Home News
Malaysia Team Internship in Penang: exploring the arts and culture of George Town

Top 4 hot spots.

Photo by Shannyn Robbins

We, Alex De Vries, Catherine Oke, Nima Shahrabifarahani and Shannyn Robbins, recently completed a two-week team internship in Penang.  During this time we got to explore the arts and culture of George Town. Here are our top 4:


As part of the George Town Festival, Ernest Zacharevic was commissioned to produce many wonderful pieces of artwork all around the streets of George Town, which still remain and can be seen today. (OnlyPenang, 2017) Old walls gained a new lease of life and provided an attraction for many tourists to visit. (Time Out Penang, 2017) Some artworks allow visitors to interact even allowing them sit to be a part of the masterpieces. Many artists have been inspired by Ernest Zacharevic to create many more artworks around the walls of George Town.

George Town Festival

George Town Festival was first initiated when George Town was listed as a World Heritage Site in order to promote Arts and Heritage within the town. (George Town Festival, 2017) The festival has blossomed into an annual month long tradition that celebrates Penang's passion for music, culture and performing arts. It now is considered to be within the top 2 festivals in Penang. The excitement for promotion of art and culture of the town doesn't end with the festival itself as the staff dedicate their time and passions all year round, and are located right in the heart of George Town.

Steel Rod Sculptures

Whilst walking the laneways of George Town, it is hard to miss the incredible steel rod artwork which lines the walls to encapsulate stories of the town from years prior. The artwork was created by Sculpture At Work, who are a Kuala Lumpur-based company, which won 'The Marking George Town' in April 2010 (BC Lim, 2017). In total there are 24 pieces found across George Town, and provide a comical view of the culture within Penang. Two of the most interesting pieces which should be found are Jimmy Choo and Cheating husband.

China House

For those that have a passion for amazing food with a culture hit, China House on Beach Street is a must visit, ensuring there are a few hours free to experience it all! The building is a 'traditional compound of 3 heritage buildings, linked by an open air courtyard and converted into 14 spaces' (Chinahouse SDN BHD, 2017). The enormous cake display is only the beginning of sweetness the building provides; with dining areas, outdoor courtyard and lofts of art and theatre presentations.

Time Out Penang, 2017, George Town Festival 2016 | Things to do in Penang, Accessed 27 Jan 2017 <http://www.timeout.com/penang/things-to-do/george-town-festival-2016>

Chinahouse SDN BHD, 2017, ChinaHouse Official Website, Accessed 27 Jan 2017, <http://www.chinahouse.com.my/>

George Town Festival‎, 2017, ‏‎George Town Festival‎‏ Facebook Page, Accessed 27 Jan 2017, <https://www.facebook.com/pg/GeorgeTownFestival/about/?ref=page_internal>

OnlyPenang, 2017, Penang Street Art, Wall Painting at Penang – OnlyPenang.com, <http://www.onlypenang.com/penang-attractions/penang-street-art-wall-painting-at-penang/>

BC Lim, 2017, Street Art of Penang, MyPenang, Accessed 27 Jan 2017, <http://www.mypenang.my/index.php/penang-attractions/284-penang-street-art/301-street-art-of-penang>

The students participating in the Malaysia Team Internship were supported via the New Colombo Plan. The New Colombo Plan mobility program is open to Australian Undergraduate students who wish to undertake work-based experiences in the Indo-Pacific region. The Program is part of the Australian Government’s aim to facilitate young people’s engagement in the region.

If you would like to learn more about the New Colombo Plan Scholarship Program, visit the Department of Foreign Affairs website.

Posted in News