Please note that the Hotel Penaga residency program for 2016 is now full and we are no longer accepting applications. We will be reopening applications for 2017 soon – please follow Rimbun Dahan on Facebook to find out about calls for submissions.

Initially, the hotel owners were looking for a residency space when they found the Penaga site and although it morphed into a hotel, we do encourage contemporary artists to apply for the Garret.

The residency is available for visual artists from or based in Southeast Asia (Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines, Indonesia, Brunei, Vietnam, Burma, Laos and Cambodia) and Australia. Applications are managed by Rimbun Dahan and are available for variable periods, from one to three months.

The residency is available for visual artists from or based in Southeast Asia (Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines, Indonesia, Brunei, Vietnam, Burma, Laos and Cambodia) and Australia. Applications are managed by Rimbun Dahan and are available for variable periods, from one to three months.

Successful applicants are provided with a room in the hotel and a studio workspace. The studio is located at the top of Hutton, about 40 square meters with toilet attached. South East Asian artists will also receive a living allowance of RM1,000 per month and airfares.

Artists are expected to socialize with hotel guests in the studio a few evenings a week, for which the hotel provides refreshments. Usually an art-work is left for the hotel’s collection or a public performance is given somewhere in the hotel. For application details and more information, please visit Rimbun Dahan’s website.

Artist In 2016

Eryn Winnie Cheng

ERYN uses a combination of pen and marker drawing, watercolour, acrylic painting and papercutting techniques to create meticulously detailed compositions filled with strange creatures in an otherworldly setting. Her use of fine lines to create form is largely inspired by book illustrations and the comic and animation industry. She focuses on themes of introversion and looking inwards to reflect on the interactions she experiences in her daily life.

These themes of introversion plays out in imaginary landscapes inspired by lush tropical rainforests, the frozen arctic plains, and even the dry unforgiving desert. Each landscape is shaped by thoughts and emotions in her mind and the process is at once aware yet unconscious. These landscapes are also removed from the mundane laws of physics, gravity, and proportion. Through this the artist creates a dreamlike quality in order to bring the viewer into an inner space to experience both the mysterious and the extraordinary.



Instagram: @timelessrealm

Facebook page: Timeless Realm


Riel Jaramillo Hilario (b. 1976) a Fiipino visual artist and curator, and was born in Vigan, Ilocos Sur, Philippines, which like George Town, is declared a UNESCO Heritage Site. He is a sculptor, painter and an art historian and was the curator for the Pinto Art Museum in Antipolo, Rizal.

Hilario’s main body of work are hand-carved wood figures inspired by rebultos, a colonial art form of religious statuary that was introduced from Spain to the Philippines by way of Mexico in the 1600s to the late 1900’s. Hilario uses the rebulto depicting subjects that are “para-psychological” phenomena, such as presences, place memories, popular mythologies and dreams. For the artist this practice fulfills the need “to render visual” that which are unseen. For his residency at Hotel Penaga in the month of August, Hilario will deploy “Place Memory” – a project that attempts to collect and take note of, occluded and manifested presences and psychic histories in and around spaces in George Town.

Hilario is a Cultural Center of the Philippines Thirteen Artist Awardee (2012). His work has been shown in several exhibitions in Adelaide, Jakarta, Hong Kong, Singapore, London, Basel, Delhi, New York, Paris and Berlin. He has been artist-in-residence in Paris at the Cite Internationale des Arts (2012) and in New York at the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council (2013) as a fellow of the Asian Cultural Council.

Please visit:


Sharon Chin (b.1980, Petaling Jaya) is an artist and writer living in Port Dickson, a seaside town two hours drive from Kuala Lumpur.

She makes all kinds of things in all kinds of places, from galleries to city sidewalks. She’s hung sails across an embassy lobby, listened to strangers’ hearts on the streets of Sydney, and gotten teargassed while wearing a costume of yellow flowers. Recently, she bathed in public with a hundred people for “Mandi Bunga/Flower Bath”, a project at Singapore Biennale 2013, and painted weeds on political party flags for the 8th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art in Queensland, Australia.


During her residency at Hotel Penaga, Sharon will be working on a series of linocut illustrations for writer Zedeck Siew’s short story collection about fantastic animals and plants, tentatively titled ‘Local Flora, Local Fauna.’ An exhibition of the prints will be held from 23 July – 7 August 2016 at Run Amok, which is located at Hin Bus Depot Art Centre  on Jalan Gurdwara in Georgetown.

Please visit:

Photo Credit to Azrul K Abdullah for Esquire Malaysia


My aim with photography is two-fold. I want to push the boundaries of photography, question what it means to be a photographer in the digital age while simultaneously playing the role of observer and commentator on critical contemporary social issues. I was on my way to a doctorate in the theoretical sciences before I decided to change course and explore the burgeoning field of contemporary photography.

I have been promenading across the globe for the past few years and am presently awaiting the next adventure the four winds will carry me to. Apart from working on my own photography related projects, I enjoy playing curator too and have been associated with the Kochi Biennale and OBSCURA Festival of Photography in this role.

Exhibitions & Projections:

  • Gangetic Interludes screened at VOIES OFF, Arles. 2015.
  • CROSSINGS shown at Angkor Photo Festival. 2014.
  • CROSSINGS exhibited at Mindpirates Vereinsheim, Berlin. 2014.
  • CROSSINGS exhibited at OBSCURA Festival of Photography, Malaysia.2014.
  • Paris: La Vie des Autres shown at the Angkor Photo Festival, 2013.
  • The River shown at the Delhi Photo Festival, 2013.
  • CYBERSEX and The River shown at OBSCURA, Malaysia. 2013.
  • Solo exhibition Realms Nocturna at the Seagull Foundation for the Arts, Kolkata. 2012.


Kafayat Quadri is a poet (poetographer), singer-songwriter, music producer and a certified attorney. She was the first African to speak and perform at the TEDxKLwomen, Malaysia in 2013. Her music and poetry have been performed on the stages of George Town Literary Festival, KAKISENI International Arts Festival, Generation-Y Music Festival, Lake Garden Music Festival, Coffee & Fringe Art Festival, and so on.

Her first album ‘KQ the EP’ which she co-produced with Aman Junaid, a Grammy Award Recipient and her second album ‘April 16′, instrumentals in honour of her mother can both be found on iTunes, Spotify, Apple Music & VEVO. Her prose poem was recently shortlisted by the PWDC Writers Workshop by Bernice Chauly for the End Violence Against Women Campaign & GTLF 2015. She is a recipient of the Rimbun Dahan/ Penaga Hotel Artist Residency 2016 and her first poetry collection is due to be published by Garden Bench in the same year.

In anticipation of her first collection of poems, Kafayat is working on interpreting some of the poems from the upcoming poetry collection, ‘Aquarius’ alongside her photography as printed on canvas, which would be exhibited at the Penaga Hotel at the end of her residency. The photography exhibition would be from the 30th January until the 29th of February 2016.

Also, during her residency, she would commence work on the composition of the music to be featured in her 3rd album in collaboration some Malaysian rappers and poets (especially the Penang-based ones) for her newly found music & poetry genre – RAPCOUSTICS, which comprises mainly of a single musical instrument accompanied to a rap or poetry rendition with musical choruses at intervals which would come from a direct and on-spot musical interpretation of the poem or rap as rendered by the featured artist.

She is the founder and the Managing Editor of the Poetry Digest Magazine in Nigeria and hopes to get the world reading, writing and sharing poetry everyday.