Talk: The Rumah in Arles

arlesThe Rumah in Arles

A talk by Julia de Bierre

Date: Saturday 25 October 2014
Time: 2.30pm
Venue: Level 1, The Star Pitt St, 15 Jalan Mesjid Kapitan Keling, George Town World Heritage Site

Talk and tea: Limited seats only. By donation.

RM 25 for Penang Heritage Trust & Alliance Française de Penang members

RM 40 for non-members

Fifty percent discount for youth (below 35)

Organised by Penang Heritage Trust & Alliance Française de Penang

All proceeds to the Penang Heritage Trust

JULIA DE BIERRE talks about how she curated ‘Rumah’ – a showcase of Malaysian art and heritage in a seventeenth century French mansion in Arles, in which Malaysian and French heritage mingled in evocative ways.This exhibition incorporated an art installation by Marie Hugo depicting a forest of Malay poems, called ‘Pantun Forest’.

Author, curator and heritage conservationist Julia de Bierre was born in Malaysia and went to Uplands School on Penang Hill and Bristol University in the United Kingdom. For many years she has lived and worked in two UNESCO World Heritage sites – the ancient Provençal town of Arles in France and multi-ethnic George Town on the island of Penang, Malaysia. This privilege has made her doubly aware of how important it is to preserve not just our urban and natural environment but also a slower, more reflective way of life.

In 2005, Julia renovated a small traditional shophouse on Muntri Street in Penang, using recycled materials and furniture. Two years later, she purchased a semi-ruined 17th-century French mansion in Arles. Galerie Huit is now a thriving art gallery, unusual guest house, party and seminar venue, residence for artists, Julia’s personal living space and an ongoing restoration project.

Galerie Huit’s exhibition Rumah was an event in the calendar of the Marseille-Provence Capital of Culture 2013. Julia will talk about how she restored and transformed her house in the ancient French town of Arles, a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1981, and how her creative philosophy is inspired by George Town.

Julia de Bierre and Marie Hugo are in Malaysia for the launching of The Pantun Forest in DBKL’s Art in the Park. This sculptural work is inspired by the Malay poems popularised in Europe during the 19th century by Marie Hugo’s illustrious ancestor Victor Hugo. Attached to Marie Hugo’s pillars of light or ‘trees’, the pantuns evoke messages carved onto tree trunks or leaves hanging from branches.

This talk in Penang is held in conjunction with Rumah, an exhibition of watercolours by Ahmad Harun, organised by Areca Books, October-November 2014. The venue is kindly sponsored by The STAR Pitt St.

Seats are limited, please book your seats now!

Ring Penang Heritage Trust on 04-264 2631 or email –