Promise of a Renaissance


More has been happening in the art world in Penang in recent years than anyone could have expected. Whether this new energy can be put to effective use is the big question.

Yes, much has been happening, and is still happening since July 7, 2008, when Penang was christened a Unesco Heritage City. Feel-good vibes not felt since the Chong Eu era are becoming evident.

New art spaces are appearing... in hotels, art residencies, and etc., fuelled by the George Town Festival (with a reworks finale), the PSMAG II, the 1Malaysia Contemporary Art Tourism festival and trendy contemporary lifestyle retail outlets; as well as creative young talents and returnees with specialised expertise.

But what does all this amount to?
Will it make Penang a more liveable, more loveable metropolis? A green and eco-friendly city? A playground for the rich and famous moving up the value chain to become a Riviera of the Orient? A “cat” (cultural and arts transformation) hub (apart from the other “cat” – “competence, accountability and transparency”)?

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