George Town is not only famous for its historical site but also for the street art, . In 2008, the British colonical historic center of George Town was registered in the World Heritage Site by UNESCO and since that moment , the street art has popped up with increasing vigor. In 2009 the Penang tourism Board hosted a competition called “Marking George Town” project calling for creative ways to make use of public spaces.
The Kuala Lumpur-based firm “Sculpture At Work” won the competition and crafted 52 wrought – iron caricatures with anecdotal descriptions of street they adorn and that are George Town icons today. In 2012, for the George Town festival, a famous artist from Lithuania, Ernest Zacharevic, was tapped to paint full-scale muralwork.
The pieces painted by the hand of the young Ernest are inspired by the everyday humans of Penang, capturing the lively spirit of the city through mischievous scenes. Two of the most famous and photographed are the ‘’Kids on bicycle’’and a painted boy riding on the back of a decommissioned motorcycle. Most of Zacharevic’s murals are interactive, having components in which the art interacts with real elements . With no doubt, his work is a fascinating depiction of art merging with the environment.
While the heaviest concentration of these murals are around the area of Lebuh armenian and Lebuh Cannon street , the popularity of street art in Penang has spread passing the boundaries of the historic center and now you can notice it everywhere in the town. You’ll find pieces by artists like Natthapon Muankliang, Louise Low, Tang Yeok Khang, Reggie Lee, Tang Mun Kian, Julian ‘Lefty’ Kam and Baba Chuah.