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  • amy Tsoi

Penang Street Art

AmyTsoi


Georgetown, the capital city of Penang, Malaysia is one of the most important cities in Malaysia, especially for the Chinese community. As one of the oldest cities in Malaysia, Penang is famous for the historical value for culture and has been inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2008. Street art is one of the most eye-catching tourist spots in Penang and the graffiti has attracted millions of tourists to visit per year. Every graffiti has recorded the culture and history behind of this place and we can observe the diversity of culture.



Background of Penang







Georgetown is located in Penang, Malaysia. Malaysia is a country located at South East Asia famous for having highly diverse ethnicity, culture, language and religion. The three major communities in Malaysia are the Malay's Group, Chinese and Indian community respectively.

Penang is a Malaysian state located on the northwest coast of Peninsular Malaysia. It is divided into two parts which are Penang Island and the capital city GeorgeTown. Penang is the second largest city by population and one of the highest density population urbranized states, it is also one of the most famous tourist spot in Malaysia. As the capital city of Penang. Penang has a rich colonial background, during World War II, Penang was conquered and occupied by the Japanese Empire from 1941 to 1945. At the end of the war, Penang was also the first state in the Malay Peninsula to be liberated by the British.

GeorgeTown is established as an entrepôt by Francis Light of the East India Company in 1786, George Town was the first British settlement in Southeast Asia, allowing merchants to trade without having to pay any form of tax or duties. GeorgeTwon is greatly developed economically as the colony of Britain. Georgetown acted as vital British entrepôt by funneling the exports meant for global shipping lines which had bypassed other regional harbours, this cultivated GeorgeTown into a multi-ethnic and multi-religious society. GeorgeTown is a Chinese majority city which there is over 53% are Chinese.



World Heritage Site

The oldest portion of the city centre GeorgeTown has been designated by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site since 2008. Recognised as having a "unique architectural and cultural townscape without parallel anywhere in East and Southeast Asia", George Town contains one of the largest collections of pre-war buildings in Southeast Asia.

World Heritage Site is a landmark or area with legal protection by an international convention administered by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). World Heritage Sites are designated by UNESCO for having cultural, historical, scientific or other form of significance. The sites are judged to contain "cultural and natural heritage around the world considered to be of outstanding value to humanity".



Street art created by Ernest Zacharevic

There is a huge breakthrough in the development of Penang Street Art which is the creations of graffiti by artist Ernest Zacharevic in 2012 George Town Festival. Ernest Zacharevic combined oil paintings, installations and sculptures to present of the daily life of a community. It's creativity raised awareness international and become his famous achievement in his graffiti artist life.

Kids on the bike

It depicts the sister carrying her younger brother on the bike. This is the most classic and iconic street art created by Ernest Zacharevic, you can see how simple the life of Penang people and it is full of joy.


Boy on the chair


It features a little boy climbing up on the chair and getting something. It is also one of the classic pieces of Ernest Zacharevic who was commission by the Penang Island Municipal Council (MPPP) in conjunction with the 2012 George Town Festival.




Boy on a bike


This graffiti is a combine of real motorbike and painting. It looks like the boy is riding on the bike and present in a creative way. The mural was repaired by the artist in 2016.


Man on the pedicab

This graffiti features a man resting in the pedicab, which is a unique transport can be found in Penang and a very common daily sence in Penang.



The Old Fisherman

It is created by a Russsian artist portraying an old fisherman mending a fishing net which depicts the life of Penang people in the pre-war period.










An Art Challenge was organised by State Government in 2009 called the “Marking of George Town”. It was won by “Sculpture at Work” with 52 steel rod caricatures called “Voices from the People” which had designs to reflect the character of George Town. The sculptures depict the history of Penang with a brief description next to the sculptures. One of the famous one is created by famous shoes' designer Jimmy Choo, who was born in Penang, shows the appreciation of shoes through the sculptures.




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