One of Ernest Zacharevic's new murals in Ipoh. Photo courtesy of Ernest Zacharevic.
One of Ernest Zacharevic’s new murals in Ipoh. Photo courtesy of Ernest Zacharevic.

Ipoh, a city long known for its coffee and sar ho fun, will soon be showing its more artistic side. Arts organisation Kakiseni has announced that it will curate and produce an arts festival in Perak’s capital city in October 2015.

Kakiseni’s announcement came just a few days after Penang-based street artist Ernest Zacharevic unveiled a series of new murals commissioned by OLDTOWN White Coffee in Ipoh. The murals depict the city’s kopitiam culture and tin mining history.

In recent years, Ipoh has seen new F&B and hospitality business enterprises opening in its old town. As the city seeks more visitors to sustain the local economy, the arts festival looks set to continue this trend – but it will also, hopefully, be an occasion to celebrate what the city has to offer its own residents.

Festivals are an increasingly popular way for cities to draw new visitors. George Town Festival now attracts over 200,000 people for its month-long festival celebrating culture and arts. Malaysia’s Ministry of Tourism has designated 2015 the “Year of the Festival”.

Ling Low