Penang: Enjoying Street Art in Georgetown

Aloha Penang!

Yep, it’s time to wander around this little town! Penang, especially some part of inner Georgetown is listed as the UNESCO world heritage site since 2008 for its unique architectural and cultural townscape without parallel anywhere in East and Southeast Asia (as wikipedia said).

And the good news is that Georgetown has a very stunning street art scattered all over the town. Maps are available in hotel and tourist informations to help us find the location of the street art.

Penang Street Art

Murals are painted in some Georgetown area by Ernest Zacharevic, a Lithuanian-born artist for the Mirrors George Town project as part of Georgetown festival 2012. It is somehow exciting to purposely find these murals through the town. Here are some of the murals I have found (some I couldn’t find, and some are no longer existing).

Trishaw paddler – on a break. This mural located in Penang Road where at the actual life, many trishaw paddlers waiting for the passangers
A boy and an old motorcycle
A boy and an old motorcycle

Street art - A boy and an old motorcycle

Kungfu Girl
Kungfu Girl
Kids on the bycicle – my number one favorite. See the kids’ expression!

The Penang government must knows best how to preserve their heritage old buildings very well. And they also understand how to make a more memorable sightseeing in Georgetown for the travelers especially by knowing Penang long history combined with the culture and the relationship among its people in their daily life, what we can say as the most fundamental issue for a living society. So there are these artists who created many welded iron caricatures scattered in the Georgetown area. These caricatures describe the early settlement days that give memorable moniker to the street and landmarks that become Georgetown icons nowadays.

Up until 1909, the police doubled as the town’s firefigter. This caricatures located next to the Firefighter basecamp
The walls. Some are used as the media for the mural and caricatures

Street Art

Nasi Kandar Hawker- See this Nasi Kandar hawker’s sequences lifting his kandar. In early Penang, the nasi kandar hawker used to sling their rice and dishes containers using a kandar or wooden stick.

I like the concept of this iron caricatures, it really brings back memories of how Penang was in its early settlement. It is an interesting way to learn history in such a fun artistic thing aniway.

For more pictures of caricatures and murals, please check hereand here.

For me, some parts of Indonesia where the old town exists are not less beautiful than Georgetown. Every town or city especially where the Dutch or British colonials set their basecamps hundred years ago usually has an old town although not as large as Georgetown does, ie Kota Tua Jakarta, kota Lama Semarang. Some also has a very old unique Chinese town or an old Javanese town with enchanting ambience as the Sultanate exists like in Jogjakarta and Cirebon. Just need more creativity and persistence to revive their existence, maybe like the Georgetown does 😀

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