The Malaysian state of Penang certainly has changed since my last visit in 2005. Downtown Georgetown has been transformed into an outdoor art gallery of wall murals and wrought iron caricatures. The artwork brings about some colour and lighthearted humor to the back streets of the UNESCO World Heritage listed town.
Overnighting at The Yeng Keng Hotel on Chulia Street we embarked on a morning of exploration on foot. Almost like a treasure hunt tracking down the cultural pieces with our map turned out to be great fun. We met a few people along the way and discovered some hidden coffee spots and famous hawker stalls as well.
A few of the murals around are by a talented Lithuanian born artist, Ernest Zacharevic. The artwork adding to an already up and coming cultural scene reflects Penang’s living past and present. From a historical point of view there is plenty to see in the area such as the Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion, Pinang Peranakan Museum, Clan Jetties and Little India.
Skippy, The Giant Cat
Location: Armenian Street Ghaut
Part of the 101 Lost Kittens Project this mural creates awareness for mistreated pets.
Tin Ting Thong Caricature
Location: Lorong Seck Chuan
Boy on a Bike
Location: Ah Quee Street, George Town, Penang
Artwork by Ernest Zacharevic, the wall mural incorporates the 3 dimensional motorcycle.
Wandering the streets of George Town
The real Bruce Lee would never do this
Location: Lebuh Ah Quee
Part of the 101 Lost Kittens Project, the mural creates awareness of neglected animals.
Location: Ah Quee Street
Kandar translates to pole, it was used to carry food items around. This gentleman is carrying nasi kandar which is a muslim rice meal.
I Want Pau
Location: Armenian Street Ghaut, Penang
Children reaching out to grab the rattan baskets with steamed buns inside. The artwork is on the side wall of the Ming Xiang Tai Pastry Shop.
Kids on Bicycle
Location: Lebuh Armenian
This 3 dimensial mural was very popular, a line of people patiently waiting to take their photo. Another mural by Ernest Zacharevic.
Essentials to bring along for a few hours of exploring
A map of the art sites
An umbrella is handy in the heat of the day as well as water
Trishaws can be a quicker options when the traffic is heavy.