What was Penang’s cultural history? How does this help us to understand the role that visual and performing arts play in Penang’s society today? What is the future we want to imagine for Penang’s art scene? Great New World is a one-day symposium with the aim to discover the world narratives that can be told from Penang. It is a ground-up initiative to discover Penang’s art historical consciousness over a series of presentations and conversations.
The symposium provides a loosely chronological overview of Penang’s art history in order to ask what new areas and frameworks of research can help enrich our understanding of Penang’s artistic past, present and future. Invited speakers will survey current scholarship on Penang’s art history as well as identifying knowledge gaps and prompt possible directions for future scholarship.
For the longest time, the art history of Malaysia has always focused on Kuala Lumpur as the centre of activity. Join us on this occasion as we decenter this commonplace narrative, to discover what we can learn about Penang’s artistic past, in order to understand what is happening in Penang today, so that we can begin to recognise new horizons for Penang’s artistic future.