Kow Leong Kiang was born in Selangor, Malaysia, in 1970. Kow received his MFA from Kuala Lumpur College of Art (1991). Since winning the Grand Prize at the Phillip Morris ASEAN Art Award in 1998, he has attracted much attention and success. His works have made their way into some of the permanent collections of corporations and collectors as well as the likes of the National Art Gallery of Malaysia.
To date, Kow has held multiple solo exhibitions; ‘Floating World’, 'Silent Conversation’, ‘Other People’, and ‘Intimate Collisions’ at Valentine Willie Fine Art, Kuala Lumpur; ‘Soft’ at Jogja Contemporary, Sangkring Art Space, Yogyakarta, ‘To The Sea’ at Ernst & Young, Singapore, and most recent ‘Blue Sarong’, the Whiteaways in George Town, Penang.
The exhibition titles hint a visual repertoire that includes ideas about memory, poetic realism, and nostalgia as mediated by a connection to the land, human emotion, portraiture as well as subtle political/social consciousness in a Malaysian context. The figures set against pastoral scenes and coastal landscapes suggest a gentler way of living. The draw and attraction to these sentiments are perhaps because of Kow’s urban upbringing. The idyll complemented by his painterly technique of utilizing thinned out watercolour-like oil washes evoke a gestural stance that is of timelessness.
Kow Leong Kiang is one of the most renowned Malaysian fine artists around. He is based in Selangor, Malaysia with a studio in Yogyakarta, Indonesia.