Street Art in George Town, Penang


Since I loved Malaysia so much, I decided to stop there for a couple of days on my way from Nepal. My friend Arnold highly recommended to go to George Town (historical part of Penang),  which is super famous for its food and murals. I really love good food and street art is my weakness, so I could not miss this chance. George Town was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2008 and the Penang government started capitalising on world interest and branding itself through the arts.

Please, be patient and make sure you go to the end – I saved the best for last. 😄

So, to get to George Town I took a bus from Kuala Lumpur to Penang, and 5 hours later I was there. The old town met me with a light rain, which did not stop me from roaming  the streets  thirty minutes later.


From the window in my room I could see one of the murals. It was a good start.


I decided to explore the old town on foot (not like I had any other option since I can’t ride a bike). For four days I have been circling the streets in all directions trying to capture as many art objects as possible.


In this post I put together only murals, while the next one will include unique art form – steel rod sculptures. I have never seen anything like that before. Some of the murals are not just paintings, but include some props. Like, for example, below the “cigarette butts” are sticking  out of the wall.


I also tried to group those murals by common theme. In this case it’s pollution.


Some cartoon characters.


I have no idea what this is, but it looks like Noah’s Ark in modern interpretation. And it also strangely similar to the artwork in The National Gallery of Indonesia.


Great combo of Asian cartoons and colourful bicycles.


A strange, but very colourful composition, which I found in a little corner.


Abstract design “Kollective Unknown”.


Next two photos are of “practical” art. One indicates a car repair shop.


This one is a great cover up for the rubbish  bins. I need to  mention, that Malaysian recycle their waste and encourage everyone to do so by putting posters and bins everywhere.


These two paintings I found along the Weld Quay. They were covering  windows in a hotel which was under renovation.


Very impressive if you ask me.


Malaysians love their cats. And I love countries where cats are respected and loved.


Here we go. The extensive collection of cat’s murals. This one was covering the large part of the wall.


This cute  family is taking a comfortable  ride to the “Cat Shop” ( this is a real shop in George Town, and this is where I found this picture).


Mum’s Taxi – Malaysian style.


While the mum is taking the kids to Childcare and school, their dad is riding a bicycle to work. The bicycle is real by the way.


Young male dreaming of beautiful girls. Do they look like geishas to you too? Love Me Like Your Fortune Cat.


This huge mural Skippy reminded me of my beautiful cat, which I had many years ago. I loved him so much.


This is not exactly a mural, more like a sculpture, but I just had to include it here. I want one like this too.


Two totally unrelated pictures next to each other. Space is at the premium when so many artists are around.


Loud Whispers. Look at boy’s eyes – they look so real.


Walking through the very remote and quiet streets, I found this sad boy. The tropical plants framed this picture nicely. Child Mural At Prangin Canal.


I assume that this lady is wearing a traditional outfit. Looks like she is selling fish.


And this lady comes to buy that fish.


Are they admiring the lady’s backside? That’s where their eyes are.


Mouldy walls create a great background for this bright colourful picture, right?


I remember when we played the same games at school in my childhood. Now I know that game has an international significance.


Portraits of celebrities. Of course, I have start with the King of Pop.


And the King of Rock is here as well.


And the King of the silent movies.


I guess this man is famous for one reason or another. Maybe, he is James Bond?




Mister Bean without his little car. But then he is in Malaysia after all.


Marilyn Monroe is texting and waiting for a lift.


This one is a huge mural, covering the entire wall of a hotel.


I sat on this bench under a painted tree.


George Town murals are world famous for their super realistic paintings, which incorporate different objects to add some extra zing.


For example, this boy is standing on a real chair. Boy On A Chair.


And these kids are playing basketball using the real hoop. Children Playing Basketball.


The bike is real, kids are not.


Old Motorcycle. Any tourist brochure includes this picture. It looks so real from afar.


Brother And Sister On Swing. I couldn’t resist and decided to join them. We had lots of fun.


And this is the most famous mural of all: Kids On Bicycle. And it truly is the best. Basically it became a trademark of Georgetown. Tourists are buying T-shirts, magnets and other merchandise with this picture like crazy.  I am guilty myself, but I bought just one little memento of my wonderful trip to Penang.



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