You’ll want to see the beautiful and instagrammable Penang Street Art Murals if you’re visiting the historical state of Malaysia. But let’s say you’re only here for the weekend or a brief 24 hours. Think you won’t have enough time? Don’t worry!
Explore 10 convenient Penang street art murals in George Town, located close together for quick visits.
The Rise of Penang Street Art
Penang Street Art has been going viral for quite a while now.
The state has earned its reputation as Malaysia’s food capital and secured a spot as a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site in 2008. Additionally, Penang’s flea markets, pasar malams, and local art scene contribute to its popularity.
Lately, Penang has been undergoing a gradual revitalization. You can thank Penang’s local art scene for that.
From 2014 to 2016, local and global artists transformed Penang into a renowned artistic hub in Southeast Asia. They channeled their creativity into murals, especially street art. Even on a brief visit, explore these 10 iconic Penang street art murals! Conveniently located close to each other for easy exploration. Top 10 Penang Street Art Murals to Visit If you’re Short on Time
These 10 Penang Street Art Murals are all popular and rich with history. These 10 Murals are also fortunate enough to be close to one another that visitors can visit them even when they’re short on time.
1. Little Children on Bicycle
Perhaps many will be most familiar with this mural because of how it’s sort of become the default face of Penang Street Art.
“Little Childen on a Bicycle” was created by Lithuanian artist Ernest Zacharevic who was also dubbed as the “Malaysian Banksy”. You could also attribute its fame to its location in the popular Armenian Street right in the heart of George Town, Penang.
Zacharevic painted this mural during the 2012 George Town Festival. It shows a little girl taking her younger brother (scared?) on a bicycle ride. The two riders are lovingly painted, while the bike is real.
NOTE: Get ready to line up if you want to take a picture with this popular Penang Street Art mural since both visitors and locals are flocking to this iconic mural.
DID YOU KNOW: The little children on the bicycle are actually based off of real people. When Zacharevic created the mural, he was using real photos as a reference, and these photos were of siblings Tan Yi and Tan Kern riding their bicycle at the Urban Sketchers Penang, where fortunately Zacharevic was also present.
2. Brother and Sister on a Swing
Brother and Sister on a Swing is another popular mural, this time by the local deaf-mute artist named Louis Gan. This mural shows two siblings, a brother and sister painted as if they’re standing on top of a real life swing.
This mural celebrates the wonderful relationships between siblings, brothers and sisters.
DID YOU KNOW: The location of this mural is significant, since it’s placed on the wall of a printing
warehouse called SBS Paper Products in Chulia Street Ghaut in George Town, Penang. The Brother and Sister on the mural are also actually the children of the proprietor of the said printing firm!
3. The Giant Cat Mural (Skippy)
“Skippy” is one of the many cat murals in Penang. The mural’s whole name is actually “Skippy Comes to Penang“, and is sometimes just referred to as the Giant Cat Mural.
While Little Children on a Bicycle was created in George Town Festival 2012, Skippy was created in George Town Festival 2013 and is actually part of a projected called 101 Lost Kittens. This project was created by artist collective Artists for Stray Animals (ASA) which wanted to raise
awareness in protecting Penang’s stray animals.
DID YOU KNOW: The paint used for Skippy is actually environmentally-friendly, meaning that it’s not permanent and will eventually wash off in 2 years.
4. I Want Bao
I Want Bao or I Want Bau is located in the same street as Little Children on a Bicycle, and shows two children inside a window trying to reach for a stack of rattan stays that could possibly be filled with steamed buns. The rattan, similar to other murals in this list, is painted while the bike that it’s on top of is real.
The I Want Bao mural is actually right on side wall of the Ming Xiang Tai Pastry Shop. It’s created by WK Setor, who named it “哥妹俩的童年回忆” or Childhood.
DID YOU KNOW: The two children reaching for the steamed buns are actually the pastry shop’s children.
5. Boy on Chair
Boy on a Chair shows a small boy painted to look like he’s standing on a real chair, trying to reach for a window-like hole in the wall.
It’s alternatively known as “Reaching Up” or “Almost There”.
6. Cat on Tyre
Cat on Tyre is also part of the 101 Lost Kittens Project by Artists for Stray Animals (ASA). It shows a cat smiling and hanging off a real rubber tire.
7. Cat in Blue Window
Cat in the Blue Window shows a large cat with big yellow eyes looking out of a blue window. It’s one of the many beloved cat murals in Penang.
Some would argue that the cat is a bit ugly, but its funny expression is part of its charm.
It also manages to make its street even more loveable.
8. Cat Flying with Heart Balloons
This mural shows a cute cat flying thanks to two heart balloons! It’s definitely a must-visit spot for lovers who love cats and can imagine them as their new cupid.
9. Indian Woman
This ethereal mural of an Indian Woman next to an equally mysterious looking tree and overgrowth was made by Russian artist Julia Volchka.
The mural shows the Indian Woman in a praying position, her hands raised together with her legs crossed below her. Her position plus the mural’s fading paint make it seem as if the tree is slowly absorbing the Indian Woman, and she is fast becoming part of nature.
10. Boy on Motorbike & Boy with Pet Dinosaur
And last, but no the least, is Boy on Motorbike. You’ll definitely pass by Boy on Motorbike if you’ve seen the many cat murals in the 101 Lost Kittens project.
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