If you’ve been following @MissFilatelista on Instagram it will come as no surprise that I love street art. It’s right up there with one of the top reasons why I travel along with learning about local culture and eating all the food. George Town, Penang is a mecca of all three and I really enjoyed strolling the city streets and discovering a wide variety of murals in all sorts of artistic styles, political messages, and sizes. Here’s a guide to George Town, Penang street art.
INTERACTIVE PENANG STREET ART MURALS
Set out to discover George Town’s many Penang street art murals. This is such a common activity that now most hotels have Penang street art maps but most murals can be easily found on GoogleMaps. As you wander around Penang you’re sure to come across many murals wherever you go. George Town is very walkable and there are murals to be found every few blocks.
The most famous piece of works including, Brother and Sister on Swing created by Louis Gan, a deaf-mute local Penang artist. Kids on Bicycle, Boy on Chair, and Children Playing Basketball are also popular interactive Penang street art murals.
I really love how a lot of the murals are 3D and have components of the real physical elements of their pictures, like bicycles, food carts, swings, and so on.
PENANG STREET ART MURALS INSPIRED BY LOCAL LIFE
The majority of the murals around Penang showcase daily Malaysian life, from children playing to street food vendors. I loved the realistic portrayals of people. Interestingly enough some of the localized pieces, like Boy on Motorcycle (located on Lebuh Ah Quee) were actually painted by Lithuania born Ernest Zacharevic.
The Trishaw Man is the size of the entire building in the parking lot of Red Garden Cafe. The murals were created to honor and memorialize simple moments of daily life and capture them in ink. Most of the murals are not painted over by the government but instead encouraged as they’ve become a key reason for travelers to visit George Town, Penang.
CAT PENANG STREET ART
All of the cat murals, like Love Me Like Your Fortune Cat, were created by Artists for Stray Animals who aim to raise awareness for the animals living in the streets and the shelters that care for them in Penang.
MARKING GEORGE TOWN INSTALLATIONS
Throughout the city, you’ll find steel-rod cartoon structures depicting daily life in Penang and historical occurrences. These sculptures are a part of an outdoor art gallery dubbed Marking George Town. They help visitors to understand the importance of the street in which they’re standing.
From the piece on Lebuh Carnavon that pictures the Chinese belief of burning bungalows, cars, and otherworldly possessions in order to ensure they’ll be waiting for you in the afterlife to the parakeets in Little India that tell the tale of how astrologers in the east use the birds to foresee the future. There are 52 to discover and if you find them all you’ll certainly have an understanding of the fascinating city you’re visiting.
HIN BUS DEPOT MARKET
The Hin Bus Depot market is one of my favorite things about Penang. Every weekend local artisans gather to sell their crafts. There are even several zero-waste shops and vegan food stalls. The old bus park has been transformed into a community space and has some of the best street art in the city.
ART LANE PENANG
A new addition to the George Town street art scene is an old building transformed into a community art space. The laneway is covered in everything from beautiful murals to graffiti tags. Any artists are welcome to contribute but are required to email a proposal in advance. Art Lane Penang is free to visit and is open daily from 9 AM – 7 PM.
Did you enjoy this guide to George Town, Penang street art? Pin it for later!
Have you spotted street art in Penang? Tell us where in the comments!