Inspirations from the Southeast — Penang, Malaysia


Liu Soung | 2022 | Taiwan | 58 mins

Inspirations from the Southeast is a documentary by filmmaker Liu Soung that features the rich and fascinating cultures, histories and heritages of various cities across Southeast Asia. The documentary hopes to open a new window into Southeast Asia for the Taiwanese people, to spur reflection, fresh perspectives and appreciation of its diverse, integrated and splendid culture(s).

Located in the south of Taiwan, with numerous clusters of islands converging, the region has facilitated the growth of multiple societies across four ancient civilisations. Having played a pivotal role in maritime trade, the region is mysterious, glittering and colourful. This has resulted in the complex forms of multiculturalism and the development of its unique identity and urban outlook.

Through these stories, viewers learn the wisdom of Southeast Asian countries, their histories and see the significance of preserving one’s culture. Audiences are given insight into how they preserve their traditional life, customs and beliefs parallel to modernization. Blending the old with the new, these “living heritage cities” in the region are co-created by people from all walks of life. Whether teachers, volunteer workers, architects, government officials, or aristocrats, people here see heritage preservation as their collective mission and work to make their unique culture(s) shine.

Penang, Malaysia

The diversity of Penang is not just evident in its cultural events and rituals. There is more that can be experienced and learned through their history, architecture, religions and everyday living. As a UNESCO World Heritage City, the residents of George Town aim to make their city a ‘living heritage.’ Between the stained walls of the street houses, the smells of various spices in local markets, or the sound of the Songkok maker paddling the sewing machine, all these aspects are essential elements that continuously make the old city of Penang new.

Post-Screening Director’s Talk

Liu Soung in conversation with Alice Ru Hwa Chiu, the Chief Producer of Inspirations from the Southeast.

About Liu Soung

Documentary film producer ǀ Director

Adjunct Assistant Professor,
Department of Filmmaking,
Taipei National University of the Arts.

A graduate of the London International Film School (now London Film School), Liu Soung has had an illustrious career as a director and film producer. While based in New York, he worked for a post-production house and took part in editing National Geographic and HBO documentary films. In 1989, after returning to Taiwan, he founded BOW WOW Productions and has since dedicated himself to producing and directing TV documentaries.

Awards & Honours

2019 The Eternal Farm Villages series, Golden Bell Award for Best Director in Non-Drama Category
2013 National Treasure in Focus series, Golden Bell Award for Best Educational and Cultural Programme
2009 Yellow Sheep River, Best Documentary Feature Award, Taipei International Film Festival
2009 Natural Formosa series, Golden Bell Award for Best Director in Non-Drama Category
2001 The Vision of a City series, Golden Bell Award for Best Director in Non-Drama Category

About Alice Ru Hwa Chiu

Secretary General, Institute of Historical Resources Management, Taiwan.

As a pioneer in heritage conservation, Chiu advocates for the conservation of buildings, settlements and historical landscapes. She introduces new visions and concepts from the international community and conducts training courses, workshops and seminars to train conservationists, besides her role in the institutional education system.

Chiu is a catalyst for several social movements to promote bottom-up community involvement and is deeply engaged with community empowerment programs in Taiwan and many Asian countries. In 1992, she founded the Asia West Pacific Network on Urban Conversation (AWPNUC) and the International Field School on Asian Heritage (IFSAH) in 2002, using both as a platform to network with other conservationists throughout Asia. Chiu has been a member of the Asia Art Platform (AAP) since 2013 and has contributed to regional regeneration through artistic movements in the Setouchi Triennale.

Awards & Honours

Professional Awards & Grants
2021 Taiwan Cultural Association Centennial Award
2021 Decoration for Special Contribution between Japan and Taiwan
2017 Outstanding Award, The Japanese Association for Town Conservation and Regeneration
2014 Special Contribution to Urban Regeneration Award, Taipei Regeneration Office
2001 Extraordinary Cultural Contribution Award, Taipei City Government
1996 Outstanding Performance in Social and Public Education, Ministry of Education

Dates & Times:

22 July 2023 | 5.00pm
23 July 2023 | 2.00pm
23 July 2023 | 5.00pm


GSC, Gurney Plaza


Mandarin, with English and Malay subtitles

Free Admission

Pre-registration is required.

Ticket Price:

From RM70

*There will be a Director's Talk following each screening.

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