Art, music, events and entertainment in Penang

This week in Penang - several more real world art workshops to join, various online talks, Malaysia’s first post-MCO live choral and orchestral concert, more details on the upcoming mini-jazz festival, films, comedy and much more.

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Uterine fibroids are benign tumors that grow on the walls of the uterus, and a majority of women will have them at some point in their lives. When fibroids become symptomatic, they can cause issues like heavy periods, abdominal bloating or growth, incontinence, a sensation of pressure in your lower abdomen, constipation, or painful intercourse.

Tune in to Dr Mah Siew Lee’s FB Live session on 9th September 2020 at 3pm to learn more about this non-cancerous tumour. Free of charge on Facebook live here.

FILM - THE NIGHTINGALE, Hikayat, 226 Beach St Wednesday 9th & Thursday 10th September 6pm

Set during the colonisation of Australia in 1825, the film follows Clare, a 21-year-old Irish convict. Having served her seven-year sentence, she is desperate to be free of her abusive master, Lieutenant Hawkins, who refuses to release her from his charge. Clare is forced to enlist the help of a young Aboriginal tracker for her journey through the wilderness.
Winner, Best Film, Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts
Winner, Best Young Actor, Venice Film Festival
Screening and refreshments RM15.
Booking here essential.

FILM - BEHEMOTH, The Screenery, 81 Lebuh China, Wednesday 9th & Sunday 13th September 7pm-10pm

Chinese documentary film directed by Zhao Liang about the environmental, sociological, and public health effects of coal-mining in China and Inner Mongolia. Loosely based on Dante Alighieri's Divine Comedy, Liang’s documentary has been lauded for its surreal cinematography and poignant imagery. It is banned in China.

Join the private Facebook group here for more information. For the present all film screenings are free of charge.

ART WORKSHOP - RED GINGER, The ArtESpace, Straits Quay, Thursday 10th 6.30pm-9.30pm and Friday 11th September 9am-12pm

This is one of a series of workshops in watercolour techniques. The bracts of the Red Ginger ( Alpinia purpurata) make it a perfect subject to learn how to paint cupped shapes, and mingle colours wet in wet. We will aim to complete a single inflorescence (flower head) during the workshop.
Cost is RM 80, inclusive of all materials.
Maximum of 8 participants so please book your place early!

Contact Esther for bookings by email or phone 012-401 9636

BOOKS & MINGLE, Malaysian German Society, Jalan Air Itam, Friday 11th September 10am

Recommend and introduce a book or DVD you have recently read or watched and mingle with others. Light refreshments will be served and the MGS library with more than 800 German books, 120 audio books, and more than 500 DVDs will also be open. Free of charge, reserve here.


The US-China trade war is more than two years old with no end in sight, with COVID-19 further fuelling tensions. This webinar will examine how the trade war has impacted the region through global supply chains by examining the underlying causes of the trade war and the effective rate of spillover protection, with Jayant Menon. Visiting Senior Fellow at the ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute, following his early retirement from the Asian Development Bank, where he was Lead Economist in the Office of the Chief Economist.

Register free of charge for the webinar here.

MUSIC CONCERT - SOUNDS FAMILIAR, penangpac, Friday 11th & Saturday 12th September, 8pm-9.30pm

The masked & socially-distanced Actors Studio Chorus and Orchestra presents a programme including many tunes which are well known but whose titles may not be so familiar. Hear the famous coronation anthem “Zadok the Priest”, “The Arrival of the Queen of Sheba”, the Old Hundredth hymn, Greensleeves, and the famous march from the Dam Busters film. The programme will end with the popular sequence of tunes which traditionally form the end of “The Last Night of the Proms” : “Jerusalem”, “Land of Hope and Glory” and “Rule Britannia”.

Tickers are RM 65 per person (RM 55 for concessions) and can be purchased here. RM 140 group purchase price for 4 tickets, available at the box office only.

WORKSHOP - CITIZEN SCIENCE, Online, Friday 11th September, 8pm-9pm

With Yap Jo Leen, the founder and the head of Langur Project Penang (LPP), a community science project on primate research & conservation in Penang. Jo Leen is a wildlife researcher and environmental educator, studying the ecology & behaviour of dusky langurs (Trachypithecus obscurus) in Penang, Malaysia. She is the first Malaysian to be awarded the Environmental Educators 30 under 30 (EE 30U30) in 2018, a TEDxPetalingStreet speaker, and initiated the installation of Malaysia's 1st urban canopy bridge in 2019. Langur Project Penang is also featured in BBC Earth series, 'Primates' in May 2020. Jo Leen and her team is actively engaging with the local residents, to promote coexistence among humans and wildlife residents in Malaysia.

Free of charge. Register here.

FUN - GAME GEEKS, Luma, Hin Bus Depot, Friday 11th September, 8pm, Saturday & Sunday 2pm-6pm

Getting out of the box is the goal here! Let loose on a retro arcade game, shoot up a target with a nerf blaster, build a lego spaceship, team up on a boardgame... whatever your playmode, whether you borrow ours or bring your own, it's all good! More details on Luma’s Facebook page here.

YOGA - Tropical Spice Garden, Teluk Bahang, Saturday 12th September, 8.30am-9.45am

Free trial classes! Practice functional yoga: in the midst of lush tropical greenery. Booking essential, register here. For further information, contact Gwen +6016-505 6253 or 

CONFERENCE - PENANG MODEL UNITED NATIONS, Online, Saturday 12th & Sunday 13th September, 10am

Penang Model United Nations invites all students with a passion for public speaking and critical thinking to join their online conference. Registration costs RM 10 per person. More information and registration through the website here.

HORSE RACING - Penang Turf Club, Saturday 12th September 1pm onwards

Enjoy the racing in person in the air-conditioned viewing terrace of the grandstand. Dress code smart-casual. Betting optional! More details on the turf club’s website here. RM 26 per person.


This webinar will explore the notion of a national identity; identify the variables in forging responsible citizenry; discuss the challenges of religious and cultural diversity; make a case for multiple identities in nation building; and construct a viable model of Malaysian citizenship.

To watch this free Facebook Live webinar click here.

ART DEMONSTRATION - PENANG lN WATERCOLOUR, Online, Saturday 12th September 4pm-5.30pm

Renowned Penang artist Khoo Cheang Jin will be doing live watercolour paintings of 8 Penang scenes on Saturday afternoons starting 12 September 2020. These will not be the usual tourist hot spots but lesser known beautiful places in Penang.So join Cheang Jin and explore his home town, live on Facebook here.

COMEDY - THE LOONIES AT D’LOOVI’S, D’Loovi’s, 24 Lebuh Melayu, Saturday 12th September 8.30pm

The Loonies are back for another night of comedy at D’Loovi’s! After their first show in August, Penang Comedy Events is putting on another show filled with a variety of comedy acts from Penang’s best. Hosted by Garu, the self-proclaimed “only comedian in Penang”, the show will feature stand-up, improv, and sketch comedy
D’Loovi’s, our venue, offers up great meals and drinks through the night! Entry is completely free, SOPs will be followed.

MONIOT TRAIL WALK, Penang Hill, Sunday 13th September, 8am-11am

This often-overlooked 3km trail is 600m above sea level and runs between a forest reserve and private land. It is named after the man who surveyed the area, Jules M Moniot. RM 50 per person, meet at the Dataran, Penang Hill. Register 016-4201189. More information on Facebook here.

Highly recommended by Penang Free Sheet readers who have taken this tour!

JEWELLERY WORKSHOP - RESIN BANGLES, The ArtESpace, Straits Quay, Tuesday 15th September 2pm-5pm and 6.30pm-9.30pm

Learn how to mix epoxy resin and how to incorporate colours and small objects to make your own bangle. RM90 includes a glass of wine. Book by email or phone 012-401 9636

SCREENING - TALES FROM MALAYSIA BARU, penangpac, Wednesday 16th September 8pm

"Everyone wanted to change the government but no one is willing to change themselves."

If you missed the live performance of this funny yet poignant play about life and politics, now you watch a recording of it at penangpac.

Set in an old Chinese house in the heart of George Town, "Tales from Malaysia Baru" revolves around Aunty Kang, a 65-year-old tailor, and her nosy Malay neighbour Kak Kiah, who dwell on what's not right in Malaysia one hazy afternoon. They are soon joined by Aunty Kang's son, Ah Boon, and Nathan, a fellow neighbour.


Donation RM 10. Call the box office at 04-899 1722 for more details.

ART WORKSHOP - BAMBOO ORCHID, The ArtESpace, Straits Quay, Thursday 17th 6.30pm-9.30pm and Friday 18th September 9am-12pm

This is one of a series of workshops on watercolour techniques. Using the bamboo orchid as a subject, you will learn to paint folds and ruffles, which you can then apply for other subjects as well. You will complete a study of an orchid to take home. Although if you have your own special brushes or paints, do bring them along too.
Cost of the workshop is RM80, inclusive of all materials.
Maximum of 8 participants so do make your booking early!

Contact Esther for bookings by email or phone 012-401 9636

JAZZ ON THE JETTY, Jetty 35, 35 Weld Quay, Friday 18th - Sunday 20th September

A new mini-jazz festival in Penang, Jazz on the Jetty featuring three concerts, jazz films and jazz-themed bookstalls, and starring renowned Malaysian jazz band WVC, as well as other great performers.

Friday 18 September 2020 | 8.00 pm Swinging Sixty
Junji Delfino with WVC Trio
KL’s Jazzmamma Junji Delfino just turned sixty in July, and to most people that signals the beginning of
retirement. But Junji still is going and going and going ... and swinging more than ever! Join her for this unique
celebration of jazz standards and more

Saturday 19 September 2020 | 8.00 pm
Life Is a Cabaret
Janet Lee with WVC Trio
What good is sitting alone with your mask on? Come, hear the music play. Life maybe tragedy or comedy, but it is always a cabaret for us here, with the inimitable Janet Lee in the lead.

Sunday 20 September 2020 | 8.00 pm
Music of Words
Junji Delfino, Janet Lee and Gareth Richards with WVC Trio
Listen to the worlds of music and words, of jazz and literature, together. Voicing the writing of Haruki Murakami, Geoff Dyer, William Shakespeare, Li Bai, W.H. Auden and Dylan Thomas through song and narration,

But tickets online here:
Concert 1 -
Concert 2 -
Concert 3 -

Or in person at Gerakbudaya Bookshop, 226 Beach Street.

Individual concerts: RM70 or RM50 discount (for seniors and students)
Three-in-one concert bundle: RM170 or RM120 (for seniors and students)

THEATRE - HAVE/HAD, penangpac, Friday 25th 8.30pm, Saturday 26th 3pm & 8.30pm, Sunday 27th September 3pm

Have/Had is a thought provoking theatrical experience about the concept of truth and lies, reality and fantasy, which we often find ourselves trapped in. It addresses vital questions that all of us can relate to. When we find ourselves entangled in a web of lies, will we follow our rational mind or our emotions? When confronted by reality, will we tell the truth or will we choose to lie?

If to lie is how we survive life, does truth even matter?

Tickets RM 45, early bird RM 38 available until September 11th. Get tickets online from Proticket .


GRACE’S WATERCOLOUR DIARY, penangpac, Straits Quay, Until September 27th

Dr. Grace Choong is a Penang artist who has been actively involved in local and international art scenes.  She has held 12 solo art exhibitions and participated in more than 200 joint art exhibitions.  Gallery 1, penangpac, 4th floor Straits Quay, 10am until 6.30pm daily.

THE THREAD OF LIFE, EXHIBITION BY DAYANG ArtSpace, ChinaHouse, Beach St, Until September 30th

Old pictures tend to trigger nostalgia. The pictures used for the thread of life exhibition are negatives taken in 1936 in various places in Asia and the Middle East. Dayang has enriched these black and white images to combine these stories of the past with her perception of life. Experiences  ‘gathered’ are like dots and life is the line that connects them. Dayang has added colourful threads as her vision of how the past intertwines with the present.

Dayang Salim is a Singaporean artist and designer who is residing in Kuala Lumpur. Her work has been exhibited in China, Malaysia, The Netherlands, Belgium and Hong Kong. Her works focus mainly on different cultures and experiences of living abroad.

The ArtSpace at ChinaHouse is open from 10am until 10pm daily.

COVID-B BY LOW CHEE PENG, Hin Bus Depot, Jalan Gurdwara, Extended until September 20th

Well-known local sculptor Low Chee Peng’s lockdown-inspired works portray frequent hand-washing, social distancing, and the wearing of face masks, using marble and steel.
The sculptures, are exhibited both indoors (at the artist’s own O Sculpture Studio at Hin Bus Depot) and outdoors and also online here.

Hours: Mon-Fri 12pm-8pm, Sat-Sun 11am-8pm. Free dmission

MEMORIES OF GEORGE TOWN EXHIBITION, Hin Bus Depot, Jalan Gurdwara, Until September 20th

An experimental exhibition by artist Lijynn as she creates a space to invite conversations about the Chinese culture in the 60's and 70's. Contribute to her documentation when you drop by at the Hin Bus Depot exhibition space in the weekends or make an appointment for weekdays. This is a work in progress through most of the exhibition duration with more works presented by stages. Featured items include artwork, textiles, plants, furniture, stationery and more.
Hours: Mon-Fri 12pm-8pm, Sat-Sun 11am-8pm. Free dmission

THE DEATH AND LIFE OF HOKKIEN EXHIBITION, Cheah Kong Si, 8 Armenian St, Until 22nd September

The southern Chinese language Hokkien, widely used in Penang, has 25 million speakers; two and a half times the population of Sweden. While the Swedish language faces no threat of extinction, Hokkien is set to vanish as its speakers abandon it for Mandarin.
In this exhibition, you will see that the root cause of decline in such languages is an ideology, which emerged in the 19th century. This is also an exhibition that challenges our preconceived idea about Chinese. A pre-historic bronze drum and old books printed in southern Chinese languages are on display for the first time in Malaysia. 9am-5pm daily. 



The Balik Pulau Festival Art competition is now open for submissions by Malaysians aged 7-17. Cash prizes for winners. For more details see the website here.


Spotlight by Penang Art District returns with its 2020 edition, offering young aspiring and emerging artists the opportunity to undergo an intensive mentorship with an art professional and showcase their body of works in a solo exhibition. Welcoming applications from all over Malaysia, Spotlight 2020 is an open call for artists aged 30 and below. For more information, visit the website.


Open to all artists aged 15 and above, using Any painting medium (oil, acrylic, watercolor, ink, gouache etc) and any size of painting. Cash prizes and certificates will be awarded by a panel of 6 well-known artists and 2 international gallery owners. Entry fees for non Malaysians USD 18 for up to two images and USD 6 for each additional image; for Malaysians RM 75 for up to 2 images and RM 25 for each additional image.

Send entry form, proof of remittance along with artwork images, or enquiries to this email address.

Warrior Fitness now offers coach-led training both outdoors and live online via Zoom from Mondays-Fridays. Our training system is designed and planned for all fitness levels. All are welcome. Imagine being fitter and healthier and while also feeling better than ever. Now is the right time; do come and join us for our 7-day FREE TRIAL.

For more details on the schedule and how to join WhatsApp 018-2827567 or email here.


Register to learn Traditional Malay Dance online here. Register today at this link. It is free for Malaysians and the organisation hasn’t quite decide what to do about foreigners yet, so if you are not a Malaysian and you are interested to learn Malay Traditional Dance email here.




A 45-minute guided tour through the history of the spectacular UNESCO award-winning mansion, revealing stories of its original owner and extended family, and of the house’s design philosophy and stunning architecture.

RM 25 for adults, RM 12.50 for children. Tickets can be purchased at the entrance.

GUIDED TOUR OF PENANG HOUSE OF MUSIC, Level 4 Komtar via ICT Mall, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays 11.30am & 2.30pm

Tour this unique curation of Penang's popular music heritage with faithful depictions of the era. Strictly by appointment (maximum 10 people per tour) 012 416 1550.

Admission prices (Malaysians): RM 20 for adult, RM 10 concessions, children under 5 free. Admission prices (non-Malaysians): RM 30 for adult, RM 15 concessions, children under 5 free.

SUNSET WALK, The Habitat, Penang Hill, Saturdays and Sundays 5.30pm

The Habitat Penang Hill Sunset Walk is back!
Enjoy a Self Guided Walk to watch the sunset from Curtis Crest, the highest point in Penang, or email to book in for a guided walk with a guide to point out the nocturnal jungle life to you. RM 65 per adult, RM 45 per child for self-guided walk, RM 95 per adult and RM 65 per child for a guided tour.

PAINTING WORKSHOPS - ARTSY SIP, Prima Tanjung, Saturdays 2.30pm-5pm

No art skills required. You will be guided throughout the process. A different theme every week. All materials provided. RM 88 including coffee/tea or RM 95 including a cocktail. For reservations call 0124417100. More information on the Facebook page here.

OPEN MIC & PRO JAM, D’Loovi’s, 24 Lebuh Melayu, Sundays 8pm-11pm

A rare opportunity to watch live music in person during the pandemic and for budding singers, musicians and indie artists to perform in public. Bring your own instrument if you wish to play. More information here.

EXPAT COFFEE AND CHAT, Mondays at Brown Pocket, Gurney Paragon, and Saturdays at Kim Haus, 9 Lebuh Campbell, 10.30am-12.30pm

Get together for expats and newcomers to Penang. Email here do WhatsApp +61411735011for more details.

WEEKLY WRITES, Luma, Hin Bus Depot, Every Monday 2.30pm-10.30pm,

Hosted by #MYWriters Penang, the weekly write-ins at LUMA allow writers to gather in one place with their laptops or notebooks and set aside time to do some serious writing. More details on their Facebook page here.

QUIZ NIGHT, Healy Mac’s, Straits Quay, Every Monday 8pm

Weekly pub quiz, now with social distancing and maximum of four people per team.  More information on Facebook here.

HIN BUS DEPOT MARKET, Hin Bus Depot, Every Sunday 11am-5pm

The Hin Bus Depot Sunday market is back, with social distancing and SOPs in place. A reduced but still vibrant market place of the products of local entrepreneurs, crafters, artisans, with indoor busking by local musicians, and the relaxed vibe we love. More details on their Facebook page here.

MEDITATION CLASSES, Online, By appointment

Learn to mediate for peace, calm and inner strength. Classes via zoom, at no cost. For more details and to sign up WhatsApp Helen 013 430 1229.

A community service of Brahma Kumaris Penang.

SUNDAY SOUL SESSION, Online, Every Sunday 5pm-7pm

DJ Carl Hinds invites you every Sunday for a late afternoon dose of two hours of chilled soul music. The stream starts at 5pm through mixcloud here.


Due to Covid-19 the meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous are temporarily suspended.  Instead, the Penang AA Group have scheduled several online meetings accessible via Zoom.  If you would like more information about the AA Penang online meetings, please call 011 512 31396.

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