Street art was the main reason I wanted to go to Penang. But I was only thinking about Ernest Zacharevic’s work at first. Then research brought me to one of the websites of Timothy Tye, who is a local of Penang and has extensive information and a lot of tips about the place. In his blog, I read about the steel rod sculptures in George Town and more street art in the heritage site.
I didn’t pay attention to the word “rod” and thought they were drawn on the wall, but they’re not! When we arrived in Penang, we immediately saw one installation. This was the first sculpture we saw on our way to Lebuh Kimberley.
I like that the state can think of whimsical ways to depict the history and/or characteristics of its streets. The state’s effort to promote art and culture and the heavy involvement of young people as I have observed during the George Town Festival are impressive.
Walking the streets of George Town wasn’t only amusing, it was very informative. You get to pick up historical bits on the streets, from cartoons. The descriptions are not long so visitors and residents can easily grasp them. I think even kids who do not really understand history yet, will find these steel rod sculptures in George Town fun and interesting. The faces of the characters are really funny.
If you look at the components of the sculpture very closely, it’s pretty easy to understand the significance of the whole sculpture. I love how this photo below shows the huge backpacks of backpackers. The photo of the cheating husband above shows a part of his bottom.
This photo shows a trishaw driver who was swearing as he fell off the trishaw. And look at the face of the high-heeled passenger with a fancy hat.
Giving a closer look to the sculptures’ components will pique your interest. So I am not putting any caption for the pictures so you’ll have fresh information when you finally get to see them.
52 caricatures are scattered all over the heritage site. Like Ernest Zacharevic’s works, these steel rod sculptures in George Town are installed in random places and will surprise you when they pop out anytime.
In my opinion, when in George Town, walking is the best way to see these street art pieces. There will also be less risk of missing out some of what every nook and cranny of George Town can offer.
Be prepared to be surprised!