THE Esplanade in George Town was transformed into a glowing playground of lights, rays and projection mapping.
Buildings such as the Town Hall and the City Hall illuminated like never before, captivating visitors with the amazing showcase of 3D art installations.
‘When Night Falls’ is a two-day event, marking the opening of George Town Festival 2019 (GTF2019). The GTF returns for its 10th edition this year from July 13 to 28.
Visitors at the Esplanade were captivated with the projection mapping displays on the facade of the City Hall.
Ten 30-second videos by local and international finalists were showcased to the public. They took part in the open call for projection mapping on the City Hall while embracing the theme ‘When Night Falls’.
Over at the 140-year-old Town Hall, the facade of the building was also creatively transformed using video mapping, befitting the theme ‘World of Fantasy’.
Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said the GTF was inaugurated in 2010 to celebrate George Town’s Unesco Heritage Site status.
“The festival has since drawn thousands of visitors to Penang; and the state has become one of Asia’s leading arts event destinations.
“Arts is an essential component in family building. It can be the ‘binding element’ between families, friends and loved ones.
“This brings us to one of the key highlights of the Penang2030 vision, which is ‘Family-focused’.
“The state government is aware that family is central in the people’s lives.
“The state is also keen to inspire, as what was stated in the Penang2030 vision – ‘A Family-focused Green and Smart State that Inspires the Nation’.
“An inspired population will produce a happy and creative community.
“This year, GTF2019 is also taking the festival out from ‘traditional’ venues to community spaces.
“Community engagement programmes such as Macam Macam Macallum and Macam Macam Berapit welcomed local residents to take part and be part of the festivities besides inviting tourists to discover the cultural heritage of people living in urban neighbourhood,” Chow said during the opening of the GTF2019 tonight.
Chow thanked the organising committee members, volunteers and artists for making GTF2019 accessible to people from all walks of life.
State Tourism Development, Arts, Culture and Heritage (PETACH) Committee chairman Yeoh Soon Hin said PETACH was set to rebrand Penang’s tourism sector through campaigns and initiatives to remain competitive in the global travel market.
‘Experience Penang Year 2020’ or EPY2020 is PETACH’s latest tourism campaign, aimed at bringing more exciting features and happenings to Penang in the year 2020 and beyond,” Yeoh said.
He added that festival is a fast-growing tourism segment that could help position the state as a tourism, heritage, culture and arts hub in the region.
George Town World Heritage Incorporated (GTWHI) general manager Dr Ang Ming Chee said the GTF was initiated by GTWHI as a catalyst for creating a sustainable and liveable city by engaging and involving the people.
Ang said the GTF has evolved to be one of the most significant and forward-looking festivals in the region.
Aside from the projection and video mapping, visitors were also treated to performances by a sand artist, ballerinas on stilts, ballet dancers, glowing drummers, Compagnie des Quidams’ FierS à Cheval visual odyssey and many more.
Also present were Chow’s wife Tan Lean Kee, several state assemblymen and GTF festival director Jack Wong.
Story by Christopher Tan
Pix by Ahmad Adil Muhamad and Christopher Tan
Video by Noor Siti Nabilah Noorazis