With a rich colonial past and Unesco World Heritage Site status, you’d expect Georgetown to be a cultural gem rather than covered in graffiti. But, in fact, it is the street art that is one of the highlights of the Penang capital.
This is Kids on Bicycle by Ernest Zacharevic. The Lithuanian artist is well known as ‘Malaysia’s Banksy’ and his work is scattered around the old part of the city. He created a series of murals for the George Town Festival 2012 and street art has been popping up around the city ever since.
This particular work is obvious to spot, notably due to the queue of tourists posing on the bike sticking out of a wall on Armenian Street, but others are not so easy to find. Old Motorcycle, also by Zacharevic, is hidden down a side street while Children Playing Basketball, by deaf-mute artist Louis Gan, is tucked away behind a bike rental stall.
In addition to the murals, there are also a series of wrought-iron cartoons marking out Unesco-listed parts of Georgetown. Key sites include the site where famous shoemaker Jimmy Choo started out and Cannon Street, so named due to a hole left by a shot fired during the 1867 Penang Riots.
All in all, hunting out the street art is a great alternative way to explore the city. Keep an eye out for the Marking George Town map to help you find the best.
Copyright Natalie Marchant/Tales From Taliena