New artist on the block

WHILE the famous mural painting by Lithuanian artist Ernest Zacharevic at Chew Jetty has almost disappeared due to exposure, another eye-catching mural art has become the latest attraction at the settlement in Penang.

A large painting depicting a grandpa and grandma sharing a light moment now adorns the wall of one of the houses there.

Artist Simon Tan, 48, said he was approached by one of the residents to conceptualise the mural art which he took two days to complete.

“Actually, I was first approached by the house owner who had her wall painted by Zacharevic to do some touching up on the painting.

“I had to decline it because it would be very disrespectful to repair other people’s artwork,” said Simon.

Instead, Simon went on to create a new mural after being approached by another house owner.

“Initially, I wanted to draw the face of the grandmother who is the house owner but she refused because she was shy.

“In the end, I had to use my own imagination to draw an old couple relaxing at the jetty,” he said.

Lithuanian Zacharevic created several murals as part of the Mirrors George Town street art project for George Town Fes­tival 2012.

Simon said the drawing was mainly inspired by the daily lifestyle of the residents in Chew Jetty.

“People living here are mostly senior citizens and young children, so my drawing depicts the residents’ life here.”

Not satisfied with just one mural, Simon is now halfway through completing another mural, which depicts a grandmother and her grandson.

“Hopefully, I will be able to finish it by the end of the week,” he said.

Maggie Tan, 27, a Brunei tourist said she was really impressed by Tan’s artwork.

“This is really good and I can understand why it is the main attraction here in Penang,” said Maggie.

Maggie said she hoped the arts culture here would be maintained because it would certainly draw interest.

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