Why limit your visit to an art gallery when you can walk the streets of George Town and explore quirky street art by Lithuanian artist Ernest Zacharevic, as well as wrought iron installations that depict Penang’s history and urban culture.
Photography: Adam Lee
This mural on the wall of a printing warehouse in an alleyway off Chulia Street uses the natural textures of the crumbling brick wall to create depth and interest to the seemingly commonplace depiction of a boy and girl enjoying their time together on a swing.
This 15.2 by 15.2 metre mural along Penang Road shows a weary old trishaw operator waiting for customers. As trishaws were a very popular mode of transport in the past, this piece of art pays tribute to those men who transported people and goods in the island.
This art piece on Lebuh Armenian depicts girls from the three main races of Malaysia in traditional Chinese garb. With a broad nod to a highly cutesy style of art, reminiscent of Japanese Manga art, this piece portrays racial harmony.
Wrought iron street art looks like pencil sketches on a coloured canvas. Mostly two-dimensional, this piece is located on Lebuh Ah Quee, a street named after Kapitan Chung Keng Kwee. The artwork shows a foreigner trying to pronounce the kapitan’s name while the portly kapitan agrees goodhumouredly to all his mispronunciations.
Located on Lebuh Chulia, a real goal post and a half embedded ball work together with the mural to create a multi-dimensional art piece.
The clever use of collapsible door panels depicts a magician showcasing a ‘body-severing’ act on a shophouse in Lebuh Armenian.
This piece in Chulia Street celebrates the Yeoh Kongsi that was established in 1836. In the past, a kongsi or clan house/clan took care of the welfare and social well-being of newly arrived migrants from mainland China to Straits settlements like Penang. Here, a clan elder identifies Yeoh clan members as they arrive at the port.
Using real awnings for support, the painted girl on the wall of a shoplot on Lebuh Muntri performs a balancing act.
A little boy inches his way to reach a hole in the wall in Lebuh Cannon. The chair he is perched on is real while the assortment of objects around this painting has changed a few times.
An amusing take on the urban fascination with coffee culture. An urbanite calls for a tall, double shot, decaf espresso. The local server distills the order into the local lingo and shouts out for a kopi kau, which simply means ‘strong coffee’.
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