‘The Art Showdown’ gives artists a chance to showcase their works

ASPIRING artists will have a great opportunity to showcase their works in an exhibition, entitled ‘The Art Showdown’, at ChinaHouse in George Town from Feb 1 to 15.

‘The Art Showdown’ is part of Bayu Gallery’s first attempt at supporting upcoming and young artists in Malaysia to take part in an exhibition alongside their mentors.

“I hope the exhibition will inspire and empower art students and art enthusiasts to pursue the career pathway of an artist. It also serves as a platform for artists not only in Penang but also in Malaysia to encourage one another,” state Tourism Development, Heritage, Culture and Arts Committee chairman Yeoh Soon Hin told reporters in Komtar today.

“The organisers are still receiving artworks and hope to receive submissions by artists from various age groups without discrimination.

“Besides the government, the private sector plays a crucial role to boost arts. I have the confidence that Penang will be the hub for young artists in the region.”

He said in Europe, there are a lot of art galleries or museums, some of which contain thousands of artworks and hoped that Penang could be the art centre in South East Asia in the future.

Yeoh (third from left) showing the ‘The Art Showdown’ information on the screen to the media. With him are (from left) Kee, Rebecca, Calvin and Ng.

“They are a lot of talented artists in Penang but they don’t have a platform. My office will support more activities, especially for the young artists, so that the world can see more of them.

“There’s an increase in tourists from China, South Korea, Japan, South East Asia and Europe. This is very encouraging as we give attention to the Tourism Master Plan, with art and culture playing important roles apart from street food promotion.”

He also praised organising chairman Rebecca Yeoh and co-organiser Calvin Chan for stepping forward to hold the exhibition. Also present were Penang Art District project executives Stephanie Kee and Kenny Ng.

Rebecca said they accept all kinds of hand-drawn artworks except digital art and are open to submission of as many as 100 pieces of artworks. The prices range from RM300 to RM900 per piece.

“A lot of us, like those studying abroad, don’t have the connections in Penang. It’s also a challenge for us as our people are not properly educated to appreciate art,” said Rebecca, who holds a Masters degree in Arts and Cultural Management from King’s College London in England.

Chan said the exhibition could help inspire more young artists to believe in themselves.

“Penang is strategically located to be recognised as one of the art hubs. There are a lot of hidden talents. It may take some time for the artists to put Penang on the world map. It has to start somewhere and YB (Yeoh Soon Hin) has done a lot,” he said.

Story by K.H. Ong
Pix by Alissala Thian