Art, music, events and entertainment in Penang

There are now nine art exhibitions running in Penang, almost back to the good old days! Also happening this week: art & cooking workshops, films and talks, horse reaching and comedy. Please also note that the Sunset Walk at The Habitat is back (details in the Every Week section). If you don’t already subscribe to receive the weekly email and would like to, please click here.

FILM - PORTRAIT OF A LADY ON FIRE, Hikayat, 226 Beach St Wednesday 19th & Thursday 20th August 6pm

France, 1760. Marianne is commissioned to paint the wedding portrait of Héloïse, a young woman who has just left the convent. As the two women orbit one another, intimacy and attraction grow. Winner, Best Screenplay, Cannes Film Festival. Winner, Best Screenwriter, European Film Awards.

Screening and refreshments RM15.
Booking here essential.

PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOP, Online, Wednesday 19th August 8pm

Shaiful Baker, Trainer & Camera Specialist Sony covers the basics you need to know for photography, vlogs and how to be a Youtuber. Watch on Youtube live 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.


WORKSHOP - COOK PENANG FAVOURITES WITH NAZLINA, George Town, Thursday 20th August 10am-12pm

Learn to cook roti canai, char koay teow and pandan crepes. RM180 per person. Contact Michelle by email to book.

UNIVERSITY ENROLMENT SHARING SESSION, Online, Fridays & Saturdays 21st, 22nd, 28th, 29th August, 2pm-3.30pm

Representatives from various Malaysian universities join online sharing sessions to provide information and answer any questions well. Visit the official website here to get the meeting rooms' Google Meet links.






TOUR - MAGICAL FIREFLIES, Penang Mainland, Friday 21st August, 5pm-10.30pm

Cross the bridge to enjoy a seafood dinner then after sunset take a boat to see the fireflies in the mangroves. 

RM170 per adult, RM 90 per child under 12. Numbers limited. Booking essential by emailing Michelle.

COCKTAILS - Farquhar Bar, E&O Hotel, Friday 21st August, 6pm-10pm

Enjoy craft gin-based cocktails and tapas. Strictly limited numbers - booking essential 04 222 3151

COMEDY VARIETY SHOW- GARU SAVES PENANGPAC, Online, Friday 21st August-Sunday 23rd 8.30pm

If you missed the show live at penangpac, don’t worry, now you can watch it online. A variety show hosted by Penang's very own stand-up comedian, Garu Rumon, accompanied by the amazing Raggy Singh and his magic guitar. A fundraiser for penangpac with lots of laughter and entertainment - stand up and improv comedy, live music and candid conversations. Tickets RM 20 are available for purchase here.

WORKSHOPS - PAINT YOURSELF A VACATION, Artsy Sip, Prima Tanjung, Saturdays 22nd & 29th August 2.30pm-5pm

No art skills required. You will be guided throughout the process. 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.

NIGHT SAFARI, THE HABITAT, PENANG HILL, Saturday 22nd August, 5pm-10.30pm

Depart from the Botanic Garden at 5pm and take a jeep to The Habitat where guides will point out the animals and birds who settle down as dusk falls. Begin with a cold drink and sunset at Curtis Crest (weather permitting), then as the night deepens meet the frogs, reptiles and other creatures that come out in the dark. Then dinner at David Brown’s Restaurant before returning by jeep.

RM180 per adult, RM150 per child under 12. Numbers limited. Booking essential by emailing Michelle.

FILM - FACE OFF, The Screenery, 81 Lebuh China, Saturday 22nd August 7pm-10pm

1997 American action film directed by John Woo, starring John Travolta and Nicholas Cage playing an FBI agent and a terrorist, sworn enemies who assume each other's physical appearance. Join the private Facebook group here for more information. For the present all film screenings are free of charge.

HORSE RACING - Penang Turf Club, Sunday 23rd August 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.

HALF-DAY KIDS CAMP, penangpac: Mondays & Tuesdays 10am-1pm, Tropical Spice Garden: Wednesdays, Thursdays & Fridays 9.30am-1.30pm Until August 31st

Activities including games, juggling, dance / expressive movement, art projects such as sketching, moulding / modelling (various mediums), watercolour, oil pastels, collage and much more. For 7 to 12 year olds. RM 85 at penangpac, RM 99 at Tropical Spice Garden, per child per session. Price includes a snack, and all materials. For more information and to book click here.

FILM - MULHOLLAND DRIVE, The Screenery, 81 Lebuh China, Monday 24th & Friday 28th August 7pm-10pm

Considered one of the best films of the 21st century, Mulholland Drive is a 2001 American neo-noir mystery film written and directed by David Lynch and starring Naomi Watts. An aspiring actress, newly arrived in Los Angeles, meets and befriends an amnesiac woman recovering from a car accident. Join the private Facebook group here for more information. For the present all film screenings are free of charge.

FILM - INDEPENDENCE DAY, The Screenery, 81 Lebuh China, Tuesday 25th & Saturday 29th August 7pm-10pm

1996 American science fiction action film directed and co-written by Roland Emmerich and starring Will Smith, Bill Pullman, Jeff Goldblum and others. It focuses on disparate groups of people who converge in the Nevada desert in the aftermath of a worldwide attack by an extraterrestrial race of unknown origin. With the other people of the world, they launch an all-out counterattack on July 4—Independence Day in the United States. Join the private Facebook group here for more information. For the present all film screenings are free of charge.


For those who missed the live streaming of Penang Dance Day on July 24th, you can now watch it online on Facebook here. An hour-long video showcasing the dance, choreography and video-editing talent in Penang.


THE THREAD OF LIFE, EXHIBITION BY DAYANG ArtSpace, ChinaHouse, Beach St, Until August 31st

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.

BEYOND 2020 ART EXHIBITION Penang State Art Gallery, Dewan Sri Pinang, Until August 25th

Organised By Penang Art Society, the oldest art society in Malaysia, in conjunction with its 67th anniversary celebration, the exhibition includes works by members of the following organisations:
The Calligraphy & Poetry section
Balik Pulau Art Society
Chinese Brush Painting Art Society
FILARTS from Filipinas Institute
Malaysian Artists Society & Persatuan Pelukis Wanita
North Kedah Art Society
Photographic Society of Penang
Penang Water Colour Society
Sarawak Fine Arts Society, Kuching
The Penang Teachers' Art Circle

Opening hours 10 AM - 4 PM 
(Closed on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Public Holidays)

COVID B, AN ONLINE AND REAL LIFE EXHIBITION BY LOW CHEE PENG, Hin Bus Depot, Jalan Gurdwara, Until August 31st

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, will be exhibited both indoors (at the artist’s own O Sculpture Studio at Hin Bus Depot) and outdoors and also online here.

CELEBRATIONS AND NOSTALGIA, A SOLO EXHIBITION BY ALEX LEONG, The Art Gallery, 4th floor Bellisa Row, Pulau Tikus, Until August 28th

Penang artist Alex Leong’s 6th solo exhibition features his watercolour paintings of nostalgic after-school moments, and traditional Penang celebrations and festivities. Mondays to Thursdays by appointment only, Friday to Sunday 2pm-5pm. Contact 012 604 1434 or email.


Sarawakian self-taught textile artist Iona Danald won the Spotlight 2019 competition by Penang Art District. Named after a common word spoken in the Bidayuh language, and in the Scottish dialect, ‘Aye’ is a recognition of her familial bonds. The exhibition consists of her Grandmother’s textile remnants from her handbag-making business, Jimmy Macdonald’s family kilt, traditional Bidayuh bells, and vintage wool collected from charity shops. More information email here.

Opening hours: 10.30am-8pm daily. 

MEMORIES OF GEORGE TOWN EXHIBITION, Hin Bus Depot, Jalan Gurdwara, Until August 30th

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

CAPITALISM: AN ANTI-IMPERIALIST POSTER EXHIBITION, Ruang Kongsi, Jalan Sungai Dua, Gelugor, Until 31st August

77 artists from 26 countries and 21 organisations, share their realities.The posters displayed in this physically in this exhibition are part of the the Online Anti-Imperialist Poster Exhibitions jointly curated by International Week of Anti-Imperialist Struggle and Tricontinental: Institute for Social Research. Online poster exhibition here:

Opening hours:
Monday - Friday: 6 pm - 9 pm
Saturday: 11 am - 6 pm
Sunday: 11 am - 2 pm

UNCERTAINTY DISSOLVES EXHIBITION, Museum Galeri Tunku Fauziah, Until 29th August

The gallery at USM is open to the public, and you can visit to look at the works of recent alumni of the department of fine arts at the University. Opening hours Monday to Friday 8am-4pm, Saturday 8am-12pm, closed on Sundays. More information on their Facebook page here.

THE DEATH AND LIFE OF HOKKIEN EXHIBITION, Cheah Kong Si, 8 Armenian St, Until 31st August

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. 

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.


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.

EXPAT COFFEE AND CHAT, Mondays and Saturdays, Brown Pocket, Gurney Paragon, 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 +60 111 240 1654.

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