Art for pets? This unusual exhibition in Singapore was made for cats and dogs

Art for pets? This unusual exhibition in Singapore was made for cats and dogs

Local artists collaborated with animal behaviourists and veterinarians to create 10 pet-friendly interactive installations, including a maze for dogs and cat-like sculpture that cats can squeeze into.

Art exhibition for pets (Kelly Limerick)
Singapore artist Kelly Limerick with her feline friend relaxing at an installation by fellow artist PAYNK at the cat gallery of PAW-sitive Interactive Art Exhibition for Pets by Wellness. (Photo: Wellness Pet Food)

SINGAPORE: Fancy going to an art exhibition with your pet cat or dog?

An ongoing show will have your beloved pets playfully tugging at toy bones, frolicking in a ball-filled pit, and scratching things to their heart’s content – all in the name of art.  

Comprising interactive installations created specifically for animals, PAW-sitive: Interactive Art for Pets by Wellness is up at School of the Arts until Oct 8. Admission is free, but prior registration is needed.

The unique exhibition, which is the first in Singapore, is being presented by pet food brand Wellness to mark its 10th anniversary here.

Art exhibition for pets 2
Joscelin Chew's Woof-Roof is a giant wooden kennel where dogs and their owners can chill out (and take lots of photos). (Photo: Howard Law)

“We really wanted to do something that was novel and decided to come up with this,” said Esmond Low, managing director of Silversky Ltd, which distributes the pet food brand in Singapore.

“We wanted to use art as a medium for pets and pet parents to engage (with each other), and have a fun and playful time. And with the thriving art scene in Singapore, we also wanted to support local artists.”

The 10 installations, which are housed in separate rooms for dogs and cats, were all created by Singapore artists who had consulted animal behaviourists and veterinarians.

The works include two installations by art collective Vertical Submarine: A maze that dogs can explore by following their owners’ voices through speakers, and a smaller one for cats that chase remote-controlled mechanical mice.

Others include yarnbomb artist Kelly Limerick’s cat-like installation, which comprises different little sections that its real-life feline counterparts can squeeze into; and Adeline Tan’s kaleidoscopic multimedia piece that features a snippet of a Disney tune played in a frequency that only dogs can hear.

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A pet parent bonding with her cat at Soh Ee Shaun's installation Rugcats. (Photo: Wellness Pet Food)

Meanwhile, young artist duo Jes & Jalon created two works, including a piece where dogs can peek into holes in a fence to see a garden filled with treats and toys.

For Soh Ee Shaun, who owns three cats, creating an artwork for felines was perfect. His work comprises shelves of different heights and bath mats on which he drew cat faces.

“From my experience, cats love textures a lot, and they like to scratch on carpets and rugs, so I wanted to give them a lot of textures to play with,” he said.

He had also experimented with using catnip and will occasionally be spraying this on the work to calm down nervous visitors. “The idea is to create this semi-home-y experience so that hopefully they’ll feel more cosy.”

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A pet parent and her dog having fun while exploring the art installation Heartstrings by artist duo Jes & Jalon. (Photo: Wellness Pet Food)

The organisers are considering auctioning off some of the pieces after the show, with the aim of donating the money to the plight of less fortunate animals in Singapore.

For now, the artworks are all there for the pets to enjoy. But some of them might have a different way of showing their appreciation.

Rajeswariy of Jes & Jalon pointed out that a few dogs have already marked their territory by peeing on one of their installations. “I guess it shows they like it,” she quipped. 

Art exhibition for pets
The exhibition PAW-sitive: Interactive Art for Pets by Wellness features installations that were meant for pet dogs and cats to enjoy with their owners, such as this bone-shaped ball pit titled Doggyland by Joscelin Chew. (Photo: Howard Law)

Source: CNA/mm