Georgetown, Malaysia — Last week six young artists completed the longest collection of wall murals in Georgetown, which tell stories of Penang island’s colonial past.
It took the artists 13 months of hard work to finish the paintings on the 50.3 meter-long (165 feet) wall of the flood mitigation pump house along Gat Lebuh Magazine facing the Lebuh Noordin flats, according to reports.
At the center of the wall, art teacher Jim Oo Chun Hee, 26, used a Chinese shrine and a Bodhi tree growing out of the wall to depict scenes at the Goddess of Mercy Temple in Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling.
“There is a local tale about a homeless mother and son who died in a village that had been here more than 60 years ago. The locals built this shrine to honour them,” explained the artist.
Further down the wall, glasswork artist Ng Yeong Sheng, 21, created four graffiti artworks expressing Penang’s aesthetic assets of festivities, heritage, shopping and hawker food.
“I like graffiti art. It lets me produce a message by adding elements without heeding reality such as fine art,” said Ng.
Artist Muhammad Hawari Hashim, 23, who is hearing and speech-impaired, painted four murals depicting Penang’s future.
He produced semi-abstract town scenes with trishaws co-existing with overhead railway transits and towering skyscrapers.
Project leader Bowie Low said the murals depict a timeline of Penang’s history and culture, as well as the artists’ vision of the state.
“George Town has acquired a global brand as a city of murals and I wanted an opportunity for young local artists to show their skills,” he said.