GEORGE TOWN, Aug 8 — Talented Penang-based artisans and their creative products will be showcased in a pop-up event under the Creative Brands Penang platform today.

Creative Brands Penang, an online platform, is the brainchild of Joe Sidek and was created to showcase and help local artisans.

“I wanted to help our Penang-based artisans brand their products on a global platform,” he said.

Joe, who was the George Town Festival (GTF) director for nine years, said Penang has a lot of unknown talents who could stand to gain from promoting their brands on a global platform.

“It is just like how GTF was all about branding Penang, this will be a platform to brand the artists and creatives in Penang,” he said.

This idea initially started out as Creative Brands Kuala Lumpur about eight months ago and Joe was also considering starting a Creative Brands Asean.

However, as a true-blue Penangite, he wanted to come back to Penang and do something here instead.

The movement control order (MCO) gave Joe and his team at Joe Sidek Productions the time they needed to seek out Penang-based artisans and artists.

“I made calls, asked around and approached local artisans and came up with a list of 100 people,” he said.

For now, the Creative Brands Penang platform will start with 30 artisans and artists.

The artisans and artists picked were carefully curated to present a narrative with Penang as the birthplace of the crafts.

“We want a carefully curated platform, we are not an online shopping platform but one that showcases unique talents based in Penang,” he said.

To kick off the platform, a pop-up showcase featuring 18 artisans and artists will be held at the UAB Building this evening.

Joe said he had organised the event at the last minute as he only managed to get the funding from Think City approved earlier this week.

The artisans showcased are all Penang-based but are not necessarily Malaysians or Penang-born.

Joe said the main criteria in choosing the artisans was that they must live in Penang with the island state as the basis for their inspiration.

“Some of them are Penangites but some are not, we want to be inclusive, we want to feature talents who have made Penang their home,” he said.

Among the artisans to be showcased at the pop-up event today are a traditional parang maker who already sells his products online overseas, a woodcarver who makes keris hilts, a pipe-maker and even an academic with an interest in ceramics.

Find out more about the artisans and their products at