My Facebook page has been flooded with photos of George Town’s street art for this entire year. Curiosity stoked, Darren and I decided it was time for us to do our own interpretations of George Town’s famous street art. You can be sure they will be quite atypical ;)
It was only recently that Penang’s street art stared to generate quite a buzz on social networks from Lithuanian artist Ernest Zacharevic’s series of murals painted during Mirrors George Town for George Town Festival 2012. What is not widely-known is that the seed to plant art in George Town started back in 2009 when Kuala Lumpur-based art company Sculpture at Work won the Penang state government’s commissioned art challenge ‘Marking George Town: An Idea Competition for UNESCO World Heritage Site.’
Sculpture at Work proposed to tell stories of Penang inspired by their residents and culture through 52 steel rod caricatures place all over George Town. Together with the wall murals, they caught the world’s attention and tourists started flocking to Penang for another reason – other than its food.
First, to find the famous murals painted by Ernest Zacharevic…
While Ernest Zacharevic started the street art faze, other Malaysian artists have also started to leave their mark around the heritage town, such as 101 Lost Kittens.
Did you know the streets of George Town were named after its trades, people and events? Learn about how each street got its name through the 52 steel rod sculptures placed all over the city which were inspired by Penangites going about their daily chores.
My favourites happen to be drawn by a young non-commissioned Malaysian artist Louis Gan:
I think it’s a wonderful idea and meaningful art/heritage trail for every visitor to Penang to embark on. I enjoyed my ride on wheels around the city, venturing along small laneways and hidden alleys in search of art. And Darren’s company was icing on the cake – he was great with the map and way -finding!
You will not need to print the maps out; simply get a street art brochure when you arrive at the airport or from your hotel. Have fun :)
Read more about Penang
Penang – Made In Penang Interactive Museum 美因槟廊
Darren & I recently went on a getaway to nature’s paradise in the form of Gaya Island Resort, a newly opened five-star retreat located off the coast of Kota Kinabalu on the shores of Pulau Gaya, the largest island in the Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park, Sabah/Borneo. Being nature lovers, this was the perfect location for us surrounded by untouched tropical rainforests and mangroves lovingly preserved for thousands of years complimented with the majestic view of Mount Kinabalu. Borneo is also home to many rare species including the orangutan, proboscis monkey and pygmy elephant.
We were thus naturally excited to go on the resort’s guided nature walks (9am daily lasting about 1hr; complimentary for guests) led by their in-house naturalist Justin Juhun – what an adventure! We couldn’t wait to discover the island’s distinctive flora and fauna hidden in the rainforest, and hear the stories he has to tell about them. We hear that a family of proboscis monkeys have been spotted in the jungle too, so we were even more eager to spot them on our walk.
Tips for surviving a jungle walk:
– Beware of commando-trained mosquitoes: wear a long sleeved shirt (I brought detachable sleeves) and pants, or prepare to be human buffet for the mosquitoes.
– Slather on insect repellent especially on the uncovered body areas.
– Keep your mouth closed. You’ll know why later on.
– Talk softly else you will scare away all the animals and insects, and your companions.
– Wear proper shoes as there may not be proper walking paths (we are in a real jungle, not theme park).
– Try to stay with the group or you may become the next Survivor wannabe – by yourself.