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Balik Pulau a canvas for street artist Volchkova


Artist and subject: Volchkova with Pang (right) who was depicted in the mural in the background.

Artist and subject: Volchkova with Pang (right) who was depicted in the mural in the background.

BALIK PULAU: Three huge street murals on the outer sidewalls of pre-war shops here are giving this rustic town of the western side of Penang island a much brighter hue.

The murals over 10m-tall have given character to the streetscape along the town’s main road, captivating residents and visitors.

Russian street artist Julia Volchkova, who painted them, used the local culture as her inspiration.

At the official launch yesterday, Volchkova said she had been enchanted with Malaysia’s rich and varied culture.

“I am honoured to show what is special about Balik Pulau through art and I look forward to working on more murals,” she said in her speech, adding that she would start on her fourth mural here soon.

The three local “models”, whom Volchkova had featured in the murals, were present at the event.

Yeoh Choon Seng, 65, who acted as the model of in the first mural, had portrayed an elderly fisherman mending nets.

“Many photographers, even from Kuala Lumpur, came to find me and asked me to pose just like in the mural,” he said.

Silat master Johari Omar, 48, whose face is on the second artwork featuring a martial artist, said it was an honour to have been a part of something special.

Sharing the same sentiment was the model of the Hakka Dancing Girl mural that depicted Pang Yi Chuen, 25, in a dance gesture.

“I have been receiving so many messages, asking whether the girl on the mural was me. It’s so exciting to be a part of street art,” said the traditional Hakka dancer.

   

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