George Town Festival Opens With A Bang!

We were seriously excited to be at George Town Festival (GTF) for the opening weekend. While we are a little worn from the journey to Penang and back, we’ve come away from GTF fully charged and totally inspired.

This hugely anticipated festival, referred to as “a major Asian arts event” by The New York Times, was everything we hoped it would be and more.

Here’s why:


Type: Art exhibition / Artists from 5 ASEAN countries

What it’s about:

Incredible talent from around the region. Wei Ling Gallery @ Victory Annexe plays host to artists from the Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore. The exhibition is part of an ongoing initiative to support and celebrate talent in the ASEAN region. This is Wei Ling Gallery’s first installation at George Town Festival and it hopes to be a mainstay.

Why we love it:

Something for everyone. Different mediums on display allow the viewer to consider what may be more suited to their taste and style while reflecting on others. Derek Tumala’s piece is a point of consideration in the room as the artist utilises video mapping against a truncated structure to mesmerising effect – the piece is titled Sacred Geometry. One to watch is Veron Coronel Junior from the Philippines – piece titled White Noise, Border Number 1.


1st August – 1st September 2015


WLG@VictoryAnnexe, Eastern & Oriental Hotel, 10, Lebuh Farquhar, 10200 Georgetown, Penang

Wei Ling with Maitree Siriboon (Thailand), Vermont Colonel Jr (Philippines), Derek Tumala (Philippines) and Wong Lip Chin (Singapore)
‘White Noise’ by Vermont Colonel Jr.
‘Sacred Geometry’ by Derek Tumala

Same Same: Dan Lain-Lain

Type: Photo-commentary / exhibition

What it’s about:

Removing the labels. Lithuanian photographer Paulius Staniunas sheds a light on the many faces of Malaysia. It is a social commentary through the lens of everyday relationships which invites the viewer to consider portraits of families, friends and loved ones while removing the mask of the ‘Dan Lain-lain’ category. The exhibition showcases a kaleidoscope of identities which form the rich and multicultural canvas that is uniquely, Malaysian.

Why we love it:

In a way it’s a call to action. A reason to remember what makes us Malaysian, and that the only thing that defines us at the end of the day is the love and respect that we share for one another. It is simple, open, honest and true.

My goal is to remind Malaysians about the beauty and charm of their mixed cultures and races… I would like to show that to the world and remind Malaysians of how lucky they are to peacefully grow and harmoniously exist in a multiracial and multicultural society. – Paulius Staniunas


1st – 31st August 2015


Dewan Sri Pinang, 23, Jalan Logan, Georgetown, Penang

Malay ♥ Chinese Indian. Priscilla Sarah Dominica Soosa / Faiz Faisal Bin Roseli
Indian ♥ Chinese. Foo Bihzhu / Prakash Daniel Gopala Krishnan
Malay Thai ♥ Chinese Indian. Abu Bakar bin Abdullah @ James Nathan / Faridah Binti Ismail / Farizal Jazman bin Abu Bakar / Fadlin Johan Abu Bakar

Ancient Trees: Portraits of Time | TREES

Type: Exhibition / tree-hugging therapy

What it’s about:

Casting a light on the unassuming majesty of trees – Beth Moon, documents some of the oldest trees from around the world in a series of black and white photo portraits. The images induce a sense of awe and wonder as these gentle giants continue to stand the test of time 1,000 years on.

This exhibition is part of a month-long series of talks and perspectives sponsored by EcoWorld which aim to inspire everyone to connect with the world’s wondrous trees; and to appreciate how they continue to inform and sustain us, as the Earth’s quiet, stalwart heroes.

Why we love it:

Because it’s about trees. End of.


By feeling a larger sense of time, developing a relationship with the natural world, we carry that awareness with us as it becomes a part of who we are. I cannot imagine a better way to commemorate the lives of the world’s most dramatic trees, many which are in danger of destruction, than by exhibiting their portraits. – Beth Moon


1st – 31st August 2015


MBPP Town Hall, Jalan Tun Syed Sheh Barakbah, 10200 Georgetown, Penang

‘The Queen Elizabeth Oak’, West Sussex, England.
Ancient Trees: Portraits of Time, by Beth Moon

ASEAN Classics

Type: Old films / retro cinema

What it’s about:

Black and white films set against the backdrop of a magnificent Chinese temple. The ASEAN Classics series runs throughout the month of August, showcasing some of the most iconic films from around the region – including Genghis Khan by Manuel Conde, which opened the 69th Venice Film Festival and is noted as the first internationally acclaimed Filipino film.

Why we love it:

Cinematic nostalgia – it’s a throwback to the days when everyone just chilled out with a cup of  ‘kacang rebus’ (boiled peanuts) while enjoying a great film under the stars (literally). The charm of Cheah Kongsi Temple as the chosen venue adds an extra touch of romance and 1950s glamour to the overall experience. This was seriously epic, 10/10.

*P.S. It’s free.


6th- 30th August 2015


Cheah Temple Courtyard, 8, Gat Lebuh Armenian, Georgetown, 10300 Penang

The Cheah Temple.
‘Genghis Khan’, a Manuel Conde production.

A scene from ‘Genghis Khan’.


All the events listed here are free to the public month-long in August. Please show your support for the arts and GTF by getting involved and sharing your favourite events at #GTF15.

For more information please visit:

#GetInvolved #GTF15

George Town Festival is sponsored by the Penang State Government and supported by Tourism Malaysia