The city of George Town on the island of Penang in Malaysia is a UNESCO world heritage site. The historic district of the city was granted world heritage status due to the unique 500-year history of Malay, Chinese, Dutch and English influence and architecture.
One of the most popular attractions in the historic area are the numerous street art murals scattered about. Of these, the most well known are the nine murals done by Lithuanian artist Ernest Zacharevic. In 2012 he was commissioned to paint a number of murals as part of the “Mirrors of George Town” project. The murals have become quite famous and shops throughout George Town have postcards and books featuring the murals. Although not the only murals in George Town, these are some of the most well-known.
We decided to spend the better part of the day using an online map we found of the mural locations as a guide to exploring the historic district. Since the murals are street art painted on private buildings and exposed to weather, some of the original murals are gone completely and others are so faded, they are not recognizable unless you really know what you are looking for. We used the Google map found in the blog post- http://www.angloitalianfollowus.com/street-art-in-georgetown-penang to guide us. The overall route to see all the Zacharevic murals is a little over 2 km long. We didn’t stick strictly to the map but used it as a base and veered off the path when something caught our interest.
From what I gathered from research online, the artist has made return visits to touch up a few of the murals in recent years. The mural Broken Hearts is gone completely. It was painted on two telephone stands, and who uses pay phones these days? I think the telephone stands must have been removed. This Old Man and Children on a Boat are so faded, there is no way you would know that they were even there unless you were looking really hard for them.
Here are the murals in the order we saw them. You can find higher quality pictures online. We didn’t wait until the time of day when the lighting was perfect. Also, based on photos we have seen online or postcards we saw in shops, we believe that new buildings, electrical wires, fences, etc. have been built up since the murals were painted in 2012 and we couldn’t get as good of access as in some of the professional photos you can find on the internet. Hope you enjoy!