Travelling photo exhibitions take centre stage at the George Town Festival.
From 28th July until 3rd of September 2017, the Pearl of the Orient is once again hosting the George Town Festival, the annual celebration of arts, culture, heritage, community and the state of Penang. As always, the event at the UNESCO World Heritage Site is playing host to world-class performances, installations, and collaborations from international and local artists alike. This year marks the eighth iteration of the celebration as it continues to draw thousands of visitors each year.
The festival has become so successful that even the New York Times has something to say about it: “George Town Festival is growing into a major Asian arts event,” it claims.
This year, we get to feast our eyes on amazing works from foreign artists as well as collaborations with local artists that explore the beautiful diversity in our cultures and build a bond from our commonalities.
Activist Jimmy Nelson has travelled across continents as a photojournalist and photographer for about 31 years taking portraits of tribal and indigenous people, exhibiting in major cities like London, New York, Paris and Shanghai, before arriving in George Town. In 2013, Nelson published Before They Pass Away, a book of a five-year journey across Europe, Asia, Africa, South American and the South Pacific where he visited 35 indigenous communities.
“This exquisitely photographed showcase for world tribal culture is not only a joy to look at, but also an important historical record.” – Huffington Post, UK
Nelson hopes to raise awareness about the world’s indigenous cultures before they pass away by “embedding the photographs as a visual reminder of the drastic homogenising forces of a globalising world.”
Yangon Echoes by Tim Webster offers viewers an intimate peek into the life in Yangon, a city once formerly known as Rangoon in the heart of Burma (Myanmar). The exhibition focuses on the facades of heritage buildings to shine a light on personal stories of home and change, and to reveal the city’s people and heritage. The photographs from the showcase are also up for a silent auction, whereby the proceeds will go to support LinkAge training restaurant for street kids in Yangon.
Artists from both Malaysia and Singapore join hands together for Joined by the Crown, a showcase which takes you through the tumultuous yet symbiotic relationship between the neighbouring countries. In 1867, Singapore and Penang were conjoined under the British Crown, and it is believed that Penang provided the template for Singapore’s town planning. Today, the modern Singapore provides a possible development model for Penang. The participating artists present their views on how maps and plans reflect and shape our cities, communities, and identities that we often overlook.
‘Space of Time’ is the theme for this year’s art exhibition curated by the International Women’s Art Exchange Association. As part of Week on Women programming, George Town Festival collaborates with the city of Gwangju, South Korea in hosting the 6th International Women’s Art Festival which is held outside of South Korea every other year as an arts exchange programme. Artworks from over 50 women artists from Korea, Malaysia, Taiwan and the U.S. are showcased at the exhibition to highlight the role of women’s art in society.
Sponsored by The Habitat Penang Hill, this photography exhibition by Steven Struyck showcases the creatures, big and small, friendly and not-so-friendly that you can find in Penang. We’re talking about animals and plants that have adapted to live in and around George Town. Struyck, a seven-year resident of Penang and Dutch national, brings the flora and fauna to life in his amazing photographic works. This exhibition will open your eyes to realise that not only humans need a habitat to survive.
George Town Festival Office
1st Floor, 86 Lebuh Armenian
10200 George Town