Wrinkled old fisherman mural drawing crowds in Balik Pulau


Head-turner: Volchkova painting the mural of a fisherman mending nets on the sidewall of a prewar house in the centre of Balik Pulau town as a crowd gather to watch.

BALIK PULAU: The lithesome Russian street artist Julia Volchkova has been drawing scores of people to this rural side of Penang island with her latest mural of a wrinkled old fisherman mending nets.

She started painting on Monday and by yesterday, she had completed about half the mural.

The mural is being painted in the centre of town here on the sidewall of a prewar shophouse near the area known for stalls selling asam laksa.

Volchkova, 28, said she hoped to finish the mural by tomorrow.

“When compared with George Town, this side of the island is so green and rustic. I fell in love with Balik Pulau right away.

“A friend took me on a boat tour of the fishing villages around here when I first came and I saw an old man quietly mending nets in Teluk Kumbar. He inspired me to paint this mural,” Volchkova said.

Local art enthusiast Tan Chor Whye, who is a friend of the Siberian-born painter, said the mural would be 7m-tall and 13m-long when completed.

“Her art-sense is always to paint the ordinary people she sees that depicts the essence of the community or geography of the area.

“I’m a Penangite but I had forgotten about our fishing villages. This mural will add to the beauty of this town while showing off Balik Pulau’s rustic character,” he said.

Volchkova is the artist who painted the murals of an Indian boatman in Stewart Lane, child at Prangin canal and Indian woman in Lumut Lane.

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