In over 500 years Georgetown has changed from a british colony to a vibrant city. Georgetown was the first British settlement in Southeast Asia and in 1963 became its own territory. Since then Georgetown has undergone a transformation while still retaining much of its charm. Part of Georgetown’s charm is its well preserved architecture, that is contrasted against all the modern art. Georgetown has become known as a bustling city for street art.
Walking a few steps in Georgetown old town and it won’t be long before you spot some street art. From famous pieces from Lithuanian artist Ernest Zacharevic to cute cat murals Penang’s art scene is alive and buzzing. One of my favorite parts of Penang was stumbling on the street art without even meaning to. Visiting Georgetown would feel incomplete without witnessing some of its’ famous art.
Guide to Exploring Georgetown’s Street Art
In 2012 Penang’s municipal council hired London-trained Lithuanian artist, Ernest Zacharevic to paint several murals in. Ernest careful selected his spots looking for walls that had texture and character. He then created stunning masterpieces that celebrated the daily life and joys of living in Penang. His murals are beloved not just by the tourist but by locals as well. These are the most famous of the Georgetown murals and you will probably need to wait a while to get a photo without other tourists.
Then a couple of years ago 101 cat murals came to Georgetown. Created by several artist to bring attention and awareness to the growing population of stray dogs and cats. After they were completed other artist joined in and added some others. It’s main aim is to show locals how cats can help combat rats and get them adopted. I love anything that combines art with animal welfare and these were some of my favorite murals.
Soon after Ernest Zacharevic created his murals other artist joined in. There is street art scattered all around Georgetown now. Make sure to keep your eyes peeled and venture off to little side streets. Georgetown is safe and there are hidden gems behind even restaurants and tiny alleys. Some pieces are small while others are full building murals.
Below is a handy map I found of the Penang aka Georgetown Street Art. Using Google maps too you can pinpoint a bunch of the big murals and then just wander around.