"A conversation over where to have lunch was the worm of an idea for this art show.
"An email exchange with a friend threw up meeting places like Penang Road, DhobyGhaut and Cantonment Road until he said Tanjung Pagar– and it dawned on me, that he wasn’t in Penang but in Singapore!"
These are Penang-born journalist Sharon Cheah's quotes on what inspired her to curate the George Town Festival 2017- commissioned 'Joined by the Crown: Parallel Visions in Penang and Singapore. '
She describes her efforts as a group show featuring nine artworks by Singapore and Malaysian artists, and an exhibition which is meant to celebrate the long and deep ties between Penang and her southern isle "sista", Singapore.
"This art show celebrates and investigates those ties – from the past and also in the present," Cheah adds.
The works vary from illustrated sketches to multimedia work like oral interviews and performed narratives.
Cheah and Denise Eng did the legwork to find out the histories of some 15 road names that you can find in both Penang and Singapore, and will illustrate this on a piece of calico from India – a significant reminder that many of the buildings in the two former colonies were built by Indian convict labour.
The participating artists are among those interviewed by Cheah over the course of writing about the arts for the Singapore Business Times since 2000, whose approaches and practices she firmly believes, can cast an artistic light on Penang and Singapore’s symbiotic links.
The artists are said to have responded to this theme that looked at Penang and Singapore's symbiotic relationship from the time they were governed under the Bengal Presidency in British India in 1826 till now.
Joined by the Crown: Parallel Visions in Penang and Singapore
Art exhibition, a George Town Festival commission
Dates: 29 Jul – 3 Sep 2017
Venue: Whiteaways Arcade, Lebuh Beach, Penang
(Images courtesy of Sharon Cheah)
Additional images from opening day …