Just walk in: free admission events to check out at George Town Festival


'A Night At Hin' series at Hin Bus Depot offers three unforgettable Saturdays with themed nights, ranging from the nostalgia of the 1950s and 1960s to a daring fusion between traditional and futuristic styles. Photo: George Town Festival

There is no shortage of free admission and fringe events at the George Town Festival (July 15-30) in Penang, which gives the masses an opportunity to experience and interact with the arts.

With over 150,000 festivalgoers expected to arrive for the festival in the next two weeks, you can expect George Town to be buzzing. Festival events this year - 70% of them free - will feature indigenous ethnic-cultural performances, digital installations, community-based events as well as games, workshops and forums, to be held in over 20 locations in the city.

Whether you are a local in Penang, or a weekend visitor, here is a list of arts activities to check out without reaching for your wallet - just walk in, spread the good vibes and join the fun.

Come and see what was unread by someone else at the physical space at Blank Canvas in George Town or be a part of The Library of Unread Books by giving your unread book to them. Photo: George Town Festival Come and see what was unread by someone else at the physical space at Blank Canvas in George Town or be a part of The Library of Unread Books by giving your unread book to them. Photo: George Town Festival

THE LIBRARY OF UNREAD BOOKS

Venue: Blank Canvas, Lorong Argus , George Town

Date: ends Sept 3

If your to-be-read book pile has gotten too unmanageable, give your unread books a new home by donating them to the Library of Unread Books, a travelling public reference library hosted within art spaces and museums around the world.

It has surfaced in cities such as Manila, Utrecht, Milan, Prague, Dubai and Singapore. The library was inspired by the “anti-library”, a concept popularised by novelist Umberto Eco. Artist Heman Chong started the project in 2016 with archivist Renee Staal in Singapore after they were struck by how many unread books their friends had.

An artwork from Ch'ng Kian Kiean, which is featured at the 'Leaving Traces' exhibition. Photo: Ch'ng Kian KieanAn artwork from Ch'ng Kian Kiean, which is featured at the 'Leaving Traces' exhibition. Photo: Ch'ng Kian Kiean

LEAVING TRACES

Venue: Hin Bus Depot, Jalan Gurdwara, George Town

Date: July 15-30

Leaving Traces is a group exhibition focusing on the visual art form of drawing, where speculative and exploratory processes are encouraged and celebrated.

The show, curated by Penang-based artist Ivan Gabriel, features a diverse line-up of contemporary artists, illustrators, street artists and cartoonists. They include Ajim Juxta, Annabell Ng, Azmi Hussin, bibichun, Ch'ng Kian Kiean, Charis Loke, Cheng Hao Yuan, Christine Das, Dhavinder Singh, Dipali Gupta, Dolores de Sade, ERYN, Esther Geh, Haslin Ismail, Hoo Fan Chon, Izzard Padzil, Khairudin Zainudin, Liew Kwai Fei, Mark Tan, Parasite Generation, Queen Lee, Shiela Samsuri, Silas Oo, Sliz, sumidik, Syahbandi Samat, Trexus and Zunar.

Several of the works are also site specific and constructed on site over time and in relation to the physical building, all works (including videos) are experimental and explorative, while holding an authenticity and sensitivity to the core of drawing practice.

The Leaving Traces exhibition also highlights how drawing material such as charcoal, pencil and ink have now been supplemented with everyday materials such as wire, wood and steel.

A NIGHT AT HIN

Venue: Hin Bus Depot, Jalan Gurdwara, George Town

Date: July 15, 22, 29

Step into a world of fantasy and dreams at Hin Bus Depot as it hosts three swinging Saturdays, starting tonight.

Themed "Fly Me To The Moon", festivalgoers are encouraged to come dressed in clothing from the 1950s or 60s or futuristic styles. It's time to get your most creative outfits out of the closet, get ready to groove to the "A Night At Hin" eclectic playlist, and be a part of this lively arts and music community.

Don’t forget to check out the art market and all the other activities at this venue.

RISO ART JAM

Venue: The Whiteaways Arcade, George Town

Date: July 15-30

You may not be familiar with the terms “risography” or “riso art”, but you’re sure to be visually familiar with the vibrant printing style, which originated from Japan.

Riso Art Jam celebrates the Riso art scene in our community and brings together artists and art enthusiasts from around the world, featuring a forum, a bazaar, and an art exhibition – all based on risography!

A screening event at Cheah Kongsi, one of the oldest Hokkien clan associations in George Town. Photo: George Town Festival A screening event at Cheah Kongsi, one of the oldest Hokkien clan associations in George Town. Photo: George Town Festival

JOY IN GEORGE TOWN

Venue: Seh Tek Tong Cheah Kongsi, George Town

Date: July 22 and 23

Turn your moods into a work of art through this digital installation by multimedia artists Juliana and Andrey Vrady, using data coded by Andy Junginger.

A webcam connected to an AI mood converter will read your real-time expressions and convert them into artwork, which will then be projected on the walls of Cheah Kongsi.

More info here.

Follow us on our official WhatsApp channel for breaking news alerts and key updates!
   

Next In Culture

Van Gogh Museum showcases kindred Canadian-Chinese artist Matthew Wong
Weekend for the arts: 'Sang Kancil & Dragon King' musical, art of 'Consent'
Journey through Malaysian art songs in 'Merdu Puisi'
New writers set to shine on Penang stage, exploring love's many shades
Museum visitors to get first sight of King Charles banknotes
West Bank museum showcases Gaza 'artistic demonstration' against war
M'sian Philharmonic Orchestra set for magical evening of keroncong and ghazal
War-themed murals in Kyiv honour Ukraine’s fallen soldiers
A majority of Gen Z believe they have what it takes to write self-help books
E-book lending boom in US pits publishers against libraries

Others Also Read