We can’t say it enough – we love street art right down to its very core.

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It was once deemed “illegal” because it signified vandalism. And as you all may know, vandalism are usually practised by rebels. However, in the recent years, “vandalism” has become more acceptable as graffiti slowly made its way to becoming a form of creative expression. Hence, the term “street art”. Believe it or not, Malaysia is home to some of the best street arts you will ever find.

Such as:

In fact, some, you might have already heard of ’em or have seen in passing when your friends uploaded the quirky pictures on their Facebook or Instagram accounts. But why just admire them from afar? Make that weekend getaway (if need be) to see the artworks for yourselves!

Here are some of our favourite sweet street art spots (graffiti, murals, paintings, other artworks) in Malaysia:

1. Penang

For a long time now, the island up North in West Malaysia is known as an epicurean’s heaven. But in 2012, Penang started becoming famous for its street art, adding another reason as to why the island is a popular tourist attraction. Georgetown, especially, has become a hub for official sweet street art spots. This is because there are a number of paintings by young Lithuanian artist named Ernest Zacharevic and a local artist named Louis Gan.

Check these out:

Amazing much? So amazing that people often find themselves having to queue to take photos with the artworks or to have their photo taken in front of/with the artworks.

2. Malacca

Second to Penang when it comes to the varieties of food and a staple influx of visitors, Malacca’s “star street” Jonker Walk already attracts hordes of tourists on a weekly basis. Adding on to Malacca’s colours is a burst of street art that anyone who has been to Malacca would find impossible to ignore. The Malacca River, especially, is home to a collection of various artworks and thus, a walk along the river will make you feel like you’re talking a stroll in an art gallery.

These are some of what we’re talking about:

Protip: When in Malacca, prepare to whip out your cameras or smartphones and snap away!

3. Ipoh

So much has changed in Ipoh over the recent years and it has since become more than just a place with limestone caves and white coffee. Sure, it’s historical aspect of being an old mining town and its eclectic shop houses gives it character, but now there’s also street art to boot! Ernest Zacharevic, the same young Lithuanian artist who worked on the Georgetown pieces, found his way to Ipoh old town! The results? Let’s just say that the previously sleepy town Ipoh is now quite a prime place for quick weekend getaways.

Aren’t these ah-may-zing?:

Coupled with the success of Kwong Heng Square in Ipoh old town and some other works by other artists (we’ll leave that for another day), if this is kept going, Ipoh might eventually catch up to Malacca’s level of fame and appeal.

4. Kuala Lumpur

How can we go without highlighting the artistic wonders that Malaysia’s main city holds? There’s so much to say about the amount of street art that can be found in and around our city! As KL-ites, murals/graffiti/street art often go ignored not because they’re not appreciated but maybe because they’re kind of just “always there”. The next time you go to the city, look closely – you might spot some of these gems i.e. local artist Kenji Chai‘s work for Nando’s and when you do, prepare to take lots of pics.

Point and snap at these:

How beautiful are the above pieces? So beautiful, they can even turn the shoddiest places/part of Kuala Lumpur city into attractions!

5. Johor Bahru

From Penang to Ipoh, to Kuala Lumpur and even all the way down to Johor Bahru, Ernest Zacharevic is on a Malaysian street art domination streak! In 2012, Johor Bahru officially became home to LEGOLAND Malaysia, Malaysia’s first international theme park. Also Asia’s first LEGOLAND. As such, Ernest went to town with controversial LEGO-themed street art! Some of which were removed but because of his work, the Johor Bahru authorities have even considered creating a special graffiti wall to allow street art (subject to their approval).

Interesting pieces, no?:

Epic! So, time to take an adventure or two with your camera/smartphone? We think so. To give you a little “push”, here are some upcoming Malaysian public holidays for the rest of 2014 and 2015. Go ahead and take that time off!

And if you see any artworks that you’d like to share with us or add on to the galleries above, drop us an e-mail at submit@hype.my. We’d be more than happy to feature them!

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Lainey
Eats, sleeps, & breathes music, but drinks mostly coffee & okay, some wine - sometimes, a little too much. A little too obsessed with the number seven, is deathly afraid of horror movies, believes that she writes better than she speaks, & currently feeling a little strange writing a profile about herself.