Georgetown’s Quirky Street Art

Georgetown is Penang’s capital, a beautiful multicultural city.  It was declared a UNESCO world heritage site in 2008 so I was surprised to discover that Street Art is one of its popular attractions.

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In 2012 the Georgetown festival commissioned  Ernest Zacharevic a Lithuanian born artist and Penang resident, to do a series of paintings titled ‘Mirror George Town’ which depict the town’s street life. This has led to a number of artists adding their own paintings around the city.

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Most of the street art is congregated around the wonderful Armenia and Cannon Streets which are also full of lovely old buildings, galleries, street food and have an artsy vibe.

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We were staying close by for a week so had plenty of time to  just wander around the old city. Discovering new paintings down alleyways was fun. Many tourists hire bikes and go around with specially produced maps in search of the different paintings which is also exciting for the children-a bit like a Pokemon hunt!

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Unfortunately much of the artworks are quite faded and on crumbling walls so I’m not sure how much longer they will last unless ‘touched up’. Already some which were referred to on maps were gone. On the other hand new street art has also been popping up all over town so I suppose it is an evolving thing.

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Anyway this was a new ‘attraction’ since our previous visit to Penang, which was more than 10 years ago. Make sure if you visit to give yourself plenty of time just to wander the streets of old Georgetown – not just for the street art but the wonderful things you discover at every turn and down every lane way not to mention the street food!

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Author: Pascale Zufferey

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