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The surprising street art of George Town

George Town is that kind of city that catches you from the moment you arrive and you start exploring it. A combination of old colonial buildings with skyscrapers. An ethnic mix that well defines what you will find throughout Malaysia, people of different religions and parts of the world living there. And a street gastronomy that makes many people claim it to be the culinary capital of the country, and others even more daring, of Southeast Asia.

So far sounds good, doesn’t it? Well, the best thing for me was something else. That kind of thing that makes you think “Oh yes… This is the place.” And will make you pass the hours and days there without even realizing. I’m talking about its amazing street art. Graffiti that far from being criminalized, are extolled, especially since a few years ago, seeing that half city was covered by authentic urban art works, the city council chose to start taking advantage of it and selling it as one of the attractions of the city. As if they were few!


    Go get them all!

George Town, which is located on the west coast of mainland Malaysia, is the capital of the state of Penang. Along with the beautiful city of Melaka —which deserves another article— are World Heritage Site by UNESCO since 2008.

The fever for this kind of art, started in a city festival in 2012 when the Lithuanian artist Ernest Zacharevic painted six pieces scattered throughout the city. Today, these pieces and many others are already part of the DNA of the city.

As said a little above, lately this is being explode as a new touristic gold mine, so you will find free maps in your lodging or in the tourist office with all the works pointed, so you do not miss even one.

My recommendation is that if you have time, go out the first time just to explore the city for yourself and to discover the hidden art in it. This may well be on a wall, as in a chunk, container, pipe, etc. In fact, some of them masterfully mix paintings on a surface with real pieces like half motorcycle, milk cartons, a basket ball, etc, which not only give much more depth to the work but obviously also much more realism.

It’s said that a picture is worth a thousand words… Well, wait to see how worth are these fifteen images that come next!

It is possible that some of the works that I saw when I was there will be gone when you go, but there will be for sure new ones. Also remember and try not to go during peak hours or you will have a crowd of tourists photographing the pieces and posing in them. And when they do not look at you, you too can take a supertouristy photo like we did in the two below :P


    And wait that there is still more

Strolling through the streets, between graffiti you will also find drawings made with iron sculptures. At first glance, it surprised me, because although it is true that many people had told me about graffiti, nobody told me anything about these lovely sculptures.

You will find one of them in each street, explaining briefly and sympathetically the history of that street with a drawing and a few lines of text, both forged in iron. Authentic art too! But I have so many of these photos that I’ll leave you with one and save the rest to write a good post in the future with all the them.

Everything so interesting and original, right?

I personally love urban art and I think it is often underestimated. What do you think about it?

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