Penang street art has exploded in popularity recently and there are now dozens of examples scattered around Georgetown. From big murals of cats to amusing pieces about learning the Penang Hokkien language, there’s real variety. Photos of my favourites are below.
My favourites are the ones that aren’t just painted on the wall but incorporate an object like a bicycle, bar stool or maybe a basketball hoop. I think those are great and I love that you can become part of the picture in many of them. Lots of other people like that too so if you’re therewhen it’s busy you may have to wait to get a shot without other people in it, or a shot of you in the picture. Going early in the morning is best, and weekdays are better than weekends.
The street to head for if you’re short of time is Lebuh Armenian, also called Armenian Street.
The many cat murals are are part of the 101 Lost Kittens Project created by Artists for Stray Animals, 2 Malaysian and 1 Thai artist to raise awareness of stray animals
Little boy reaching up towards the birds with a stick (because little boys do that kind of thing)
This mural is about learning Penang Hokkien, a dialect spoken by Penangites who are descendents of early Chinese settlers. It’s mainly a spoken, not written, dialect and is similar to the dialect spoken in Medan on the Indonesian island of Sumatra.
A real basket and basket ball and painted children trying to get the ball through the hoop
This is a metal figure of a policeman holding a fire hose, the text above says ‘Up until 1909, the police doubled as Georgetown’s firefighters’
A cat looking around at some ”fortune cats” in another mural by Artists for Stray Animals’ 101 Lost Kittens project
A bicycle fixed to the wall with two painted children by artist Ernest Zacharevic. Lots of people get their photo taken sitting on the bike so you’ll have to be quick to get a shot!
Another chance to become part of the artwork
Another Artists for Stray Animals work showing a cat with a rat
‘Lion dance’ on a wall outside a shop – the bench sign says ‘for photography purposes only’ so they don’t want you to linger there!