Art, music, events and entertainment in Penang

In week three of Penang's CMCO there are more online events than ever - especially with the George Town Literary Festival being entirely virtual this year. Look for details of online book launches and talks below.  You can join the online exhibition and auction of paintings by members of the Penang Watercolour Society, watch a musical online, or attend a real life workshop.

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TALK - SURVIVING PROSTATE CANCER, Online, Wednesday November 25th 3pm

After skin cancer, prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men. About 1 in 7 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime, mostly in older men. Join Consultant Urologist Mr S. Sritharan as he talks about prostate cancer, the relative survival rate (it’s actually pretty good) and how to manage the disease. Watch free of charge on Facebook live here.


There is an assumption that Southeast Asia is generally peaceful though there are sporadic outbursts of violence in certain countries. But the reality is that Southeast Asia has a history of violent conflicts and today violence is still being used in the hope of bringing about change.

This discussion will share the history of mass violence in Southeast Asia, and current episodes of mass atrocities and how they are being ameliorated.

Speaker Braema Mathi (Mathiaparanam) is a teacher, journalist and researcher, and was a Global Fellow on a joint programme called Holocaust, Genocide and Atrocity Crimes.

Register for the free of charge webinar here.

COOKING WORKSHOP - LEBANESE ROAST LUNCH, Tropical Spice Garden, Teluk Bahang, Thursday 26th November, 10am-1pm

Cook Lebanese Roast Lunch with Faten of Athene Spices:

Za’atar Roast Chicken – Lebanese Za’atar & Garlic Salt

Pomegranate and Parsley Salad – Hot Chick Spicy Salt

Butter Rice - Hadhrami Mandi

Everyone has their own socially distant work station and will make each dish from start to finish - before sitting down and eating it.

RM150 per person. Suitable for Adults & Teens. Limited to 6 people per session.CMCO SOPs will be observed! Email or WhatsApp +60164570221 to reserve your space

BOOK LAUNCH - RAHMAN’S BIG BREAK, Online, Thursday November 26th 8pm

Set in 1920s Penang, this children’s book highlights the rich tapestry of Malaysian performing arts. Author David Chin and Penang-born illustrator, Leong Wai Khong to bring the characters and surroundings to life.

The book launch will be screened free of charge on Facebook live here.

WORKSHOP - DECORATE YOUR OWN WREATH, 5.4 North, 75 Lorong Stewart, Thursday & Friday 26th & 27th November by appointment

Decorate a wreath for your door or for advent. Ready made fir wreath and all materials provided. Talented Pam will assist you to put it together.

RM180 per person - subject to availability of wreaths. Email or WhatsApp +60164570221 to reserve your space


Two photographers Jörg Brüggemann and Tobias Kruse ask what kind of a relationship “friendship” is by photographing each other and observing friendships in public space  to find emblematic images of closeness and distance, joy and sorrow, love and competition, trust and doubt, giving and taking, strength and weakness, sharing and separating.

See their work and presentation free of charge on Facebook live here.

BOOK LAUNCH - PAPER & TEXT, Online, Friday November 27th 4.30pm

Two academics, a publisher and a bookseller share their thoughts on the state of the Malaysian book trade in this post-pandemic era on the edge of a permanent digital transformation. seeks to resolve these questions and more. A discussion with Paper & Text‘s editor William Tham and the contributors.

The book launch will be screened free of charge on Facebook live here.


Great works of art can transcend centuries, and like their creators, can often become mythical in their own right. Yet art can often seem like a bastion of elitism; a deep reading of art is crucial to understanding it, but this is often an investment in time and effort. Can or should art bedone for its own sake, or does it have a pedagogical or social role? If yes, then how should art engage with the wider world in terms of class, community and of course literature? Victor Chin and Eric Goh answer these questions, and more.

By Zoom, RM 10, buy tickets here.

MUSICAL - ONE MINUTE TO MIDNIGHT, Online, Friday-Sunday November 27th-29th 8pm

With upbeat music, high-energy dancing, and snappy dialogue, this Family Musical brings a comic twist to a rather sad story with a hopeful ending. The all Penang-based youthful cast filled the Performing Arts Centre of Penang (penangpac) with laughter and tears in 2019 when performing this story of how Mother Earth, also known as Gaia, becomes angry over the out-of-control plastic pollution problem in her oceans.

Purchase tickets (RM 20) online here.

TALK - BALANCING THE BIENNIALS, Online, Saturday November 28th 5pm-7pm

Part of Gallery Weekend KL’s “Luminary” series, a talk by Patrick Flores, Curator of the Singapore Biennale 2019 & Venice Biennale 2022. He will share his experience andl touch upon questions such as the criteria of artist selection, deciding on themes, the steps large-scale biennales are taking to adapt to the new norm, as well as covering his current and pending projects.

Free of charge. Register for the zoom meeting here.

TALK - WRITING RACE, Online, Saturday November 28th 8pm

One common Malaysian and Singaporean problem is our love for boxes, for putting people within categories. In Singapore, we have the infamous CIMO – Chinese, Indian, Malay and Others – it is this inescapable formula of categorisation that author Melissa De Silva confronted in her award-winning creative nonfiction collection, ‘Others’ is not a Race. Sharmilla Ganesan and Lee Chwi Lynn of BFM speak to Melissa about her writing journey, how her upbringing and experiences have shaped here, as well as how her work resonates with people on both sides of the border. Melissa De Silva is the author of ‘Others’ is Not a Race, winner of the Singapore Literature Prize 2018 (Creative Nonfiction), about Eurasians in Singapore.

By Zoom, RM 10, buy tickets here.

TALK - THE MALAYSIAN WOMEN”S MANIFESTO, Online, Saturday November 28th 8.30pm

Witness the stories, lessons and visual journey of five Malaysian women in the literary arts, from one playwright’s battle against the banning of ‘The Vagina Monologues’ to a trans woman writer’s journey of wrangling her fears into text, this session will be a feminist shake-up on the very definition of being a Malaysian woman. Audiences are invited to participate in the discussion on how we can continue to promote literacy, improve accessibility and create a safer literary ecosystem for Malaysian women writers to flourish. This session will consist of five presentations followed by an interactive fireside chat, conducted in English and Bahasa Malaysia.

The book launch will be screened free of charge on Facebook live here.

TALK - DIASPORIC WRITING, Online, Saturday November 28th 11am

The subject of diasporic writing has gained traction in recent years, especially so in North American literature. The subject of Asian heritage is trendy, and writers like Amy Tan, Madeleine Thien and Joy Kogawa have broken out into the consciousness of the wider reading public. But for all the focus on telling a more human side to stories of migration, it also forces writers into boxes, becoming permanent Others who are neither here nor there. Canadian author Vincent Ternida talks about his work, how he fits into the Canadian writing scene, as well as how his background and experiences growing up in Asia before permanently moving abroad continue to define him.

The talk will be screened free of charge on Facebook live here.

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.
For more details on the schedule and how to join, WhatsApp 018-2827567 or drop us an email.

TALK - RECONNECTING - MUSEUMS, CREATING & EVENTS, Online, Sunday November 29th 10am-12pm

Part of Gallery Weekend KL’s “Luminary” series, a conversation between Wanda Nanibush, Curator of Indigenous Art, Art Gallery Ontario, Leeza Ahmady, from Asia Contemporary Art, New York and Elias Yamani Ismail, an established Malaysian Artist. They will discuss the ways their respective practices have adapted to unique 21st century challenges. They will talk about artistic and curating practice in light of the pandemic and racial injustice, and effective outreach.
Free of charge. Register for the zoom meeting here.

TALK - CROSSTALK: ON SCIENCE AND CULTURE, Online, Sunday November 29th 2pm

Tune in as art-science creator, science and technology studies scholar, Clarissa Lee, discusses not just science fiction but also artscience, speculative design and the degree to which science is imagined in popular culture — in virtual and augmented spaces, from small screens to big screens, inspired by books while also inspiring them in kind. And looming above this is the spectre of our colonial past, and how we turn existing history on its head in the journey towards a decolonised future. She is joined by thriller/ science fiction author C. W. Shern.

By Zoom, RM 10, buy tickets here.

BOOK LAUNCH - SUPERFICIALITY, Online, Sunday November 29th 4pm

 Lin Dee’s debut short story collection, in which a young doctor comes to terms with the gruelling life of the medical profession, struggling with ethics and responsibilities, a retiree navigates the petty squabbles and rivalries in her Tai Chi group, a part-time moneylender must face the consequences of his decisions as he juggles his day job, and an avowed dancer questions the thin line between committing to art and selling out in the cutthroat world of his profession. This collection questions the superficiality at the heart of modern Malaysian life and the possibilities that lie beyond.

The book launch will be screened free of charge on Facebook live here.

TALK - CURATING & COLLECTING, WAYS OF SEEING, Online, Sunday November 29th 5pm-7pm

Part of Gallery Weekend KL’s “Luminary” series, a conversation between Edward Gibbs, Chairman and Head of Department, Middle East and India, London Sotheby's, Shabbir Hussain Mustafa, Senior Curator at the National Gallery Singapore and Singapore Art Museum and Aaron Seeto, Director of Jakarta’s Museum MACAN about collecting and curating practices, how they have changed and how auctions, curators, and audiences might adapt to and what to expect from the ‘new normal’. They will talk about how social restrictions have affected their respective practices, and what the general audience can expect for the future of art auctioning and exhibitions.

Free of charge. Register for the zoom meeting meeting here

ANNUAL LIGHTING OF THE CHRISTMAS TREE, Online, Tuesday 1st December, 7.30pm

The CMCO has forced the cancellation of the E&O Hotel's Annual Lighting of the Christmas Tree event - but the good news is that you can now see the lighting of the tree in the Heritage Wing on Facebook Live here and Instagram Live here instead.

TALK - MANIFEST YOUR DREAM LIFE, Online, Tuesday 1st December, 7.30pm

Lean-In Penang’s monthly meeting on using a a vision board to help stay focused, inspired, and aligned with your goals, with speaker Sarah Samy. Sarah has over 15 years of Sales, Training & Coaching experience is also a Certified Practitioner of both Neuro-Linguistic Enneagram & Programming and a Certified Success Principles Trainer. Free of charge, register here.

LEARNING - THE CHIP WEEKENDER, Online, Friday--Sunday December 4th-6th

Curious about our messy modern world? Enjoy learning with others? Join the CHIP Weekender, a beginner-friendly liberal-arts-style online weekend modern humanities course.

Over the Dec 4-6 weekend, there will be a mix of live online sessions (Fri 7-8pm, Sat+Sun 2-6pm) and self-paced learning over nights + mornings.

Example topics: Mapping Modernity, Becoming Modern, Meaning In The Age Of McJobs (more online)

RM 180 per person. Learn more and resister here.

BAKING WORKSHOP - MILLE-FEUILLE CAKE, Tropical Spice Garden, Teluk Bahang, Friday 4th December, 10am-1pm

Learn to bake a Mille-feuille cake. All ingredients and equipment will be provided. Everyone has their own work station and will make the cake from start to finish - before sitting down to sample it.
RM160 per person. Suitable for Adults & Teens. Limited to 6 people per session.CMCO SOPs will be observed! Email or WhatsApp +60164570221 to reserve your space

COOKING WORKSHOP - HAND-MADE PAN MEE, Tropical Spice Garden, Teluk Bahang, Saturday 5th December, 10am-1pm

Learn how to make Dry Pan Mee with Fishball & Clam Soup and Chilli Condiment. RM 136 per person for Spice Family members (non-SF: RM170). To register click here and scroll down for the link. Price includes a complimentary jar of chilli condiment

THEATRE - THE OTHER STORY OF AH-Q, Online, Saturday 5th December 8pm & Sunday 6th December 3pm

A staged reading in Mandarin with English subtitles of a play inspired by Lu Xin’s classical story. 7 actors perform 20 roles, characters of different statuses, examining what a social revolution could bring: the dilemmas, the rage, the grief. Tickets (RM 23) can be purchased online here.

COOKING WORKSHOP - MALAY CLASSICS, Tropical Spice Garden, Teluk Bahang, Saturday 6th December, 10am-1pm

Learn how to make Herbed & Spiced Fried Chicken and Pumpkin & Spinach Curry. RM 136 per person for Spice Family members (non-SF: RM170). To register click here and scroll down for the link.

HEALTH & WELFARE - WAIT PAUSE, Online, Until December 12th

A social media campaign for the mental and physical well being of the online community of young people in Malaysia during the pandemic, with posts and activities to help with physical health, mental well-being and social welfare. Find out more on Facebook here and Instagram here.

There will be a webinar on Saturday December 12th at 8pm entitled  'Combating Burnout: How to Overcome Physical and Mental Exhaustion'. register for the free of charge webinar here.


MUSIC - ROMANTIC JAZZY DATE NIGHT, penangpac, POSTPONED to Friday-Sunday January 15th-17th 8.30pm

A tribute to evergreen romantic jazz tunes enjoyed by music lovers for generations. With masterpieces such as "Sway", "Fly Me to the Moon" and "Getaran Jiwa", this will be a special night to relax and unwind to some of the greatest hits by best known talents in the industry. Led by Mr Jerome Quah from the Northern Jazz Unit and accompanied by musicians of Penang Jazz Society, the concert will feature Ms. Kirana Kay from Kuala Lumpur as the vocalist, Zhariff Zaki on the Saxophone and Cikgu Zaki on bass.

Tickets cost RM 45 (RM 38 for concessions) and are on sale at the box office or online here.


The Penang Philharmonic Orchestra presents its first hour-long virtual concert, with pieces by small orchestral and choral groups. Watch on YouTube here.

EUROPEAN FILM FESTIVAL, Online, Until 30th November

A curated selection of award-winning films from across Europe, this year available to watch online instead of in the cinema. Register for your free pass here.


Taking street food off the streets and onto your screens, the first-of-its-kind Tiger Street Food Virtual Festival promises 88 street food vendors across 4 weekends, you get to order festival-exclusive dishes and Tiger Beer straight to your doorsteps. Expect a fully immersive, interactive 3D environment where you explore the virtual streets and encounter fun challenges. For more details and to register click here.


WATERCOLOUR ART AUCTION, Online, First & Third Week of the Month

An online exhibition venue For the paintings of the members of the Penang Water Colour Society. All are welcome to join the Facebook group here to view and purchase artworks, and participate in the twice monthly online auction.

GROWTH BY LOVE LEE LILY, Viva Victoria, 179 Lebuh Victoria, Until December 6th

An exhibition of Penang-based Dot Mandala artist Love Lee Lily’s latest creations. Open daily except Mondays from 12.30pm-9pm. The artist will be at the exhibition every Saturday from 1pm to 4pm to meet visitors and answer questions about her work.

STILL BY SHARON KOW, G Art Gallery, G Hotel, Until December 21st

Renowned local self-taught pencil artist Sharon Kow Siew Suan presents Still, a series of artworks that depict a state of mental quietude. Sharon believes that “Stillness speaks”, as we take time to be still and to quiet the mind, we can achieve a clear introspection of our thoughts and emotions. Her artworks are intricately illustrated using just colour pencils.

Free of charge, open 24 hours (G Hotel mezzanine floor)

THE THREAD OF LIFE, EXHIBITION BY DAYANG ArtSpace, ChinaHouse, Beach St, Until November 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.


FITNESS - JANCING, Location varies within Timur Laut, Fridays 6pm

For people who hate jogging, love dancing and want to have fun while keeping fit. Free of charge. Numbers limited. What’sapp Lusy to register: 011 2430 8874 

BUDDHA BEAT YOGA, Soundmaker Studio, 18 Lebuh Bishop, Sundays, 10am-12pm and 4pm-6pm

Flow with light-repetitive sets yoga, serenaded by the meditative live rhythms of Buddha Beat. Book through Facebook Messaging or Whatsapp 017-4287327. Limited to 12 people per session.
Bring your own mat.
First session for free. Otherwise RM25 per session or RM80 per month  for 4 sessions).

GUIDED TOUR OF CHEONG FATT TZE BLUE MANSION, Lebuh Leith, Thursday-Sunday 11am & 2pm

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.

SUNSET WALK, The Habitat, Penang Hill, Daily 5.30pm

The Habitat Penang Hill Sunset Walk is available during CMCO for group bookings only (maximum 10 people). Watch the sunset from Curtis Crest, the highest point in Penang, and enjoy a guided walk with a guide to point out the nocturnal jungle life to you, RM 95 per adult and RM 65 per child for a guided tour. email to book.

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.

FITNESS - TABATA, Online, Every Wednesday 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.

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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