New chapter opens for arts sector

The ‘Read Taiwan’ pop-up bookstore on the first floor of The Whiteaways Arcade offers interesting books and magazines on Taiwanese culture.

DISCOVER Taiwanese books and magazines showcasing the island’s thriving publishing industry via the ‘Read Taiwan’ pop-up bookstore at The Whiteaways Arcade in George Town, Penang.

The pop-up bookstore on the first floor will be open from 11 am to 6pm today and tomorrow.

It will feature a plethora of unique magazines as well as evocative books pertaining to the literature, arts, ecology, environment, society, humanities and lifestyle in Taiwan.

Penang tourism and creative economy committee chairman Yeoh Soon Hin said the event was under the ‘Isle to Isle’ programme, which was first introduced in 2018 to promote cross-regional communication and collaboration through the arts.

“Penang’s creative industry is slowly back in the game.

“George Town Festival or GTF is making a comeback with its third edition of ‘Isle to Isle’ this weekend.

“After a series of pandemic- induced lockdowns, we are delighted to break the logjam for our creative industry.

“Rest assured, the programmes will be conducted with strict adherence to health protocol and standard operating procedures,” he said.

The ‘Isle to Isle’ programme will feature a hybrid method of festival-making activities involving a physical pop-up bookstore and virtual events.

“The creative industry cannot be mothballed indefinitely,” said Yeoh.

“We need to slowly and responsibly embrace the gradual return of physical programmes, which is why we are kicking off ‘Isle to Isle’ on a small scale.

“The ‘Isle to Isle’ programme will offer the people of Penang and other Malaysians high-calibre cultural programmes.

“Ï hope it will mark a good start for the state’s creative industry following the prolonged restrictions that were finally eased,” he shared.

‘Isle to Isle’ is collaboratively presented by GTF, Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Malaysia and Penang City Eye with the aim of bringing diverse and creative cultural content to the annual GTF.

Yeoh also expressed his hope for more such cultural exchange programmes between Penang and other regions in future.

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