Sama-Sama: George Town, A Multicultural Art Journey
“Sama-Sama” is conceived as a long-term personal undertaking by Penang-born artist Lefty Julian as a committed documentary comic artist. “Sama-Sama”, as the name indicates, is an art journey aiming to explore and celebrate the spirit of multicultural heritage in Malaysia. Following the trend of contemporary discourses in the field of culture and heritage, the term multiculturalism is often discussed from the perspectives of “connectedness” and “diversity”. As such, artist Lefty Julian adopts a multisensory approach in his art-making process, with the aim to discover tangible and intangible expressions of multicultural connectedness in our society. Besides, in order to highlight cultural diversity, Lefty’s approach is site-specific in order to capture variants of cultural expressions that may differ from place to place.
Lefty chooses his birthplace, George Town, as the pilot site for this art journey. Being away from Penang to work in different countries for decades, he revisits George Town with open senses in order to unpack any preconceptions of the place. For this pilot phase, Lefty works closely with an ethnographer cum cultural practitioner Kuah Li Feng in terms of curatorial framing and sensory methodology. This interdisciplinary collaboration proves to be a good practice as it results in a well-thought and conceptually sound art-making process as well as creative outputs.
“Sama-Sama: George Town, A Multicultural Art Journey” is just the beginning of a journey. Lefty envisions to continue “Sama-Sama” in different places in order to document and spread the true spirit of harmony in Malaysian society.
About the Artist
Penang is a source of endless inspiration for many artists, and one of them is Lefty Julian! This Penang-born artist is known for his Penang’s culture and heritage-themed creations, for example, the popular Marking George Town steel rod sculpture series, Pulau Tikus Community Stories bus stop graphic art series, and Butterworth Heritage Interpretation panel series! He is also a comic book artist with more than 25 years of experience in the industry. He was the senior art director of Gempakstarz, editor-in-chief of Left Pocket Creatives (Shanghai) and The One Academy Penang’s part-time lecturer and course planner.
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