PUNbeliveable Instagram-Worthy Penang Street Art + Captions

so the adventure begins travel blog living in Vietnam Asia Penang street art Georgetown Malaysia

The Malaysian island of Penang is home to the quaint UNESCO city of Georgetown. While the city has a colourful history, and boasts some beautiful architecture, there is a new draw that is attracting millennials on their travels through South East Asia. What could be enticing all those avotoast-loving hipsters? Penang street art of course! We are guilty and unashamed.

#doingitforthegram

During our trip to Penang last month, we spent an afternoon exploring Georgetown’s street art scene, guided by a trusty map from The Next Somewhere. Penang’s street art is unlike regular graffiti you’ll have seen before, as a large proportion of the artwork is interactive, incorporating items like motorbikes, chairs and swings. This makes it all the more engaging and fun for the viewer (and it’s obviously worked to create a buzz about Penang). We couldn’t help but capture these silly photos of our favourite pieces. And of course, anyone who knows us personally will appreciate our love for a good ole fashioned pun so it was only right for us to share these pieces, plus their punny captions, ready for you to recreate on your Instagram!

 

Queuing for Soya Bean | Created by Chin Choon Yau with help from local students

“I soya’ll queuing so I thought I had to try some.”

I sure hope y’all got that one? Otherwise this post is off to an aaaawkward start. This Soya street seller piece of graffiti was commissioned by Homesoy, one of the first companies to jump on the graffiti bandwagon as a pretty smart advertising route. The company wanted to try and get more young people interested in art, and as part of this plan they had local students help with creating the final piece. You can find this fun little Soya stand for at yourself at 57, Gat Lebuh Chulia, 10200 George Town.

 

Skippy Comes to Penang | Created by a group of artists called Artists for Stray Animals

“Picture puuurrrrfect”

This giant cat mural is part of the 101 kittens project, in which 101 images of cats and dogs were painted around Penang. The campaign was to highlight the need to protect stray animals. All the artwork for this project was created in 2013, so the murals are starting to look a little faded. But that just adds to the rustic charm, right? Apparently they were painted using environmentally friendly paint which will eventually completely wash off – so be quick to grab a snap with this one! Find the giant kitty for yourself on Gat Lebuh Armenian, 10300 George Town.

 

The Real Bruce Lee Would Never Do This | Created by a group of artists called Artists for Stray Animals

“It took a kung few attempts to nail this one.”

This is another piece of street art created as part of the 101 lost kittens project. Bruce Lee kicking a cat. What a classic. You can find the kung fu legend for yourself at 4, Lebuh Ah Quee, 10300 George Town.

“I will chair-ish this moment for ever.”

This fun and super interactive piece was created by Earnest Zacharevic, a Lithuania-born artist, during the 2012 George Town festival. He is definitely one of the most famous graffiti artists in Penang with a huge number of murals to his credit. Over the years he’s come back to top up the original artwork to keep it looking fresh for us! You can help this little cutie for yourself at 14, Lebuh Cannon, 10300 George Town.

Little Boy with Pet Dinosaur |  Earnest Zacharevic

“C’monnnn, we’re going for a T-rek”

Another one of Earnest Zacharevic’s pieces from the 2012 Georgetown Festival. The mixture of realism of the little boy and the childish line drawing makes this mural so special – like his pet dinosaur is one of the boys doodles or even a figment of his imagination! Unfortunately it seems that the mural suffered some fading and damage, but was restored in 2014 and looks amazing again! Hunt down this funky piece on Lebuh Ah Quee, 10300 George Town next to the “Boy on Motorbike”.

 

I want Pau! | WK Setor

“They see me rolling / they hating / they tryna catch me selling Pao”

Okay, okay. No this technically is not a pun, but this song just springs to mind every-time I see this piece of Penang street art. I swear someone else out there will find this amusing too.. Anyways, this funky piece was actually commissioned to be created by the owner of the bakery which is just behind these walls. In-fact, the smiling kids you see trying to catch me are said to be modelled on the owners real kids! Go find these hungry kiddos for yourself at 26, Lebuh Victoria, 10200 George Town.

 

Minion Shouting | artist unknown

“Keep it down!! The noise you’re making is despicable”

We haven’t found out very much about this piece of Penang street art, but it screams fun! You can find this noisy Minion right opposite the Boy on Motorbike on Lebuh Ah Quee, 10300 George Town.

 

Boy on Motorbike | Earnest Zacharevic

Poor kid must be wheely wheely tyred of people trying to catch a lift home…

Another one of the infamous Earnest Zacharevic’s innovate artworks! So quirky and fun to get involved in! Ride along to 12, Lebuh Ah Quee, 10300 George Town to find this interactive Penang street art!

 

Hoola Hoop basketball | Louis Gan

“Let’s play basketwall!”

This fun and interactive mural is the first of two Penang street art piece created by the deaf and mute artist Louis Gan. Find the siblings for a bounce around at 59 Gat Lebuh Chulia, 10200 George Town, its a bit hidden down the side street next to Container Hostel.

Brother and Sister on a Swing | Louis Gan

No I’m the king of the swingers!

I think this is our favourite of all the Penang street art. It is childish and quirky yet incredibly simple. The painting style really brings the children’s adorable smiles to life. Come and be silly with this mural by Penang local Louis Gan at 63, Gat Lebuh Chulia, 10200 George Town.

Kids on Bicycle | Earnest Zacharevic

“WOOAH, SLOW DOWN. You cycle-path!” 

We’ll leave you with this final crazy piece from Earnest Zacharevic, and arguably one of the most famous Penang street arts. 2, Lebuh Armenian, 10300 George Town. I challenge you to create such an awkward looking photo for yourself, bonus points if you can make the same face!

 

Where is the coolest graffiti you’ve seen? The Penang street art is up there as some of the best we’ve ever seen!

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For more Penang street art:

  • Some of the more unusual and hidden street art – The Blonde Passport
  • A useful DIY graffiti walking tour – The Next Somewhere (this is the map we followed to find all of these gems – go check it out!)
  • A comprehensive collection of the street art throughout Penang – Miles and Smiles Away

Thinking of visiting Malaysia? Check out:

39 Comment

  1. Diane says: Reply

    Love it Frances. Thank you from all of us sitting reading your post, it brings your trips and all the lovely sights right into our homes
    Street Art is so much fun.
    Lots of love and keep posting,
    Diane xx

    1. francesFR says: Reply

      Thanks Diane, really glad you enjoyed 🙂

  2. Selam says: Reply

    This is too awesome! You guys are creative with your posing and captions 😉

    1. francesFR says: Reply

      Haha shucks! If you’re going to do it, you gotta go all out with it!

  3. Taylor says: Reply

    All of this street art is fantastic! I’m going to be visiting Malaysia in November so I will most definitely be checking it out! Thanks for sharing 🙂

    1. francesFR says: Reply

      Malaysia is a beautiful country – so much diversity. Definitely recommend heading to Penang, the beaches were also great!

  4. Janice says: Reply

    I enjoyed reading your article! Especially the puns I was there in May and georgetown is probably my favorite in Malaysia with all these street arts and food!

    1. francesFR says: Reply

      Oh don’t remind me of the food – it was some of the best I’ve tried!

  5. Corey says: Reply

    Wonderful post! My girls would love the cat mural! Love that the colors are environmental and wash out.

    1. francesFR says: Reply

      Thanks, it’s certainly a very child friendly island – lots of kiddies to see and do!

  6. Nana says: Reply

    I was there in August! I didn’t know anything about this place because we were meant to be in Thailand for the last 1,5 week before going home (we had our flight from Bangkok), but we fell in love with Malaysia and decided to stay longer in the country and then take the flight from Penang to Bangkok. We really loved this city and their street art 🙂 Great pictures you guys took!
    kind regards, Nana

    1. francesFR says: Reply

      Thanks Nana! I can totally see why you might prolong your trip!

  7. Yay! I love Georgetown, the street art is such a treat 😀

    1. francesFR says: Reply

      I know, I always love finding new street art in places we visit!

  8. Those pics are so cute and all of your puns are adorable. What a lovely read and an eye opener to the impressive street art in Penang. Wow!

    1. francesFR says: Reply

      Haha I don’t know about adorable puns, but hopefully at least giggle-worthy! Thanks for taking a look!

  9. I had no idea there was such a vibrant street art scene in Penang!

  10. Amalia says: Reply

    Love this!! My husband is a Penangite so we go back there often 🙂 I always love to see these street arts and I’m always amused by the creativity of the travellers taking pictures with the graffiti hehehe.. Nice pictures!!

    1. francesFR says: Reply

      Oh how amazing! What a beautiful island to come from! I know, it seems that there are always new pieces appear so it must be fun to see it transform over time!

  11. Anita says: Reply

    It was interseting to learn that street art in Penang is interactive, incorporating items like motorbikes, chairs and swings. I have never experienced that. It would be great to try. Thanks for beautiful pictures and detailed description.

    1. francesFR says: Reply

      Yeap, that’s what sets it aside from regular street art. Very fun indeed! Thanks for taking a read!

  12. I absolutely love this post! The street art of Georgetown has been on my list for ages! You got some brilliant shots here, and I love the pins 🙂 How did you find out about the artists behind each of the pieces?

    1. francesFR says: Reply

      I just did some of my own research into it! I’m sure there are walking tours you can do where they will tell you similar information, but I like to have the freedom of wandering aimlessly – so I research before/after to know more!

  13. Nadeen says: Reply

    Such a fun post!! I have not been there so I had no idea about the street art. Definitely Instagram worthy!

  14. I was in Penang six years ago this week and there was NONE of this art, waaaaah! It looks like so much fun. I heard they added a lot of it within the last couple years? Fun post!

    1. francesFR says: Reply

      Haha I can’t image how different it must be now. I think most of it started in 2012 during the festival, but they seems to be adding pieces all the time!

  15. I love your post! You created a new twist to these street art installations!

  16. Wooo…Love art and the concept, how nicely you included yourself in the pictures <3.

  17. This looks so cool! I saw this on instagram once and was wondering where they took those amazing pictures. Now I know! Such clever idea, they way they’ve been done. I can’t wait to visit.

  18. yasmin says: Reply

    Haha love it!! The pictures make me laugh. Streetart is so cool! You’re making the art come alive! Just followed you on IG aswell :).

    1. francesFR says: Reply

      Thanks Jasmin! Glad you liked it! 🙂

  19. Anu says: Reply

    Always missed going to Penang. However, you took me on this absolutely funny trip there. Am laughing out loud. Thank you so much for this.

    1. francesFR says: Reply

      Thanks Anu, hope you can travel back to see it for yourself one day!

  20. These are great! I love the way you have interacted with the art, too – some great interpretations. I love all the street art that springing up everywhere these days, and it looks like Penang has some of the best…

  21. Susan says: Reply

    ha ha I love this post! I actually hadn’t heard of the street art in Georgetown before, but love how interactive the art is! It must’ve been so fun to explore 🙂

  22. Sasha says: Reply

    Haha this was a lot of fun to read, fantastic puns to go with awesome photos. I would love to see the street art here too. My favourite city for street art is Bogotá, Colombia. Unreal! But not as punny!

    1. francesFR says: Reply

      Oh nice! We haven’t been to S. America yet but Colombia is on the list – will look out for the street art there too!

  23. Teja says: Reply

    A pretty funny take on the street art! It was basically the epicentre, where playful interactive street art became a thing here!

  24. Ana says: Reply

    Love the street art and love the way you played with it. Funny creative post!

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