Asian art is the latest trend in the world of collecting and investing. The Penang art scene has been very vibrant over the past few years and the continuous increase in art galleries is evidence of its growing popularity. This island is home to many many Malaysian pioneer artists such as Yong Mun Sen, Khaw Sia, Abdullah Ariff, Chuah Tean Teng and many more. Chuah Tean Teng, considered to be the farther of modern batik art, is the last surviving artist from this talented first wave of Malaysian artists. His work is exhibited along with that of his three siblings at the Yahong Gallery in Batu Ferringhi.
Most of Penang's art galleries and musueums are located in the city centre. The State Art Gallery in Dewan Sri Pinang regularly holds monthly exhibitions and is only a short walk away from the Penang Museum home to Penang's priceless early paintings that recap the history of the island. Art lovers are in luck as there are more galleries within walking distance. Alpha Utara and Seni Mutiara art galleries both hold frequent local and international exhibitions, whereas Chin Antique House promotes only local artists. IDO Art Gallery portrays the beauty of jewellery through painting. The Fuan Wong glass gallery on Armenian Street is definitely worth a look in! If by now you're looking for somewhere to take a breather the Colonial Restaurant and Simon Tan Art Gallery & Cafe are just around the corner - the interior is really very special!
The Pinang Peranakan Mansion, voted as one of Malaysia's best tourist attractions, is a must for all visitors. Its impressive architecture and amazing collection of Nyonya ware are beyond description!
Another worthwhile venue to visit is the Tuanku Fauziah Museum and Gallery in the grounds of Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM). Recently renovated, it exhibits mainly works of prominent local artists. Other galleries located away from the city centre include Lekuan Art Gallery and A2 Gallery in Pulau Tikus. The former carries the works of the artist Lee Eng Beng and the latter concentrates more on contemporary art. Works by Penang artists are still considered very affordable and are definitely a worthwhile investment. What could be a better souvenir than bringing home a few pieces of Penang's culture and creativity for an ever-lasting memory?
The art scene in Penang may be small but it certainly is flourishing.
Yahong Art Gallery Sdn. Bhd.
58-D, Batu Ferringhi Road, 11100 Penang, Malaysia
Tel: +604-881 1251 Fax:+604-881 1093
Alpha Utara gallery
83 China Street, 10200 Penang, Malaysia
Tel/Fax: +604-262 6840 (Gallery hour: 10am - 6pm Daily)
Galeri Seni Mutiara
118, Lebuh Armenian, 10200 Pulau Pinang, Malaysia
Tel/Fax: +604-262 0167
H/P: +6016-444 0167
Muzium & Galeri Tuanke Fauziah, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Pulau Pinang
Tel:+604-653 3888 ext - 3261/3267/2137 Fax:+604-656 3531
FUANWONG - The Gallery
88, Armenian Street, 10200 Penang, Malaysia
Tel: +604-262 9079
35, Armenian Street 10200 Penang, Malaysia
Tel:+604-261 4489 (Gallery hour: 11.30am - 3.00pm & 6.00pm - 10.00pm Close on Thursday)
Simon Tan Art Gallery
37, Armenian Street, 10200 Penang, Malaysia
27, Bangkok Lane, 10250 Penang, Malaysia