George Town street art gets ‘Lonely Planet’ listing

Capital attraction: Tourists taking photographs of Volchkova’s giant mural on the side of a building at the corner of Lebuh Klang in George Town. — GARY CHEN/The Star

PETALING JAYA: George Town has joined other famous street art capitals of the world to make it into the Lonely Planet book Street Art.

The quaint street murals and colourful walls in the inner city of George Town, are bringing attention to this versatile city as one of the street art capitals of the world, alongside hotspots like New York, London, Barcelona, Berlin, Paris, Melbourne and San Francisco.

The Street Art book, which covers 42 cities around the world, listed George Town as its only Asian destination.

Apart from British artist Banksy’s stencils in London, and French artist Invader’s mosaics found in European cities, this new travel guide has mapped out the best examples of street art in George Town.

The book highlights prominent street murals by Lithuanian artist Ernest Zacharevic, Russia’s Julia Volchkova, Britain’s Thomas Powell, and Germany’s Addison Karl.

Homegrown names like Fuazan Fuad and the urban art collective Artists For Stray Animals are also mentioned.

Zacharevic’s famous work Kids On A Bicycle and Volchkova’s proud Indian Boatman are recognised as the picks of the bunch.

To get a sense of George Town’s urban landscape through the eyes of the city’s street artists, visitors are advised to start in Lebuh Armenian, Lorong Stewart, Lebuh Muntri, Lebuh Ah Quee, Lebuh Chulia, and Hin Bus Depot Art Centre.

“This book is intended as a starting point to your journey, highlighting a selection of some of the key cities around the world to experience street art today, and providing guides to each city’s street art hotspots to enable you to explore further,” Ed Bartlett, who compiled Street Art, said.

London-based Bartlett is an independent curator and founder of The Future Tense, an arts initiative which puts on shows and exhibits, and is known for discovering new talent.

“Today, the proliferation of legal walls and organised festivals around the world makes it possible to encounter thought-provoking, transformative art in the most unexpected places. People are travelling to the four corners of the globe specifically to experience street art,” he added.

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