George Town Festival 2021’s ‘Nine Days Eight Exhibitions’ campaign delighted art lovers with its diverse and fascinating offerings.
There were shows at various venues across town including the U.A.B Building in China Street Ghaut where the 3 x 3 Group Exhibition took place.
It featured the works of eight artists who did a month-long art residency in their own studios or workspaces during the earlier nationwide MCO.
Devoid of new inspiration, they had to explore and reflect on the meaning of ‘home’ instead. They then created works that fit within a 3m by 3m space.
Harold Reagan Eswar presented ‘The Sin Lian Huat Documentation’, an overview of his native Keningau, Sabah, seen through his and his friends’ collective memories.
“I was stuck in Kota Kinabalu during the lockdown and missed home.
“I realised I could not go out to paint either. Being an architectural draughtsman, this came naturally,” Harold said, pointing to the three large map-like panels on display.
He interviewed his childhood friends to learn more about the places they used to visit, then added snippets to the relevant locations.
Sin Lian Huat was a coffee shop they frequented.
“When urban planners draw city layouts, they usually envision how it’ll be decades from now. Instead, this shows what a township was like in the past,” he added.
Penangite Lee Lai Queen’s ‘Routine’ consisted of embroidery pieces arranged to resemble the segments of a clock – representing how days flew by when she was stuck at home during the pandemic.
Another local Norfatihah Yusof displayed ‘Home: Object As Camera’, a collage of photograms depicting the everyday objects that play a significant part in one’s routine.
Kedahan Muhamat Ammar Idris came up with ‘Table of Memories’ which had traditional kuih on yellow trays as the smell of these sweet treats always reminded him of home.
Also participating in the recent show were Ivan Alexander Francis Gabriel, Cassie Wong Mun Yew, Putri Intan Sari Amrizal and Liu Yong Sean.
Another exhibition, Creative Collection, was held concurrently at the same venue. This promoted local brands, startups and creatives with unique offerings.
They included Azman Abdul Manan’s Mannik and Batik range of handbags and accessories. Formerly in the F&B and retail industry, he has been pursuing this passion for six years.
“People tend to see batik as something very traditional. My aim is to show that with modern designs and colours, it can be relevant and useful in our lives today,” Azman shared.
Zax Lee and Jitong Koay promoted handmade paper rattan bags under their Jutozi brand. They started for fun but demand is on the rise.
“They’re made from eco-friendly materials and can be recycled.
“They are water-resistant and strong. Each is made by hand so they’re one of a kind,” Koay said.
Also drawing interest was Teoh Su Ling with her Either/Or range of earrings, necklaces and brooches inspired by classic Peranakan tile patterns.
“These tiles are iconic and evoke a sense of nostalgia. It allows you to wear a part of Penang wherever you go,” Teoh opined.
Meanwhile, comic artist Azmi Hussin was seen drawing panels for his Saga Kami comic strip which he hoped to get into the Malaysia Book of Records as the longest of its kind at 150m.
“The story is about a first- generation Proton Saga which changes hands from Malay to Chinese to Indian owners before finding itself back with the son of the original owner,” he explained.
The festival’s second campaign ‘Nine Days Eight Shows’ concluded recently.
Programmes included a rainforest concert, a cultural performance, French movies, wayang kulit and stand-up comedy.