George Town, Penang has become famous in recent years for its whimsical street art and murals, transforming drab and tatty shophouse walls into tourist attractions in their own right.
Other towns in Malaysia, such as Ipoh and Melaka, have noticed Penang’s success and installed their own versions.
Here are some examples of the murals in George Town which come in two styles:
• Cartoon or caricature images made from wrought-iron rod sculptures each telling something about the particular neighbourhood where the sculpture is located.
There are 52 of these steel-rod sculptures scattered around the Unesco core and buffer zones of downtown George Town.
These designs won a competition set by the Penang State Government in 2009 to decorate public spaces in George Town and to brand Penang as a Unesco World Heritage Site.
• Painted murals by renowned and lesser known artists: Some of these murals incorporate real life objects like bicycles, chairs and fire hydrants into the painting to give a 3D effect.
The most famous mural is probably “Kids on Bicycle” by Lithuanian artist Ernest Zacharevic. New ones are springing up all the time.
This article first appeared in malaysia-traveller.com