In our opinion, one of the best ways to enjoy Penang’s capital city is to hunt out all of the Georgetown Street Art. We spent a good two days wandering the streets intentionally and unintentionally finding the different murals and installations throughout the city. We loved the added character the street art gave this UNESCO World Heritage site. Each of the beautifully, antiqued, colonial buildings were charming enough, now add some awesome and famous artist’s work on the walls, you’ve got yourself one awesome place to explore.
If you’re making a trip to Malaysia, we recommend coming to Penang for a few days to enjoy the beauty of artists leaving their marks on the walls. We have highlighted some of the most notable street art you’ll find in the streets of Georgetown.
The Work of Ernest Zacharevic
The most famous Georgetown street art includes the work from Lithuanian artist, Ernest Zacharevic. Zacharevic’s work is famous for it’s 3D like appearance using his paintings and murals with an object from the surrounding street. Zacharevic was invited in 2012 to come to Penang and do many installations throughout the city. This collection is known as, “Mirrors George Town.”
During our free guided tour from Georgetown’s tourist information office, our guide told us, “Children on a Bicycle,” gained a lot of popularity with tourists flocking here to get a photo with this installation and increased the overall tourism in Georgetown dramatically.
Thanks to, “Mirrors of Georgetown,” you can now find more and more street art popping up allover the place from other artists inspired by Zacharevic. Wandering the streets of Georgetown you’re likely to run across at least one if not a few of his work.
Expect a crowd near “Children on a Bicycle”
No need to search for, “Children on a Boat,” on the Chew Clan Jetty, this piece has disappeared over the years.
Checkout Ernest Zacharevic’s site for more of his work.
101 Lost Kittens
As you’re exploring Georgetown Street art you may notice a few murals dedicated to cats. As a crazy cat lady, I found these to be masterpieces! We didn’t find all 12 of the cat themed street art, but we did find a few wonderful ones. The back story behind, “101 Lost Kittens,” is that Thai artist Natthapon Muangkliang and Malaysian artists Louise Low and Tang Yeok Khang teamed up with Artists for Stray Animals (ASA) to spread awareness on stray animals.
It must be working because we noticed that some locals leave food out for the stray kitties in the streets! How sweet!
If you want to see these you better hurry! We read on this blog post by Lady Travel Bug, that the paint used was meant to wash away after two years. However, this post was from 2013, and it’s now 2016 and we were able to find them all!
Even if you’re not looking actively, you’re guaranteed to see at least one of these iron sculptures scattered throughout Georgetown while walking around. We saw these EVERYWHERE and they are all unique and tell a different story. These stories about something historical or notable that happened on the street where it’s located and some of them are even considered to have a bit of humor.
To learn more about these installations check out My Penang for the explanations and stories behind each one.
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More Georgetown Street Art
Be sure to pay close attention to little nooks and crannies throughout Georgetown, there are hidden lesser known gems scattered throughout the city. We found it like a fun hide n seek game to find as many pieces of street art we could find throughout this charming AF place.
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Check out this map with the locations of all of Georgetown Street Art to plan your hunt successfully!
We really enjoyed wandering the streets and finding pops of art all over the place. It really adds to this already beautiful UNESCO site. Not to mention the food is to die for!
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