Art, music, events and entertainment in Penang

This week in Penang - jazz returns to Penang with the Jazz on the Jetty mini-festival. Details of the concerts and film screenings are all in this email. Plus lots of art workshops and other things to do this week.

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FITNESS - TABATA, Online, Wednesday 16th September 5pm

Tabata is an interval style workout where you push yourself as hard as you can for 20 seconds and rest for 10 seconds. A great way to improve muscular endurance as well as cardiovascular.

Free of charge, to join this workout, click here.

FILM - BORN TO BE BLUE, Hikayat, 226 Beach St Wednesday 16th September 6pm

Part of this weekend’s mini-jazz festival. Feature film starring Ethan Hawke, Carmen Ejogo about jazz legend Chet Baker searching for love and redemption when he is approached to star in a film about his own troubled life in order to mount a comeback in the late 1960s.
Screening and refreshments RM15 (RM20 for back-to-back screenings).
Booking here essential.

FILM - LEVIATHAN, The Screenery, 81 Lebuh China, Wednesday 16th & Sunday 20th September 7pm-10pm

2012 experimental documentary film about the North American fishing industry. Peter Howell of the Toronto Star said the film "plunges us into the sights and sounds of this visceral business", using "[t]iny waterproof cameras that could be clipped or rested upon people, fish or objects…to capture the film’s raw images and natural sounds. Edited together into a non-linear and virtually wordless whole, it creates a briny immersive effect that is almost hallucinatory.

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

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.

FILM - MILES DAVIS: BIRTH OF THE COOL, Hikayat, 226 Beach St Wednesday 16th September 8.30pm

Part of this weekend’s mini-jazz festival. In this documentary, musicians, scholars, family and friends reflect on the life of Miles Davis to reveal the man behind the legend. Full access to Davis’s estate provides rare footage and photos, outtakes from recording sessions and new interviews.Winner, Music Movies Competition, Cleveland International Film Festival
Nominated, Best Music Film, Grammy Awards
Screening and refreshments RM15 (RM20 for back-to-back screenings).
Booking here essential.

FILM - CHASING TRANE, Hikayat, 226 Beach St, Thursday 17th September 6pm

Part of this weekend’s mini-jazz festival. This documentary, is an exploration of the global power and impact of the music of John Coltrane where the passions, experiences and forces that shaped his life and revolutionary sounds are revealed.Nominated, Outstanding Documentary Feature, Black Reel Awards
Screening and refreshments RM15 (RM20 for back-to-back screenings).
Booking here essential.

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

FILM - ROUND MIDNIGHT, Hikayat, 226 Beach St, Thursday 17th September 8.30pm

Part of this weekend’s mini-jazz festival. A feature film starring Dexter Gordon, François Cluzet about a French music lover who befriends a once-great American jazz artist and attempts to save him from self-destruction in this moody drama. Saxophonist Dexter Gordon portrays Dale Turner, a fictional musician inspired by a number of famed jazz figures, including Bud Powell and Lester Young.
Screening and refreshments RM15 (RM20 for back-to-back screenings).
Booking here essential.

FILM - THELONIOUS MONK: STRAIGHT, NO CHASER, Hikayat, 226 Beach St, Friday 18th September 4pm

Part of this weekend’s mini-jazz festival, Jazz master Thelonious Monk is the subject of this feature-length documentary Interviews with Monk’s friends, family and co-workers shed some light on his personal travails and political difficulties. The film is highlighted by precious clips of Monk in concert, on the road, and boppin’ and jammin’ during studio sessions. Screening and refreshments RM15
Booking here essential.

WORKSHOP - ART JAM DEMO, Online, Friday 18th September 7pm

Free demonstration of acrylic painting with Facebook Messenger room. Join here.

WORKSHOP - DRAINS, SMALL PONDS AND WETLANDS, Online, Friday 18th September, 8pm-9pm

Join Mr Affan Nasaruddin as he explains the importance of drains, small ponds and wetlands and ways to monitor and conserve them. Affan is a co-founder of UM Water Warriors. He completed his undergraduate degree at the Department of Geology, University of Malaya and has a Masters in Environmental Management from Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia. His interest lies in water bodies restoration, sustainable innovation and environmental education.

Free of charge. Register here.

CONCERT - SWINGING SIXTY, Jetty 35, 35 Weld Quay, Friday 18th September 8pm

Part of this weekend’s mini-jazz festival, the first concert, Swinging Sixty, will be presented by Junji Delfino with the WVC Trio. The WVC Malaysian Jazz Ensemble is one of Southeast Asia’s leading contemporary jazz bands and won two awards at the BOH Cameronian Arts Awards 2020. Junji Delfino is a vocalist of critical and popular acclaim, and a gifted songwriter, lyricist and composer, She has released two albums; her solo album Here I Am received rave reviews both locally and internationally. She will be singing jazz standards and more. Tickets cost RM 70 (RM 50 for concessions) or you can buy a package for all 3 concerts (RM 170/120). Buy tickets at Hikayat, or online here.

LIVE MUSIC -TRIBUTE TO MEN OF SOUL, Online, Friday 18th & Saturday 19th September 9pm

Jao Tim KL’s live performance features Tribute to Men of Soul with Pete Kallang & Clinton Jerome on vocals, H’ng Lih on bass, Abbas Munawwar on drums, Han Yun on guitar and Sylvia Wong on piano. Limited to 40 live audience members, we in Penang can watch on 
FB Live here  or YouTube Live here.

VOLUNTEER - BEACH CLEAN UP, Teluk Bayu Beach, Sungai Batu (Bayan Lepas), Saturday 19th September 8.30am-10.30am

Clean up the beach and spread awareness of caring for the environment. Register here.

ART DEMONSTRATION - PENANG lN WATERCOLOUR, Online, Saturday 19th September 4pm-5.30pm

Renowned Penang artist Khoo Cheang Jin is doing live watercolour paintings of 8 Penang scenes on Saturday afternoons. These are not be the usual tourist hot spots but lesser known beautiful places in Penang. Last week was Chowrasta market. So join Cheang Jin and explore with him, live on Facebook here.

CONCERT - JAZZ JAM, Jetty 35, 35 Weld Quay, Saturday 19th September 4pm

Part of this weekend’s mini-jazz festival, the jazz jam features the WVC trio (see above) joined by some of Penang’s jazz musicians. The jam is free of charge for musicians and listeners to attend.

CONCERT - LIFE IS A CABARET, Jetty 35, 35 Weld Quay, Saturday 19th September 8pm

Part of this weekend’s mini-jazz festival, the second concert. Life Is a Cabaret, features the WVC trio (see Swinging Sixty description) joined by Janet Lee, who specialises in vintage music, regularly performing great songs from the 1920s to 1960s, including American songbook standards, Broadway show tunes, operatic arias, art songs, bossa nova and Shanghai jazz. Tickets cost RM 70 (RM 50 for concessions) or you can buy a package for all 3 concerts (RM 170/120). Buy tickets at Hikayat, or online here.

JUNIOR RAINFOREST EXPLORATION, Penang Hill, Sunday 20th September, 9am-12pm

Let the young explore the magic of the rainforest and learn to value the importance of nature. Age group 5-15 years. RM 50 per person, meet at the Dataran, Penang Hill. Register 016-4201189. More information on Facebook here.

NATURE WALK - MAP THE LANGURS’ HOME, Tropical Spice Garden, Sunday 20th September 9am-12pm

Explore the garden and learn about the travelling routes, food plants, and friends of Dusky Langurs through following the footsteps of Dusky Jie Jie. Experience the garden habitat of the langurs, appreciate nature, support conservation and learn new skills. For parents and children 5 years & over. RM 50 includes the entrance fee to Tropical Spice Garden, knowledge sharing, souvenirs, and a donation for langur research & conservation efforts in Penang.

Spaces limited, WhatsApp Uncle Teo (012-4774014) to register.

FILM - I CALLED HIM MORGAN, Hikayat, 226 Beach St, Sunday 20th September 4pm

Part of this weekend’s mini-jazz festival, a documentary about the 1972 murder of 33-year-old jazz trumpet star Lee Morgan by his common-law wife, Helen, during a gig at a club in New York City. The murder sent shockwaves through the jazz community, and the memory of the event still haunts the people who knew the Morgans. Helen’s revealing audio ‘testimony’ acts as a refrain throughout the film, which draws together a wealth of archival photographs and footage, and incredible jazz music to tell the ill-fated pair’s story.

Screening and refreshments RM15
Booking here essential.

CONCERT - MUSIC OF WORDS, Jetty 35, 35 Weld Quay, Sunday 20th September 8pm

The grand finale of the mini-festival will see the WVC Trio back on stage with Junji Delfino, Janet Lee (see previous concerts for descriptions) and Penang’s own Gareth Richards (editor, founder of Gerakbudaya Penang, intellectual and local personality). This unique concert will combine the worlds of music and words, of jazz and literature, together. Readings from Haruki Murakami, Geoff Dyer, William Shakespeare, Li Bai, W.H. Auden and Dylan Thomas, with songs and music, will explore rhythmic propulsion, melodic contours and emotional charge. Tickets cost RM 70 (RM 50 for concessions) or you can buy a package for all 3 concerts (RM 170/120). Buy tickets at Hikayat, or online here.


As a continuation of the exhibition recently held at Ruang Kongsi, Capitalism: An Anti-Imperialist Poster Exhibition, they will hold an online conversation between artist-activists on art and social movement. The online talk will gather friends from the Global South across Asia, Africa and Latin America to share and discuss their experiences and views on the interconnections between art and social movements in challenging the capitalist system.
Zoom Meeting Room 899 8979 5546 (Password: 436696) 
Facebook Live Streaming at Ruang Kongsi

FILM - ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW, The Screenery, 81 Lebuh China, Tuesday 22nd & Saturday 26th September 7pm-10pm

Cult 1975 musical comedy horror film about a young  couple whose car breaks down in the rain near a castle where they seek help. The castle is occupied by strangers in elaborate costumes celebrating an annual convention. Head of the house is Dr. Frank N. Furter, an apparently mad scientist is actually an alien transvestite who creates a living muscle man in his laboratory. The couple are seduced separately by the mad scientist and eventually released by the servants who take control

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

TALK - LET’S TALK ABOUT VACCINATION, Online, Friday 25th September 8pm-9.30pm

Dr. Li Zi-Huey is the Preventive Medicine Doctor from Penang Adventist Hospital. She will talk about:
1. why need to get vaccinated?
2. Does government provide free vaccination?
3. Your suggestion to public to get what vaccination?
4. Side effect of getting vaccination.
5. Myths and Fact
6. Vaccination effectiveness
7. Vaccination in children

Slots are limited to 100 people for the Zoom session:
ID: 3043048563, Password: 2592020

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 admission

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.



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 online here.

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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