Malaysia part I - the art of George Town

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July 19th 2018
Published: November 11th 2018
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A painted catA painted catA painted cat

We start with a really cute cat. This is the first cat photo of many.

We love cats - and so do the artists in George Town apparently

George Town is situated on Penang Island in North East of mainland Malaysia. It is an interesting place on its own and we are going to tell you more about that in the next blog entry. Here we are going to focus on just one aspect of George Town - the city is full of street art. We have written about street art before. There is a really good place in Stockholm we have visited and in Shorditch in London Ake went on a guided tour to view street art. George Town is yet another place which is great to visit if you enjoy street art.

In George Town they issue maps where they have marked the most popular artworks. But the map doesn't cover every piece there is so it does pay off to wander around with your eyes open and walk through streets that aren't marked as places of interest. Walking around and try to locate the street art is also an excellent way to see the historical city centre of George Town. Because most of the art is found where people who are interested
George TownGeorge TownGeorge Town

The city is full of street art.
in the city's history and/or architecture would spend the bulk of their time.

Much of this art has without a doubt been commissioned. We also believe that several pieces have been made by one and the same artist. The reason we think so is that there is one particular, and rather unusual, style which can be found in several places. The style is that the artwork consists of two different parts. One part is a two dimensional painting and the other is one or more three dimensional objects. The two parts fit together and the combination of the two makes the artwork. For instance a two dimensional painting of a boy sitting on a three dimensional motorcycle. Or two painted children leaning out through a window attempting to steal something from a genuine bicycle standing outside.

Another reoccuring theme we detected in the art in George Town was cats. There were surprisingly many paintings of cats. Please don't ask us why because we have no idea. Well, we like cats so we are perfectly OK with them having painted cats all over the town. It could of course be that the people in George
Children on a bicycleChildren on a bicycleChildren on a bicycle

The artwork consists of two different parts. The children are painted but the bicycle is real.
Town really like cats. But we didn't see many cats, other than the painted ones, in town. Though we have to say that we saw an unusual high number of rats there indicating that the number of cats in town actually might be lower than elsewhere. That is a bit ironic, isn't it? They have all those cats painted on the walls but actually have a rat problem.

There is a third kind of art theme which is reoccuring thoughout George Town. They are made from steel and they resemble simple cartoons. We don't see them as being quite a part of the art scene. We think the city has requested them to be put up and they might have relevance to the street or the history of George Town. But we are only guessing now because again we have no idea.

We enjoyed the art of George Town and we hope you too do so. So let yourself loose and try to find all the cats in the photos.

Additional photos below
Photos: 50, Displayed: 24


Unusual lamp postUnusual lamp post
Unusual lamp post

This lamp post looks a bit funny, doesn't it?
Cat number 2Cat number 2
Cat number 2

Cats are adorable. We think so and the artist who made this probably thinks so to
The third catThe third cat
The third cat

A cat in a frame. Is the frame made up of more cats?
Looks chineseLooks chinese
Looks chinese

These girls look like they could come from china. There is a sizeable chinese population in Malaysia so it does make sense
A dog?A dog?
A dog?

Is that supposed to be a dog? Hard to tell. We don't think it is a cat so the cat counter still remains at 3.
A horse and boysA horse and boys
A horse and boys

We don't think there is any cat there. We can see some boys and a horse though
Unintentional artUnintentional art
Unintentional art

The lamp post, the light and the shadow makes this look like art but it was never meant to be
Boy reaching for an appleBoy reaching for an apple
Boy reaching for an apple

The artwork consists of two different parts. The child is painted but the chair he is standing on is real.
The fourth catThe fourth cat
The fourth cat

There is a dog in the bubble but there is a cat there as well, on the ledge. So we have now four cats in this blog

A small figurine
That was one happy cat!That was one happy cat!
That was one happy cat!

That was cat number 5. One that was both cute and happy
Maybe a cat?Maybe a cat?
Maybe a cat?

We think it is a cat standing to the left and possibly a horse in the middle. We say it is a cat and that would make it number six
Clearly a catClearly a cat
Clearly a cat

That would be cat number seven. A big and a rather lazy one.
At least four cats in this pictureAt least four cats in this picture
At least four cats in this picture

There are three cats down at the bottom and a fourth one to the middle left. There may be four cats in the photo but it still only counts as one cat photo. Cat photo number eight.

12th November 2018

Creative flair
Love this blog! We got one of those maps and went street art hunting when we were there in 2014... it was heaps of fun. The original 2d / 3d combination ones where commissioned pieces done by Ernest Zacharevic (kids on bicycle, boy on chair, boy on motorbike etc.), and they were so popular that copy cat ones like the kids on a swing and kids leaning out of the bakery window started emerging. Lovely to see that so many of the ones we enjoyed looking at are still hanging on. We loved the cat ones too, but just couldn't get into the metal sculpture ones. Looking forward to your thoughts on George Town :)
12th November 2018

Thanks for your comment
Glad to hear that you enjoyed reading the blog. The cat theme we didn't notice until we came home actually. When we looked through the pictures we realized there were a lot of cats there. /Ake
12th November 2018
Boy reaching for an apple

Entering in
Wonderful collection of street art from Georgetown. Love that some are interactive and others like this one beg for 3D props. Many favourites but this one is definitely reaching up there for me.
12th November 2018
Boy reaching for an apple

It was great fun hunting them all down
It was good fun to walk around and try to find them all. I think my favourite is the two children reaching out through a window trying to steal bread from a bicycle outside. The two children are appararently the shop owners own children. /Ake

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