Thursday, August 8, 2013

Hunting for Street Art in Penang! - Day 7 in Malaysia

While we were enjoying our town and seeing George Town, we also noticed tons of art displays on the walls and streets nearby tourist spots. They were very interesting to look at especially since I thought they were only vandals at first. I later found out that there many of these scattered around the city, but we only found two types of these artworks. While we didn't get to see all the art displays of George Town, it was sure fun to compile and post this collection of artworks that we were able to appreciate and at the same time, enjoying this heritage area of Penang.

My eyes did not fail to catch the steel rod sculptures that are almost present on every streets of George Town. They were pretty remarkable as they relate to a characteristic or history of the street where they are installed at. I thought it was a brilliant idea as it would help locals and tourists learn information about these places! Though we weren't able to see all of them, I believe there are more than 30 and we didn't have the time and the location map of all the sculptures, we only took pictures of the stuff we were able to see as we passed by.

street art penang
The Procession sculpture on Armenian Street illustrates the Grand Float Procession held in the Year of the Tiger that is said to bring people great wealth and health.
The Procession sculpture on Armenian Street illustrates the Grand Float Procession held in the Year of the Tiger that is said to bring people great wealth and health.
street art penang
The Ah Quee? Sculpture of Ah Quee Street gives praises to Kapitan Chung Keng Kwee who has donated his house to the municipality. He is said to be one of the wealthiest men in George Town during the 19th century.
The Yeoh Only sculpture installed along Chulia Street was put up to honor the Yeoh clan.
The Property sculpture at Victoria Street reminds locals of the land reclamation that has been in progress in Penang since the late 19th century.
The Double Role Sculpture also on Chulia Street honors policemen who also served as firefighters until 1909.
I hope there won't be any fire related incidents nearby this display though, anyway the headquarters is just beside this house.
street art malaysia
The Cannon Hole Sculpture erected at Cannon Street looks funny because the peddlar of the trishaw seems to have fell on a man hole, leaving its passenger looking frustrated.
street art penang steel
The Win Win Situation sculpture at Muntri Street commemorates Ngah Ibrahim who helped developed tin mining in the city.
steel art penang
The Too Narrow Sculpture erected at Soo Hong Lane, the narrowest street in George Town, shows a richshaw entering the street even though it is too wide to fit in the lane.
The Ting Ting Thong of Seck Chuan Lane shows a rock candyman selling his goodies for 1 cent.
I was told that the place was area the "Love Lane" as locals would often bring their mistresses at the love hotels in the area to escape from their wives.
The Cheating Husband sculpture is located at Love Lane illustrates a man while escaping from the building to avoid his wife.
penang art blog
The High Counter sculpture at Carnarvon street shows the old tradition of pawnshops setting up high counters for security.
penang malaysia art
The One Leg Kicks All sculpture erected at Muntri Street gives honor to the Cantonese housemaids called the amah and is shown to be using her feet to fetch the laundry.
street art georgetown
The Bullock Cart Wheel sculpture of Pitt Street

Next off are these beautiful murals that are plastered in the most touristy spots of George town. These were created by Ernest Zacharevic for Mirrors George Town, a project from last 2012 George Town Festival.

malaysia street art
The "Little Children on a Bicycle" of Armenian Street, the bike is real :)
penang art
The "Little Boy with Pet Dinosaur" is a mural of a small boy taking his pet dinosaur for a walk. It was barely recognisable when we saw it due to the grafitti and the state of the crumbling wall it was painted in.
Ernest Zacharevic street art
malaysia street art
The "Boy on a Bike" is probably one of the most famous from this set. It's also just beside the "Little Boy with Pet Dinosaur" and is painted on a door of a shophouse. (Yup, the motorbike is real as well) You would see lots of people waiting in line to have a picture taken here.
clan jetties
The "Children in a Boat" is located at the Clan Jetties that presents a boy and a girl riding a boat. It has been already peeled beyond recognition and I hope it will be restored soon.
street art penang
The "Old Man" located at Armenian Street is a painting of an old man who appears to be picking up something. This one was painted lightly so a lot of people might miss seeing it.
penang street mural
The "Reaching Up" mural of Cannon Street is a painting of a little boy reaching for something at this hole in the wall.
penang painting street art
The "The Girl in Blue" looks like she's lifting herself up with the help of those two windows. It looks a bit creepy because of the way her eyes and bangs were painted.
malaysia Ernest Zacharevic
The "Awaiting Trishaw Paddler" is the biggest mural of them all that shows an elderly trishaw paddler relaxing while waiting for customers. I wonder how long it took to be completed.

Last of the murals that we saw were painted by a different artist, Louis Gan who is a deaf-mute artist. These murals were a bit tricky to find, we didn't even notice it even though we stayed nearby one of the murals when we were drinking some refreshments.

street painting malaysia
The "Brother and Sister playing Basketball" mural which we failed to see at first.
street art penang
The "Brother and Sister on a Swing" at Step by Step Lane.
A cool gate in front of the "Brother and Sister on a Swing" mural

There were also tons of fun stuff dispersed around George Town and if you have a very strong attention to detail, you'll be delighted on what you'll see ;)

A creepy phone booth in front of "Boy on a Bike" mural
A drawing of a cop that has already bee peeled off
malaysia penang street art
A cute gate of one of the residential houses

Found out a map that might help future Penang art "hunters", go to this link to see more.


China House, Penang

Next, we headed off at The China House which is a restaurant and also has art exhibits on the second floor. We didn't really eat much there (only a piece of cake) and it was a classy place, which would mean us spending more money on food. We took our time looking at the painting displays and also appreciating the restaurant's interiors.

china house penang
china house street art penang
malaysia art
china house penang malaysia
penang restaurant

Being able to discover these art pieces was as exciting as locating each of the historical tourist spots of George Town. It surely added a fun and modern twist to the rich culture of the place.

Day 1: Kuala Lumpur

Petronas Towers

Day 2: Kuala Lumpur
Batu Caves

Merdeka Square

Day 3: Putrajaya / Shah Alam
Pink and Blue Mosque

City Tour

Day 4: Malacca/Melaka
City Tour

Food Tour

Day 5: Kuala Lumpur

Day 6: Penang
Kek Lok Si Temple

Day 7: Penang
George Town

Street Art

Day 8: Penang

Malaysia Travel Report
Itinerary and Tips

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