Penang Street Art: 25 Most Captivating Murals In Georgetown

Street Art Penang

Georgetown Penang street art and Penang murals became an international phenomenon when in 2012 visionary Penang Municipal Council hired a Lithuanian born graffiti genius Ernest Zacharevic.
Although the vision of branding George Town started earlier, the artwork of Ernest Zacharevic in Georgetown was the one that has caught the eye of the World.
Since then many talented mural artists have been following his steps transforming Georgetown into the World capital of street art.

THIS POST MAY CONTAIN COMPENSATED LINKS. PLEASE READ MY DISCLAIMER FOR MORE INFO. 

Georgetown on Penang island in Malaysia is a town of impressive history, culture, art, and architecture and a World Heritage Site. For the past few years, Penang mural art has become the most popular reason for visiting Penang and George Town.

No matter how much time visitors plan to spend in Georgetown – 1 day, 2 days, 3 days in Penang, or more – Penang street art is always on every Georgetown itinerary.

But let’s start with Penang and George Town. In colloquial speech, Georgetown is often referred to as Penang and Penang as Georgetown. Penang Island, or the Island of Pearls, is a peninsula on the Malaysian northwest coast. While George Town is a town on the Penang island and the capital of Penang state.

Multicultural characters and unique charms of Penang and Georgetown reflect their vibrant history. In past times, Penang was an important maritime trading route for traders from China, India, Persia, Africa, Arabia, and Europe. From the 18th to the 20th century, George Town was a supreme trading post of the British East India Company and a vital British Crown Colony.

The culture, art, and architecture of contemporary George Town powerfully radiate those past times. Today while walking in the streets of historic Georgetown decorated with old British colonial mansions and offices, Chinese shops, temples, churches, and mosques, you can hear local people speaking ‘Manglish’. Manglish is the Malay creole version of English and a mix of several languages with a Chinese syntax. Modern Georgetown is a peaceful home to Chinese, Malays, Indians, Eurasians and to many other ethnic groups. Today’s Georgetown is a place where four main religions exist side-by-side: Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, and Christianity.

2008. UNESCO declared Georgetown as a World Heritage Site. And with that day, the modern history of Penang started. The Penang State Government and the Penang Municipal Council got a vision to brand Georgetown. Ernest Zachirevic helped them with his marvelous Penang wall painting. Other artists joined and supported the vision.

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WHERE TO STAY IN GEORGETOWN PENANG FOR SIGHTSEEING PENANG MURALS

Recommended Georgetown hotels and hostels:
UPSCALE: Eastern & Oriental Hotel – gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous hotel with a great location!!! Cheong Fatt Tze – The Blue Mansion – another hardly irresistible Georgetown hotel!
MID-RANGE: Areca Hotel Penang, Le Dream Boutique Hotel, Carnarvon House
BUDGET: Great Shanghai Guesthouse, Sogor Girls Dormitory (Female Only), The Rumah Batu Heritage, Kooning, My Guesthouse 109

HISTORY OF PENANG MURALS AND PENANG STREET ART

George Town Street Art starts with the year of 2009, following the UNESCO’s recognition in 2008.

2009. the Penang State Government opened an international pitch ‘Marking George Town‘ to brand Penang as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Within the project ‘Sculpture at Work’ company created 52 iron structures spread around the town under the common theme named ‘Voice of the People’.

2012. the Penang Municipal Council ran the ‘Mirrors George Town‘ project for George Town festival. Graffiti virtuoso Ernest Zacharevic made 9 brilliant Penang wall murals capturing the everyday’s life of people of Penang.

2013. ASA (Artists for Stray Animals) ran a new project named ‘101 Lost Kittens‘ as a part of Artivism – ‘Art done for a good cause’. Thai artist Nathhapon Muangkliang and Malaysian artists Louis Low and Tang Yeok Khang created 12 Penang street artworks portraying cats.

2014. – 2015. Hin Bus Depot Art Center and Urban Nation organized Urban Xchange Festival 

25 MOST CAPTIVATING PENANG MURALS

Over the years Penang mural art got spread out of the historic part of George Town and contemporary Georgetown became a creative hub. In 2017. Lonely Planet’s Street Art edition featured Georgetown wall painting back to back with the street art of New York, London, Paris, Barcelona, Rome, Chicago, San Francisco, Buenos Aries, Mumbai, Mexico City, and Melbourne.

Therefore, here is a collection of 25 best Street Art Penang murals with locations where to find them.

Penang Street Art by ERNEST ZACHAREVIC 

The most famous Penang murals are Ernest Zachirevic graffiti. Called Asia’s Banksy, Ernest Zachirevic artwork in Georgetown on Penang features 2D wall paintings and 3D street art. Ernest Zachirevic street art is especially known as interactive and engaging. Visitors often insert themselves into his artwork and make their photo memories. Ernest Zachirevic Penang street art became a trademark of Penang, which often gets printed on George Town’s souvenirs.

1. Little Children on a Bicycle

Penang murals
Children on a Bicycle mural by Ernest Zacharevic in Armenian Street © World Travel Connector

Kids on a Bike is a world-famous Penang mural by Ernest Zacharevic. Children on a Bike wall painting became a landmark of George Town and the most popular Georgetown Penang mural.

The 3D mural in Georgetown features 2D wall painting of children and a real bicycle attached to the wall. It pictures thrilled brother and sister enjoying a bicycle ride. Children on a Bike mural is based on a sister, Tan Yi and her brother, Tan Kern. One day Ernest was visiting their family and the siblings took his bike. The artist spontaneously captured the moment with his camera.  Later the photo became a world-famous mural. The Georgetown mural has been featured in many publications around the World, including the Guardian article  ‘Guardian readers share their best photos‘ in 2013.

Penang wall mural Children on a Bike is in Armenian Street (Lebuh Armenian) on the junction with Beach Street (Lebuh Pantai).

2. Boy on a Bike 

Street Art Penang
Boy on a Bike by E. Zacharevic in Ah Quee Street  © World Travel Connector

Boy on a Bike is another 3D mural in Georgetown by Ernest Zacharevic. This captivating Ernest Zacharevic 2D wall painting with inserted real bike leaves none indifferent. Quite opposite, it makes you playful and wanting to join the bike ride. This great example of interactive Ernest Zacharevic street art you can find in Ah Quee Street in Georgetown.

3. Little Boy with Pet Dinosaur

Street Art Penang
Little Boy with Pet Dinosaur by. E. Zacharevic in Ah Quee Street  © World Travel Connector

Little Boy with Pet Dinosaur wall painting features 2D wall painting of a boy who takes into a walk his imaginary dinosaur pet. Ernest praises children’s imagination in Little Boy with Pet Dinosaur Penang mural. This Georgetown mural is just next to Boy on a Bike mural in Ah Quee Street.

4. Boy on a Chair 

Penang murals
Boy on a Chair mural by Ernest Zacharevic in Cannon Street  © World Travel Connector

This street art is also known as ‘Reaching Up’ mural or ‘Almost There’. It pictures a 2D mural of a boy standing on a real chair and reaching a real hole in the wall. Boy on Chair Penang is in Cannon Street, near the corner between Acheh Street and Armenian Street Penang.

5. Little Girl in Blue 

Penang murals
Little Girl in Blue mural by Ernest Zacharevic in Muntri Street  © World Travel Connector

Little Girl in Blue mural is also called Kung Fu girl wall mural in Penang. Kung Fu girl wall mural in Penang depicts a cheeky girl hanging on her hands. Some visitors find her frightening. I find her just childish playful and cheeky.

Penang mural painting Kung Fu girl is on the wall of Moon Tree 47 cafe and homestay in Muntri Street (Jalan Muntri), between Love Lane and Leith Street. Little Girl in Blue wall art marks the shop were Penang born world-famous shoe design Jimmy Choo first apprenticed.

Street Art in Penang by LOUIS GAN

A mute-death Penang mural artist Louis Gan created in his hometown some exceptional Penang murals.

6. Children on a Swing

Street Art Penang
Children on the Swing by Louis Gan at a small alley off of Chuila Street (Lebuh Chulia)  © World Travel Connector

Sometimes Children on a Swing mural is called Brother and Sister on a Swing mural as well. Children on a Swing 3D Penang street art is in a small alley off of Chulia Street (Lebuh Chulia), in Gat Lebuah Chulia between Victoria Street (Lebuh Victoria) in Penang and Pengkalan Weld (Weld Quay).

7. Basketball Game

Penang murals
Basketball Game by Lous Gan in Chulia Street in George Town  © World Travel Connector

Another great example of 3D art in Penang is Children playing Basketball mural. Georgetown mural Children playing Basketball in an alley just opposite to Children on a Swing wall mural Penang.

George Town Street Art by ARTISTS FOR STRAY ANIMALS (ASA)

2103 Artists for Stray Animals created some remarkable Penang murals raising awareness of stray animals in Georgetown.

8. The Real Bruce Lee Would Never Do That 

Penang murals
Bruce Lee Would Never Do That mural by ASA in Ah Quee Street  © World Travel Connector

Real Bruce Lee Would Never Do That mural features Bruce Lee kicking two cats, while the third cat is hiding and watching it. The scared little cat is on the right corner staring at Bruce Lee. Please pay attention to her and don’t miss the kitty.

Real Bruce Lee Would Never Do That Penang street art is at a back lane off of the Ah Que Street, between Lorong Pit and Beach Street (Lebuh Pantai).

9. Cat in Blue Window 

Penang murals
Cat in a Blue Window mural by ASA in Cannon Street in George Town  © World Travel Connector

Cat in a Blue Window is one of the Penang murals also made as a part of 101 Kitten Project. Fiercely eyes of the orange cat in a blue window make Cat in a Blue Window Penang mural special. The mural can easily be found in Penang Cannon Street, just opposite to the Boy on a Chair mural.

10. Cats and Humans Happily Living Together 

Penang Murals
Cats and Humans Happily Living Together by ASA, inside of Cheah Kongsi in Armenian Street  © World Travel Connector

Georgetown’s mural Cats and Humans Happily Living Together is on the wall in the garden of Cheah Kongsi in Penang. Cats in the mural carry Taoist lanterns, banners and some deities in a Taoist procession since the majority of Penang’s Chinese are Taoists. Cats and Humans Happily Living Together Penang mural shows exactly what is named for – cats and humans happily live together.

I took the photo from Beach Street (Lebuah Pantai) since the courtyard doors were closed. The entrance is free though.

11. Love Me Like Your Fortune Cat 

Penang murals
Love Me Like Your Fortune Cat mural in Armenian Street  © World Travel Connector

Love me Like your Fortune Cat mural is in Penang Armenian Street (Lebuh Armenian), on the corner near the junction with Lebuh Victoria (Victoria Street).

I love the way the main cat character looks at the little mouse hanging down in the upper left corner. It seems like the mouse is playing with the cat teasing her! Please don’t miss to pay attention to the little mouse!

12. Please Care and Bath Me 

Penang murals
Please Care and Bath Me mural in an alley off of Lebuh Armenian  © World Travel Connector

Wall painting mural Please Care and Bath Me is sometimes also called Two Kittens in a Tub mural. Please Care and Bath Me mural is a tiny wall painting in a small alley off of Armenian street in Penang.

13. Skippy Comes to Penang 

Street Art Penang
Skippy Comes to Penang in an alley off of Armenian Street  © World Travel Connector

This iconic Penang mural of Skippy is just opposite to Please Care and Bath Me mural. Skippy, the cat with a deformed leg became the main mascot of the 101 Lost Kitten Project. Skippy Comes to Penang wall art is also near the Kids on a Bike mural.

Penang murals by JULIA VOLCHKOVA

Julia Volchkova (or originally Yulia Volchkova) is a Syberia born mural artist who also left a strong mark on Georgetown street art. Yulia is the creator of several hyper-realistic Penang murals perfectly capturing human expressions.

14. Indian Boatman 

Penang murals
Indian Boatman by Julia Volchkova in 75 Stewart Lane  © World Travel Connector

2014 Yuila Volchkova made the Indian Boatman Penang mural. This Georgetown wall mural is on the wall of Clockwise Hostel in 75 Stewart Lane facing Klang street in the part of the historic core of Georgetown where Indians had a strong role in maritime past of Penang.

15. Old Indian Woman 

Pennag murals
Old Indian Woman mural in Lamut Lane  © World Travel Connector

Julia Volchkova made the Old Indian Woman wall painting in 2015. Sometimes it is also called Namaste mural and you can find it in Lamut Lane in Georgetown. The old lady sitting under a Banyan part visually seems to be a part of the tree.

Pity the quality of the photo I took by night is not good. It doesn’t’ do justice to the greatness of the mural. Penang Old Indian Woman wall mural is one of my favorite Penang murals.

16. Boy 

Street Art Penang
A little boy by Julia Volchkova at Prangin Canal  © World Travel Connector

As I have already said, Yulia Volchkova is an expert for drawing facial expressions. Penang’s mural Boy is proof. The Boy mural is at the Prangin canal (Gat Jalan Prangin) at the end of Beach Street (Lebuh Pantai).

Penang graffiti by VARIOUS ARTISTS

17. Old Soy Milk Stall

Street Art Penang
Old Soy Milk Stall mural, in a small alley off of Chulia Street (Gat Lebuah Chulia)  © World Travel Connector

Soy Milk Stall Penang mural pictures children and an old lady serving the soy bowls. Penang wall mural Old Soy Milk Stall is in a small alley off Chulia street in Penang, between Victoria Street and Armenian Street.

18. Easter Egg Girl 

Penang murals
Easter Egg Girl on Prangin Road Ghaut in Georgetown  © World Travel Connector

Easter Egg Girl is a colorful wall art Penang on Prangin Road Ghaut, between Beach Street and Weld Quay. I love the floral pattern and the matching colors of the mural.

19. Little Girl with Cheongsam Walking on Numbers 

Pennag murals
Little Girl with Cheongsam Walking on Numbers by Joshua Yang in Beach Street  © World Travel Connector

Penang wall mural Little Girl Walking On Numbers is also called Lang Hoose Girl mural since it is drawn on a wall of the Lang Hoose hotel, on the corner of Beach Street (Lebuh Pantai) and Lorong Tog Aha.

Lang Hoose Girl mural portrays happy 4-year old Alexandra, a daughter of that time owner of Lang Hoose guesthouse, playing. This mural in George Town reminds me of my childhood and the time when I was playing the very same game.

20. Only You Can Stop Pollution 

Street Art Penang
Only You Can Stop Air Pollution by mural artist Cloakwork in Ah Quee Street  © World Travel Connector

Penang wall art Only You Can Stop Air Pollution is an ethically motivated Georgetown mural featuring a person with a gas mask and the cigaret butts getting out the wall. Only You Can Stop Air Pollution mural is in Ah Quee Street next to the Boy on a Bike mural.

21. Red Tree 

Penang murals
Red Tree mural in Bishop Street  © World Travel Connector

Georgetown wall mural Red Tree depicts a red tree on a vibrant blue background on the sidewall of an old building in Bishop Street in Georgetown.

22. The Awaiting Trishaw Paddler 

Penang Street Art
The Awaiting Trishaw Peddler by Desmond Yeo on Penang Road  © World Travel Connector

George Town mural The Awaiting Trishaw Peddler, or for short Trishaw man, is a Penang mural by local artist Desmond Yeo on a sidewall of a building on Penang Road (Jalan Penang). The Trishaw man mural, 15.2 x 15.2 in size, is just across the street to the trishaw station in front of St. Francis Xavier Church.

23. The Girl with Tree Hair 

Penang Street Art
The Girl with Tree Hair by Vexta, in Chulia Street Penang  © World Travel Connector

Another giant Penang mural called The Girl with Tree Hair is in Chulia Street in front of the Stardust cafe in Georgetown. Famous Australian artist Vexta painted the Penang wall mural for UX2014.

24. Traditional Rickshaw Vendor 

Penang Street Art
Traditional Rickshaw Vendor, in an alley off of Armenian Street  © World Travel Connector

The Traditional Rickshaw Vendor mural is also called Old Penang Roti Seller. It is one of the newest Penang murals and it stands in an alley off of the Armenian street.

25. Wo Ai Nee Chinese Malay Indian 

Street Art Penang
Wo Ai Nee Chinese Malay Indian, in Armenian Street  © World Travel Connector

Georgetown wall art Wo Ai Nee Chinese Malay Indian, or the Cultural Girls Georgetown wall painting is a tiny wall mural in Penang Armenian Street from 2o13. The mural portrays three girls of three different races living in harmony in Georgetown: A Chinese, a Malay, and an Indian.

Wo Ai Nee Chinese Malay Indian, literally means ‘I love you Chinese, Malay and Indian‘. It is an extremely tiny mural and you can easily miss it.

RECOMMENDED TRAVEL GEAR FOR TOURING PENANG MURALS

Water-resistant anti-theft day bag that charges your gadgets







Canon G7 X Vlog Camera

Travel scarf with secret hidden pockets






Anti-Theft Rfid blocking travel wallet


For additional details on Penang Street Art location, please check out this online Penang Street Art Map or  Penang Street Art PDF Brochure by the Penang Tourism Board.

Are you interested in some more outstanding murals around the World? Check out the story about Monsieur Chat graffiti in Sarajevo in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Penang Street Art: 25 Most Captivating Murals In Georgetown
THIS POST MAY CONTAIN COMPENSATED LINKS. PLEASE CLICK HERE TO READ MY DISCLAIMER FOR MORE INFO.

23 comments

  1. These are absolutely amazing! Who needs an art gallery when you’ve got Penang murals?! I love this. Adding this place to my bucket list. Thanks for the inspiration!

  2. I love street art and Penang is one of those places I want to visit, just to see the art work. Love the detail and passion which went into this post and a good guide to use for when I get out there.

  3. I had no idea of how much street art is in Georgetown. I love the fact that some of them you can interact with, like the swing and the bike, are real. It is so cool, I would love to walk around and see all the art!

  4. Such an interesting post. I love street art and have photographed it all over the world, so will have to add Penang to my bucket list! I love how you give history behind the murals too with info on the artist – so many blogs don’t do that and instead just share photos of the artwork without the credit. Great post!

  5. The Penang Murals are stunning works of art. What an enjoyable way to experience Georgetown. I love how the “real” bikes and chairs are included in so many of these art pieces, blurring the lines between 2D and 3D. I so appreciated learning about the artists and the history behind the movement to create the murals throughout the city.

  6. Wow, real art on street walls. I love it. E. Zacharevic gave them a great brand. HIs art started it rolling. But the Boy by Julia Volchkova is truly haunting. It probably is now the icon of Georgetown, a town with an awesome history and place in the world.

  7. Beautiful art. I think the pet dinosaur is probably my favorite because of its simplicity. The joy on the boy’s face is beautiful. I would love to see these one day.

  8. We have never been to Malaysia. But the murals in Georgetown would definitely draw us. Love the whole focus on art with both sculptures and street art murals. I love the pics that depict everyday scenes. The muted colours are not always my favourite but work for these scenes. I love the Children on a Swing concept. The Cat in a Window would make a great Caturday pic. Such an amazing variety.

  9. These are absolutely amazing. Had a fun time seeking out some of these murals when we visited Penang last year. We didn’t see some of the ones you’ve highlighted like the Easter egg girl, traditional rickshaw driver or the old Indian woman. I guess that’s a reason to go back. Besides, the food is pretty amazing too!!

  10. This is an amazing collection! I really believe street art is very expressive and can give so much impact! My favorite would have to be, “Only You Can Stop Pullution”simply because it is so timely and makes perfect sense!

  11. I just love this. The pictures are so beautiful and incorporate the contours of the buildings with such skill. My favouite is the little boy with the chair. Having seen your post, I am determined to visit and have pinned so I can easily reference. Thank you.

  12. I just loved the art. The murals look amazing. Never heard of George Town in Penang before. Will definitely visit this place next time. Thanks for sharing.

  13. Penang Street Art captivated me too. Loved each one of them. It is amazing to see how they have given life to those crumbling walls. My favorite is the kids on the swing

  14. Whenever I visit a place, I try to check out the street art. Sometimes I look into it before I travel, so that I know I can hit some spots while visiting stuff in their area, and sometimes I search for mobile apps to help me when I’m actually on the go.

    I adore exploring the streets and discovering the local culture through the street art. Your finds are exquisite and I think Penang is a must-see.

  15. I love street murals as they show the vibrancy of the town and its culture. I have read a lot about the street art of Georgetown and you have refueled my wish to travel Malaysia for this. 3D mural of Children of Bicycle and that swing are my favourite. Ernest Zacharevic has done a remarkable job.

  16. This is the first time I am seeing all 25 together in one post. An absolute treat to eyes! The descriptions brought life to the pics.

  17. These MURALS are amazing! I didn’t know anything about them. I have seen a few of them on Instagram. I think the most popular one is the little kids on the bike. I usually love watching and taking photos of street arts, but these ones are so so interesting

  18. Very nice photos! I remember coming to Penang for the first time a few years ago. I thought I don’t need to read any guides, because – there are so many murals in Penang, I’ll definetely feel like on an art exibition. Turned out – no, it’s not that easy, haha. George Town isn’t that small… You must come prepared and know where to go, especially if you have only a day.

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