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Malaysia: Destination Guides

Penang street arts get everyone talking

Penang street art with Ernest Zacharevic

In the old days, we never associate street arts with our culture or nations. The terms ‘interactive street art’ and ‘urban art’ are completely strangers to us. When we heard about street arts, many of us will automatically conjure up an image of graffiti; dirty, eyesoring unpleasant image.


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Thanks to the Lithuanian artist Ernest Zacharevic, our negative perception towards street arts had been repainted with a completely new perspective. Well, if you have seen Ernest’s works, you will understand it is not difficult to be persuaded by such creative, fun and interactive masterpieces.

If you happen to walk past Armenian Street, you will see tourists queuing to ‘interact’ with the ‘siblings on the bike’ (see the photo below). Even the locals are patiently waiting in line to snap a creative shot with the mural. It gets us all talking, tweeting, blogging and sharing on all possible social networking sites. Why we are so crazily in love with these street arts? Here are 5 possible reasons why we can't get enough of it.


1)    A breath of fresh air

These new arts have freshen our mind and brought out our creativity. When was the last time we actually see something on the way to the school; a day out or on a grocery shopping journey back from the market that put a smile on our face?

Penang Street Art by Ernest Zacharevic


2)    It’s very ‘Malaysian’

New York City has its identity when comes to street arts. It is famous with its street graffiti. Finally we have street arts that we are proud of, something that we all can relate too. It is so well painted and it brought out our daily Malaysian life in a subtle yet witty way. What makes it even special - it was drawn by a foreign artist.

Penang Street Art compared to London & NYC


3)    Fun

It is so fun seeing people being creative and snapping away.

Penang Street Art by Ernest Zacharevic


4)    Interactive

A 2D mural with a 3D prop (bicycle, motorcycle or even windows on the side of the building) gives us extra room to be creative when interacting with it.

Penang Street Art


5)    Give the old wall a new life

Ernest never asks for a blank or clear canvas, he only works with whatever he got. What we like about his works is that he never repaints the wall before putting his magical touch on it. It is that complex mix; bringing the old and new together that makes his works exceptionally stunning. Previously, those are the streets that you won’t pay much attention to and those walls will never get your second glance. But now everything has changed, an old wall will never be the same and an old street is getting more attention that it deserves.

Penang Street Art by Ernest Zacharevic










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