Since Penang’s Georgetown was given its UNESCO World Heritage Site title, people have been flocking to the island for various reasons. For the Tiger and myself, we were looking forward to two main attractions – Street Art and Steel Rods.
Scattered through the Core and Buffer Zones of Georgetown, the Tiger and I took a walk during our 2nd and 3rd days there to check out these works – and how many we can manage to find.
Most of the artworks we managed to find centered Armenian Street and Chulia Street, where most of the action (Food, Cafes, Art, People) seems to be happening. I would say it was not a coincidence that the Georgetown Festival Office was located around that area as well.
Despite their beauty, the Tiger and I did feel quite sad that some of the murals had faded or had to be knocked out of the walls due to age or city pollution. Regardless, some of these pieces are definitely worth the trek.
The murals were done by Lithuanian artist Ernest Zacharevic, who also has an art book on the various murals on sale in the many gift shops around the Core Zone. Some of the other murals were done for the 101 Lost Kittens Project, and most of their murals are located around Armenian Street.
Apart from the murals, Georgetown is also known for these many steel rod sculptures, set and put up by Sculpture at Work. These sculptures tell the everyday stories and historical tales of the different areas of Penang, featuring art by Baba Chuah, Lefty, Reggie Lee, and Tang Mun Kian.
The sculptures outnumbered the murals, so we only managed to get a few here and there. (I was looking for the spy / espionage sculpture but it was too far out from where we were L.) Nonetheless, each sculpture brought a sliver of history and memory back to the street corners and turns around the Core and Buffer Area.
However, given the structure of the roads in Georgetown, do be careful when you are trying to take photographs of these sculptures. Oncoming traffic will be an issue at certain times of the day.
And that’s all I have for you with regards to Penang Art! From what we saw, the scene is definitely growing and it seems that there is a good amount of support for the local artists, so do watch out for future developments in Georgetown and the Georgetown Festival. To find out more about the festival, click here. It runs until 31 August 2014.
P/S – If you would like to follow through with our Penang trip, just search for the tag “penang adventure 2014”.