). He is based mainly in Selangor, Malaysia with a studio in Yogyakarta, Indonesia.