#GTF2017 Sets Spotlight on Homegrown Ideas

Visuals and other inspiring artworks by local artists shine at George Town Festival 2017.

With a large international following and an equally big spotlight shining on it, the George Town Festival returns to deliver shows that reflect the rich cultural tapestry of the world. The annual festival is held from 28th July to 3rd September this year and features passionate artists from around the globe, including home country of Malaysia. Here is a quick guide to some of the exhibitions present at the festival as showcased by local artists.

The Tales of Pua Kumbu

Dr. Welyne Jeffrey Jehom curates a textile exhibition of exceptional pua kumbu (silk ikat cloths) handmade by Iban weavers from Rumah Garie, Sarawak. The  polysensory intermedia exhibition  showcases the intangible cultural heritage of creating the pua kumbu of Sarawak, including The Sacred Journey which walks you through the hallowed textile’s transformation from being a sacred ritual cloth to modern artistic shawls and garments by utilising natural ingredients and the tie-and-dye resist technique.

Portraits of George Town

George Town is a place full of colours and diversity, where people from all walks of life roam the streets of the UNESCO World Heritage Site city. In this exhibition, visitors can see George Town through the lenses and canvases of Ammar Khalifa, Ch’ng Kiah Kiean, Regina Ibrahim, Dr Ooi Cheng Ghee and Karyn Leong, enthusiastic artists and photographers who manage to capture the everyday people who work and live there in amazing detail. These people who proudly call the history-packed city as their home are a part of George Town and they make George Town the city that it is today.

Character Types

This exhibition focuses on a visual dictionary laid out by Goh Hun Meng with scripted commentary written by Gareth Richards. The pair portray the ‘personalities’ of the unique words that make up the languages spoken in Penang and the colourful characters of its citizens. The artworks showcase how modern typographic art is linked to the past and the future, while the significance of printed words as a medium to deliver ideas, cultures and beliefs is also highlighted.


“What’s in a notebook? The beginnings of a tale. You put stuff in, you take stuff out, you shake it all about…and it becomes the truth you share.”

The collaboration between writer Chen May Yee and photojournalist SC Shekar has led to this insightful exhibition which lets you dive into the great minds of illustrious individuals such as A. Samad Said, Dina Zaman, Anurendra Jegadeva, and Sharaad Kuttan through snapshots of their real handwritten notes.

Cosmicomic Toyscape

Inspired from the ‘Cosmicomics’ by Italian writer, Italo Calvino, 16 aspiring designers present a series of life-size toys that tell remarkable stories about the universe. Six life-size toys constructed based on six different stories from the literature cleverly show the combination of imagination with logical facts and phenomenon in cosmology. The toys convey various scientific concepts including movement, probability, and colour formation in an enjoyable, out-of-the-textbook, and stimulating manner.

George Town Festival Office
1st Floor, 86 Lebuh Armenian
10200 George Town
Penang, Malaysia.

Tel: +604-2616308
Fax: +604-2616305

Email: info@georgetownfestival.com
Website: https://georgetownfestival.com/

*This post has been updated for clarity and conciseness. 

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