Immerse in virtual feast of the senses

A screengrab of the Immerse concert featuring (clockwise from left) Tan in Malacca, Chow in New York and Choo in Macau. — courtesy of George Town Festival

DESPITE the movement restriction under phase two of the National Recovery Plan, arts and culture fans have not been starved of engaging content thanks to the George Town Festival 2021 taking place online.

A slew of music, dance, theatre, film, photography and visual art programmes have been put up since last weekend, and will continue until tomorrow.

While some are ticketed, others are free to view. They are easily accessible from the safety of one’s home via the event’s official Facebook page, Youtube channel or streaming platforms like Zoom and CloudTheatre.

Highlights include “G-Short”, a short film festival that celebrates the endless possibilities offered by a 90-second clip. Themed ‘Reimagine: A New Way of Seeing’, it attracted 697 submissions from 37 countries worldwide.

Some 30 finalists have been selected. Prizes worth a total of RM20,000 await 11 winners and four award recipients. This will be announced and streamed live at 8pm tomorrow.

“Lights On”, a virtual projection mapping showcase, has garnered around 3,400 views thus far.

It sees the works of seven residency artists projected onto a micro mockup of the George Town cityscape.

Presented in collaboration with Filamen, EPSON Malaysia and FabU, these pulsating lights and swirling patterns bring the city and state’s diverse cultural and historical elements to life.

Many also caught the screening of the docudrama “Perspectives”, an independent project directed by Peggy Ferroa and Michael Chua which explored the lives of Singaporeans with disabilities through music, monologues and art.

It shed light on the community’s unseen challenges, unheard voices, and unspoken desires, and also featured sounds by the Harmony Community Choir which primarily consists of young adult singers with autism and other learning disabilities.

The Immerse virtual concert brought together three local musicians living in different parts of the world – Tan Yong Yaw in Malacca, Raymond Choo Boon Yew in Macau and Chow Jun Yi in New York – for a deep dive into Chinese orchestral music and what it represents.

Many viewers also got to play detective when viewing “BODY X The Culprit”, an interactive murder-mystery digital theatre presentation that allowed one to observe evidence, scrutinise the crime scene and figure out who had done it.

Check out the “Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow” photography exhibition featuring over 30 past-and-present images contributed by the public. Each shows how families have grown, or how places have changed, over the years.

Accompanying these programmes were many sharing sessions by the creatives involved, along with some interactive workshops. Several more sessions are happening this weekend.

Browse the Arts to Your Doorstep digital marketplace and support the works of local artists. Visit the official festival website at for ticketing or scheduling details.

Or follow George Town Festival on Facebook and Instagram for the latest updates. With the ongoing pandemic and lockdown, all of the festival’s physical events are postponed until further notice.

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