Tag Archive: street art



Kuala Lumpur was like a stopover and pit stop on the way to and out of Penang. But we made good visiting some sites in KL and checking out a couple of recommended restos by a local. And Penang may be warmer ๐Ÿฅต but certainly more interesting! We had a leisurely holiday but managed to cover as much ground as we could.

Stopover in Kuala Lumpur

First Day in Penang

Street Art in Georgetown

The Heritage Mansions of Penang

Going (Eating) Peranakan

City Hall of Penang

How we managed despite the high temps and humidity? A good, leisurely breakfast at the hotel, out by 10am to hit the Museums/Mansions/Temples ๐Ÿ•Œ๐Ÿ•๐Ÿซ, lunch, back to the hotel๐Ÿฉ by 2-3pm to rest ๐Ÿ’ค, out again by 5pm to hunt for street art ๐Ÿ–ผ and check out the jetties โ›ต๏ธ, dinner then back to hotel ๐Ÿจ . For an even better appreciation and comfortable travel though, go during cooler months. December and January should be good months to visit. And soon! Many street art installations are in serious need of repair and restoration. Enjoy! ๐Ÿ‘ฃ๐Ÿ‘ฃ๐Ÿ‘ฃ

Passed by Batu Caves As We Exited KL

Passed by Kek Lok Si Temple On Way Out of Penang


We seriously went in search of more street art. But the heat and humidity compelled us to do the hunt at night when the temps were more bearable. Changed into a loose-fitting housedress too for comfort and switched to more comfy, airier sandals for the hunt. After all, we needed to scour the streets of Lebuh Acheh, Armenian, Cannon, Ah Quee etc to find all these Zacharevich art and other murals by local artists. The first set of our finds is in my earlier post but these new street art finds demanded a separate blog. Much too fascinating to be dismissed.

Reaching Up. Cannon Street.

That Zacharevich painting of a boy in yellow shirt on a chair reaching up came with an actual wooden chair. Just like that of the “Old Motorcycle” and the “Kids on Bicycle”. Same with the “Brother and Sister On A Swing”. As in there was really another swing. I’m not sure what this contemporary art style is called, but I bet the Millenial Kids would love this art installations where the urban landscape and recycled objects are fused into an art form. Well, the senior adults enjoyed it too. Kind of frustrating though that the map to search for this urban street art isn’t exactly accurate, but we managed and just missed very few. We also found more — to include those not listed in the city map we had. Seems like many local artists were inspired to showcase their talents as well. Zacharevich or Zach as he is fondly called, may have led the way but he has obviously inspired many local artists. Very artsy! Zach may have been born in Lithuania but the Malays consider him as one of them, and even call him the “Malay Banksy”, whatever that means.

Boy On A Bike. Ah Quee Street.

There were a couple we failed to see while walking the streets but easily found while cruising the same streets on a cab. Where we failed was to look upwards for murals adorning walls that will likely fade over time. Many need a serious retouch. Of course we can only sigh in despair as we cruised past them, unable to take a decent shot. And the ones along some unlighted alleys required some persistence not to give up the search. Luckily, we were a group of 8 friends and enjoyed the search like we were on a treasure hunt. Not too many tourists we met that night, as most of them were already having cold beers inside bars.

Some of those not included in the list were quite outstanding. The city should revise that list to include them. There was no attribution so we don’t know who the local artists were. A pity. I like the concept behind that wall with cigarette stubs and a man with oxygen mask. We also liked the grandma vendor handing a bowl to a boy. Susu Soya? And of course, I couldn’t resist another shot with the “Kids on Bicycle”. Yes, this time in my house dress!

Little Children on a Bicycle, Armenian Street.

The mural “Children Playing Basketball” was in a dimly-lit alley that we nearly missed. It’s in terribly bad condition. I like the energy of this mural but the local government should do something to preserve many such murals that are nearly faded on walls that seem pockmarked.

Our map guide listed a few which locals claim have long been gone. Not sure why, but I suspect the wall on which it was painted may have been torn down or the paint may have completely faded. After all, it’s exposed to the elements and near the sea.

Some paintings obviously were done to promote a nearby shop or restaurant– but that doesn’t take away the thrill of finding them. You just have to give it to these local artists who found an expression of their art that now entertain and amuse visitors like us.

Little Boy With Pet Dinosaur. (Too faded) Ah Quee Street

Be it a wall, a gate, a door. All art. Street graffiti if you like. All for our amusement. By the time we were done, it was past 9pm. No wonder most other tourists were already inside the shops and bars. Way past our dinner time and only this Peranakan Restaurant reminded us we should nourish ourselves.

Before heading back to our hotel, we were convinced many more artists will find ways to express themselves around town. While Georgetown prides itself as a UNESCO Heritage Site, this contemporary art expression seems to complement the more traditional architecture and environ of this historical district.

Of them all, our favourite is this. A child in blue pajamas that we missed but won’t give up on. Found it the next morning, after instructing our cab driver to bring us there. Now, we can say we’re all done! ๐Ÿ˜Š

Little Girl in Blue. Muntri Street.


Loving it here in Penang. Unofficially the country’s food capital, it has also acquired quite a reputation for its street art. It hasn’t been long since Penang’s streetscape was given a boost with the creation in 2012 of a street art project. A Lithuanian artist, Ernest Zacharevic, started with murals in this heritage site that depicted playfulness, energy and some elements of local culture. Walking around the old town searching for these murals was an exciting activity. It wasn’t so easy though as some have faded and in such deteriorated condition. Many were clustered around the Armenian Street, to include those done by artists other than Zacharevic.

It was fun, and before we knew it, we have worked up quite an appetite for dinner. We missed many though as the sun has set and there were many cars parked along the streets where the murals were. Some even blocked the street art. Worse, some are barely recognisable and in dire need of a “retouch”. I am not sure how long these artworks will be around. Just the same, it’s a huge draw for Penang tourists especially the 3D and interactive street art. The historic district of Georgetown is teeming with this art scene.

The tourists in this heritage site don’t seem to mind the heat and humidity. Some have rented bikes while others like us simply sweated it out searching on foot. Either way, the murals invite the viewers to come nearer and take photos. We took the Lebuh Armenian route, passing Cannon and Acheh Streets from our hotel. We should have gone farther down past Chew Jetty to view more like the “Children Playing Basketball” and “Brother and Sister On A Swing”. But it’s almost dinner time and the Jetty Food Court beckoned. And so, part 2 of this street art search will have to wait.

Lastly, I wondered about those many kitten/cat paintings. They are cute too. Why cats? There is a political undertone here . The Penang state government reportedly runs its affairs on a CAT approach. CAT stands for competence, accountability and transparency. A good approach, I must say. But I won’t amplify on its political meanings and interpretations on this post. We’d just keep walking and check out more street art. ๐Ÿ˜Š

There is a map one can download from the Net but it is easy to miss these artworks. We did. So we’re going back to check those we missed. Watch for updates on this blog.

Update here:

https://lifeisacelebration.blog/2019/03/07/in-search-of-more-graffiti-georgetown-penang/

Street Art In Spain


If I were traveling solo, I’d likely NOT pay much attention. But my nieta drew me closer to urban art. In my book, they are pure and simple graffiti. Except of course for the open air sculptures in brass or bronze. Not so, says my artist-nieta. So I looked closer. Yeah, there’s an element of “intimacy” in such a public art expression. A connection of sorts. Some make sense, others don’t. Like this piece in Barcelona near Parc Gรผell. A pair of eyes to “guard” the shop. A closer scrutiny reveals they’re Albert Einstein’s eyes. Or this piece in Zaragosa near the Mercado Central, just a few meters from the Plaza del Pilar. Shop for the bad kids? Hmmm. And it was Christmastime when we found this.

There is an area called La Tabacalera in Madrid. A venue for self-expression but we failed to visit the area as it rained, snowed or hailed the last few days of our Madrid stay. That would have been interesting. But walking home, we weren’t deprived of Madrid’s rebel spirit and creative permissiveness. The shops either sported these graffiti, or someone sneaked in to express himself while no one’s looking.

Atocha Station has some interesting artworks on display just outside the station’s Arrivals area. And there’s Tupperware — a hipster bar frequented by young locals. The bar’s front displays some artwork that changes from time to time.

In San Sebastian and Zaragosa, we found many walls, doors, defaced with graffiti. Like spray-painted Swastikas, Hitler images, or just plain messages.

I can imagine shadowy characters sneaking in with their stencils and spray paint cans, finishing the job in a few minutes lest they get caught. Mind you, my nieta was having all these crazy ideas herself to a point she had a stencil ready and a can of spray paint. Yay! Time to go home.