When I was invited by Tourism Malaysia for Penang, I was excited. Not only did I want to visit Malaysia and explore the culture there, I was more excited about looking at the street work and graffiti that the streets of Penang have to offer. I am a person who loves graffiti and would go to any distance to find a good piece and admire it for hours together. This was an opportunity that I was not letting go, I started my research on the place and got to know that not only is Penang is culturally vibrant, it also offers some of the best graffiti work that I’ve seen around. Graffiti is street art – one to look closely and literally discover them from the streets – it’s like finding a needle form a haystack. The hot and humid weather wasn’t helping much but I kept going to find some of the best graffiti that I had seen before coming.
Georgetown, Penang is a colourful city which has a fusion of East and West, where it embraces modernity along with retaining its heritage traditions. Most of the cities which are declared as UNESCO heritage sites have made an initiative to décor the street with various art.
The street art in Georgetown features artist from various cities like Lithuania , New York, Berlin, Copenhagen, Manchester, Melbourne and of course local talents. The best part of these graffiti is that the facades , peeing walls of pre-war shop houses in the historic town becomes a beautiful canvas for the creative artists to design their thoughts.
The most intrigue & iconic graffiti are the ones created by the artist Ernest Zacharevic .The mural representing two children riding an actual cycle is three- dimensional art . I love how the artists have used regular objects from daily life and surrounded it with art , which looks as both exist in the same dimension. I thought this was one of the best art that I’ve seen but later on I was surprised to see something very different that I had never seen before – a painting with a real object. There was a motorcycle parked next to the wall and a painting of a man sitting on it. At first it was difficult to understand what this was but on closer inspection, the real painting comes out For me, exploring art in different place is just like a treasure hunt – I love the adrenaline rush that comes in when I see new pieces and I love finding more about the history and understanding what was going on in the artist’s’ mind.
While I was enjoying the graffiti, I noticed pre-wedding couple portraits,being shot by wedding photographers against the graffiti. I would really recommend to walk down some lanes while you enjoy these graffiti , to taste the delicious Chendol which would help you to cool off the humid weather. I also noticed metal wire art on the sides of the road where the murals had descriptive approach or even talk bubbles just like in the comic book.
I would say my favourite piece of art is by Donald Abraham & Fauzan Faud , where colours popped out from the wall – a very aesthetic , funky and modern graffiti. When I looked closely at the design, it does depict like a scene from little India – during old days Indian labourers came in boat to Malaysia.