Before I visited George Town, I had heard about the amazing street art in this Malaysian city on the island of Penang, and I was not disappointed when I arrived.
Most of the George Town street art stems from two occurrences. Firstly, after being inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2008, the state government held an international competition aimed at “marking” the city. The winning entry was from Sculptureatwork with their design concept of “voices from the city”. 52 iron rod sculptures were installed around the city, highlighting the history of the streets in humorous form.
Secondly, during the George Town Festival in 2012, the Lithuanian artist Ernest Zacharevic was commissioned to paint some murals. Combining both painting and installation, these have since become immensely popular. (The easiest way to spot most of them is by looking for the crowds of people queuing to take photographs.) Since then, other artists have continued to paint new street art murals.
The “Marking George Town” map is very handy, listing most of the George Town street art plus all of the iron rod sculptures. Most hotels plus the tourist information centres give out the map for free. But there’s also some other artworks that have since popped up, so keep your eyes open when walking about! These are some of my favourites…
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