Entry by Yuet Lin
I have a confession to make.
Before the Arts Festival, I’d never thought of JB as somewhere ‘interesting’ to be. Granted, I only officially moved here in February from Singapore (having lived in KL almost all my life) – and what little taste I had of this place was limited to the yummy Nasi Ambang/Beef Noodles/Bak Kut Teh on weekend trips over the past 2 years. Beyond that, I only saw a sleepy town with nothing else going for it except a RM15-taxi ride across the causeway for entertainment.
Thankfully, meeting the cool folks from JOHO has changed my mind completely! Today, I see promise and potential in a thriving environment for the promotion of arts and culture – as was evident at the GEGO event at Bukit Timbalan a few weeks ago.
With the imposing Sultan Ibrahim Building as a beautifully lit backdrop against a black velvet sky, youths of all backgrounds mingled in the cool night air as fixies crossed paths, skateboards whizzed by, cameras clicked and flashed while talented artistes fed their music to a hungry crowd, shining like stars on-stage.
The carnival-like atmosphere was, to me, an encouraging indication of things to come. For the local creative community, GEGO @ the Arts Festival was not only an outlet of expression but the chance for them to connect, showcase and share what else was stirring beneath the surface of JB’s artscape, if only one was willing to explore.
So well done, JOHO, for taking steps to truly shake the scene and in the process, wake me up to the other side of JB that I never really knew – and is more than just ‘interesting’.