Street Art Penang Style

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Mike Gibby
2016. Entrepot Publishing Sdn Bhd
Softcover. 5.9cm x 23.2cm, 301 pages
Fully illustrated in colour
ISBN 9789671428108


“l came to live in Penang in 2011 and quickly discovered its vibrant mixture of wall murals, steel sculptures, and paintings on the roads (kolam). Art, it seemed, was everywhere. Some of this artwork, l soon learned, was officially commissioned, but much was ‘wild’ or perhaps more accurately, an unauthorised expression of life and free spirits.”

Like many visitors to Penang, Mike began to visit, photograph and ‘collect’ the murals and sculptures, which served as an introduction to both George Town and ‘greater’ Penang began. Quiet back lanes were explored in the hunt for new artworks; turning each corner brought a sense of discovery. A journey around George Town became a glorious treasure hunt.

They include Ernest Zacharevic’s iconic and popular murals — it seems there are always people standing patiently in line to pose by ‘Kids on Bicycle’ and ’Old Motorcycle’. But many other ‘lesser known’ painters have contributed towards enrich George Town’s street scene, where ideas are introduced, shared, spread and developed. The most encouraging aspect of this street art, according to Mike, is that the vast majority represent art rather than vandalism, are celebratory rather than simply disfiguring, and are often humorous or affectionate rather than hateful. It brings a smile and a bounce to your step rather than a sigh or shake of the head; many of these murals are regarded with affection by the majority of George Town’s residents.

For this book, the author has chosen ‘all the artwork in Penang, where there is neither an entrance charge, nor is confined to a museum or gallery’. There are exceptions and inclusions that can be debated, but certainly the aim was to be inclusive. The only exception is religious art, which due to its great number, would be better served by one or possibly several separate books.

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  1. Art on the Street
  2. Marking George Town
  3. Painted Walls
  4. Who is Zachas?
  5. Step by Step
  6. Lego and Beyond
  7. Murals with Attitude
  8. Sponsored Art
  9. Coffee Club Culture
  10. Whimsy!
  11. Urban Xchange
  12. ‘Let a Hundred Flowers Blossom
  13. School Kid Art
  14. Urban Graffiti
  15. Sculpture Island
  16. Secret Gardens
  17. Bigger and Better
  18. Days of Empire
  19. GTWH Festival
  20. A New Identity
  21. Context
  22. The Road Goes on Forever
  23. Alphabetical List of Murals
  24. Alphabetical List of Steel Rod Sculptures
  25. About EZhopper
  26.  The Author

About the author: Originally from the UK, Mike Gibby and his wife now live in Penang on the MM2H programme. Mike, who can often be found at the pedals of his bike is also a keen hiker, photographer and explorer. He has authored several books, all on Malaysian topics: Islands of Malaysia (1994); Crowned with the Stars (2005) and Penang Hill, A Journey Through Time (2016).

Weight 1400 g
Dimensions 23.2 × 25.9 × 2.0 cm

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