This past weekend I went to the the island of Penang, Malaysia, a designated UNESCO World Heritage site. I stayed in the historic core of Georgetown. This quaint place, full of winding alleys of traditional shophouses, unique cafes, and various religious institutions, also has street art around every corner. For me, it became a game, trying to find all the fun and quirky designs hidden throughout the town center. Here are some of the things I found!
Much of the art is somewhat interactive and takes into account physical elements that it is located next to. Some of the designs were a bit wacky and funny, others were quite realistic and hearken back to some nostalgic element of the older days.
There are various free tourist maps that point to the locations of the artworks, but I preferred to just wander around down the streets and discover the works myself. Often they were located on very typical looking building faces. It took a lot of concentration and observation skills, and I now realize how much we miss out when we are walking around, even if we think we see everything!
There were times when I would walk past a place a second time and notice something I didn't see at all when I passed by initially.
Some of the artwork also has educational and historical value. Many of the streets and lanes in Penang have interesting associations or stories. There are wrought-iron sculptures, such as the one below, that describes what the street is known for.