GEORGE TOWN - The George Town Festival has kicked off in Penang with programmes that celebrated the arts, culture and heritage.
Crowds converged on the city to view a myriad of exhibitions, performances and installations held at several locations yesterday.
The highlight was 100 per cent Penang, a production starring 100 locals chosen according to their age, background and ethnicity to represent the population.
Staged by Berlin-based theatre troupe Rimini Protokoll, the show at Dewan Sri Pinang here highlighted everyday folks' perspective of common issues.
The Bambu: A Musical Showcase at the MBPP Town Hall, featured regional musicians specialising in instruments made from bamboo.
It includes a Taiwanese orchestra, an angklung ensemble from Indonesia as well as a local dance troupe.
The Trees exhibition focused on the state's Heritage and Ancient Trees through photographs, alongside other arboreal subjects.
At the Kapitan Keling Mosque, there were portraits and stories of the local Indian Muslim community in The Crescent Moon: Sharing the Same Moon exhibition.
Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng expressed pride at how the festival had gained international recognition over the years.
"This is not just a celebration of the state and its talented people, but also a celebration of its diversity," he said.
Another attraction was an art exhibition titled More Than Friends: ASEAN 5 at the Wei-Ling Gallery in E&O Hotel.
It included artworks from several emerging names in the region.
The month-long festival ends on Aug 31, and would feature more programmes and activities.
For further details, log on to www.georgetownfestival.com.