Friday, July 11, 2014

Visit Malaysia Year 2014 - Street Arts, George Town

To support Visit Malaysia Year 2014, I will be writing on various tourist attractions in the country. Let us work together to bring in tourists to our lovely Malaysia.


Bring out the name Ernest Zacharevic and chances are everyone will be raving about his mural paintings that decorate the streets of Malaysia. While these days, his works can be seen across the country with Ipoh being the latest town painted by him, there is no doubt that George Town will always be linked to him or that the  “Little Children on a Bicycle” will be his most famous piece.

One of Ernest's work, "Boy on a Bike"

The beauty behind this piece of art is that it manages to capture the simplistic childhood moment and the thrill and excitement of riding a bicycle together with your siblings or friends. You will feel nostalgic when looking at the painting. Even though the mural has been there for more than a year, it remains to be among the most famous of them all in Penang, with tourists, both locals and foreigners, queueing up to take pictures with it.

Someone pasted Ernest's infamous work in Johor Bharu in one of the streets

George Town will never be the same again thanks to him. He definitely has left an indelible imprint in the art scene of Georgetown. Besides contributing to the city's art revival, his works also encourage other artists to do the same. 

Georgetown has become an unofficial patron city of street arts, with more and more new pieces popping out along these narrow streets. Most of these artworks, delicately painted by local artists, fuses with the vibe of the city. There are some that are more of an oddity. I mean, the popularity of minions has an expiry date.

Wonderful creation that showcases the cultural beauty of our country

Regardless whether you see them as work of arts or pure vandalism, there is no denying that thanks to these mural arts, George Town has become much more livelier and bursting with energy. Tourists would flock to the city in hunt for these hidden treasures, walking around the narrow streets of the historic city centre in search of them. 

Another gem by local artist, I think

However, if you are planning to see these mural arts for yourself, you better do it quick for some of them has faded beyond recognition. One of Ernest's creation, “This Old Man” mural along Armenian Street, has faded with nothing but the palest outline of a face can be seen while the “Children in a Boat” mural, another one of his works at Chew Jetty, is barely recognisable as the painting peeled off due to the brutal forces of Mother Nature.

Even these arts are not safe from passerbys. The aforementioned “Little Children on a Bicycle” mural endured few vandalism acts back in the early days. Luckily, the locals managed to save the painting and restored it back to its original self. Therefore, do visit the island quick if you are planning to do a mural hunting. It might no longer be there come the next day.

"Little Children on Bicycle"

 Info Box

Street arts along the narrow streets in the historic city centre of George Town. Most of the mural arts are clustered along Armenian Street and its surroundings. 

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