OBSCURA Festival is Malaysia’s premiere photography festival, celebrating photography from Asia and around the globe. Each year, the festival hosts a series of exhibitions, talks, workshops, professional portfolio reviews and slideshows. Also included are major fringe events, including youth photography program with the festival’s partners.


Now in its fourth year, the 2016 edition of OBSCURA will feature a variety of exciting and new additions to the festival’s already stellar lineup of events. This year’s exhibitions are divided into two major curations: one main theme, “Pangaea,” curated by Ying Ang (Australia) and the other by the festival’s director, Vignes Balasingam.

The former theme is animated by the notion that we are living in a time of increasing ideological differences and territorial disputes. Taking the idea of Pangaea as its starting point, these works attempt to use the division of the continental drift to span the global, cultural spectrum of human society and cross these gaps to build bridges and create a sense of our united sentiment as a species.

This theme will feature a variety of works including Everyday Africa curated by Peter DiCampo, The Immense Night by Alisa Resnik, Vertigo by Gihan Tubbeh and many more.

Meanwhile, the open part of the program, curated by the festival’s founder & director will feature two works specially put together for the festival, plus two other co-curations. The original works were produced by Eiffel Chong (Malasia) and Arko Datto (India); the co-curations by Waswo X. Waswo (USA) and Myles Little (USA).

Another important major feature of OBSCURA Festival’s programming are the slideshows curated by curators from around Asia and the world. LensCulture is proud to have several projections in the line-up while one night will be dedicated to works produced by participants of the masterclasses and workshops. Also, for the first time ever, OBSCURA will present a selection of films, recognizing the increasing importance of multimedia to photographic stortyellers.

Last but not least, Obscura Festival will present the third annual Photobook Show: a one-of-a-kind event aimed at increasing the exposure for photobooks created in Asia and encouraging the next generation of photobook-makers from the region.

—LensCulture

Editor’s Note: The fourth edition of OBSCURA Festival will be held from August 19th until August 31st, 2016 in the world-famous UNESCO Heritage city of George Town in Penang, Malaysia. All OBSCURA festival exhibitions and events will be held within a walkable distance from one another, and many are free and open to the public.

OBSCURA is made possible thanks to the George Town Festival, a major international festival of the arts and culture in Southeast Asia.