While all attention is focused on the street art on Penang Island, Butterworth has quietly been stepping up its own street art scene with more murals on buildings, especially at the newly opened Butterworth Art Walk.

The project is being undertaken by Think City in collaboration with architect Zaini Zainul along a 400m back alley parallel to Bagan Luar Road. The entrance is just next to the Travel Lodge Hotel, which overlooks the Butterworth padang.

Some half a dozen artists painted the worn out walls of the alley to depict the history of Butterworth especially its largely agricultural origins – paddy fields, coconut and sugar cane plantations, fisheries – in the 19th and early 20th Centuries.

One mural depicts a couple of colourful kaleidoscopic elephants: few of the present day generation realise that elephants were once a significant mode of transport for cargo and travellers, and their base was by the beach not far from this alley – hence the name of that area, Kampung Gajah.

Butterworth Art Walk

The artists who painted the murals include Shazwan Jalil, Syamsul Addenno, Suhaimi Ali, Hadi Ramli, Nazmi Jamarudin, Amir Andha and Azmi Husin.

The Butterworth Art Walk is already drawing in the crowds and tourists, as evident during the recent Raya holidays. Visitors from all walks of life, local, out-of-town and overseas thronged the area, happily posing and snapping away next to the ‘interactive’ murals.

Butterworth Art Walk

Where previously this was just a nondescript, deserted back alley used only by motorists taking a short cut, today the entire stretch has been revitalised. The initiative has also raised historical awareness of the heritage of Butterworth, while adding pride of place to local residents.

Check out the slideshow here.

More murals – up to four dozen in all – are expected to be added in July in the lead-up to the Butterworth Fringe Festival in mid-August. Well done to all those responsible for this initiative.

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23 COMMENTS

  1. The Star reported that Bagan MCA protest over RM900K staging of fun experience with Minions from movie Despicable Me 3 at Butterworth Padang by state government, not knowing so much joys it brings to the locals there. Anil can join the mainland locals to watch Minions movie (Despicable Me 1 & 2) on every Friday n Saturday open air screening from 8pm til early Sep.

    Bagan MCA going to probe the funding for Psy pre GE13 concert at Han Chiang, whether it was funded using taxpayer money via Eric Tan?

    • MCA tak masuk akal !
      if 900K people turn up to enjoy the event and movies, only cost a person RM1 of state money each person.

      not all people can afford RM10 to RM14 for a cineplex movie Despicable Me 3 now showing !

      • MCA launched its “Zhan, Zhan, Zhan” battlecry in Penang. Another syiok sendiri activity?

    • MCA,Gerakan and as well as all the component parties of BN knew that they (BN) can never retake or win Pulau Pinang this decade or even by the next decade.
      Hence they have the total rights to shoot their own feet.

      • Gerakan’s strategy is to ask Penang Lang (targeting first time voters frustrated by high property price) to protest by not voting. This is to pave way for BN to win in marginal seats. So do not be deceived. Every vote counts!

  2. Anil has not highlighted to readers beyond the island that the motor vehicles traffic getting worse past few months on island. The green effort by the Cats unable to absorb the hazardous carbon emission. The car population exploding, and when they are stationary they are parked without civic consciousness causing inconvenience to the pedestrians.
    Dr Goh Ban Lee has reminded the public to be civic minded on the road. Dr Lim Mah Hui like most Forumers now chooses to remain tight-lipped and has not been seen cycling after he was last spotted cycling near the town hall.
    If health is your primary concern, better opt for less concrete less carbon environment in mainland. Come to island once in a while to enjoy the festivals. The street food now cater more to tourists less vintage with foreign assist.
    Those expatriates silently seeking out the gems in mainland. They have the re$ource$ to buy them cheap now that ringgit plummeting from true value, refurbish them, then making profits reselling them in open market.

  3. Love to live in Butterworth for Nolstagic sake i.e. Australian air base and radio broadcast. Also less traffic problem and cleaner air compared to Penang island.

    Not sure if tranquility will be affected after the opening of Penang Sentra.

    • Just my 2-cent input:
      How about resuscitate Radio RAAF?
      Maybe, some expatriates (Aussies preferred) who made Penang their home can chip in as part-time DJs.
      The music can be more open to all genre as I understand some expatriates are way past the younger age or teens of DJ of the past Radio RAAF.

      • The expatriates can do community service to revive radio station to play rolling good times music? Renee, Margie etc can help to pool in the resources to make it happens?

      • Salleh Keruak‎, ‎Minister of Communications and Multimedia will never grant learn for such private station. We are tired of the boring Astro radio stations, where the DJs speak funny English (rojak with Malay words). Nolstagic listeners fondly remember Patrick Teoh’s radio shows (was it Kee Huat’s fantastic facts and fancy?)

      • In my honest experience of RAAF Radio, I can say many of our present DJ’s pales in comparison to those Aussie teenagers who ran the RAAF Radio in the 70s-80s. Mind you, they were also students at the expat school for RAAF Butterworth.

        The best no-sleep-adrenaline-pumping listening time from evening till the next morning were always Friday & Saturday nights, when Radio RTM was singing Negara Ku @ the stroke of midnight signing off for a tiring & boring day @ Angkasapuri.

        We Penangites always got to listen to the latest weekly Top of the Pops while the rest of Malaysia had to wait 6 months of boring time.
        Listening to rock music + Kopi-O kau kau while creating ads while enjoying bands like Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Eagles, Beatles, Foreigner, Don McLean, Kate Bush, Supertramp, Martha & the Muffins, Loverboy, what else?

        Tis my #1 favourite acoustic classic + psychedelic-lyrics of all times:
        Eagles – Hotel California – ( Alta Calidad ) HD

        My wish: Can Penang CAT gomen invite The Eagles for next year George Town Festival? What say you Joe Sidek?

      • Eagle’s Hotel California lyrically you can check in but can’t check out, so many people believe they have Satan in mind.

      • I have checked in & checked out countless times but I am not under Satanic influence. Otherwise, I would have welcomed C4 on a Mongolian girl!
        But I abhor those who did this (murder).
        Karma is fair to those who believe in the good, also fair to those who love #1 rock classic of all time (without being too dogmatic pluck from verses of the Holy Book).
        Amish or Taliban minded? No way.

    • Glen Frey of The Eagles has passed away. Major foreign acts unlikely to perform in Malaysia because of poor Ringgit (note: Foo Fighters and Midnight Oil in Singapore next month) and all those strict religious guidelines. I think at best you can only get Alleycats for George Town Festival.

      • David Arumugam of Allycats now going commercial these days. But I think his appearance professional fee still affordable by Penang standard. So sampaikan salaam to lure him back to the alleys of heritage area singing for the locals?

    • why the 500 percent increase? above is the answer. so if any complains, please use the chat line. it is boring to hear repeats of complains between the writer and council here. they are issues between the two parties.

  4. Thank you Anil for this interesting article…always assumed Butterworth was a dull city!!!
    August Fringe Festival is noted… some pictures will be shared. Will rent a bicycle from the Leaf and explore the Art Streets soon

    • It’s about time Anil covers the scenes in mainland Penang, so as to change the perception of many that eg Butterworth can never be as interesting as the island.

    • with such artistic culture and activities, people are still not willing to move over to the mainland? further there are no botak hills

      • Island cost of living on the rise as it is destined to be world city. If many still hesitate to move to mainland now citing difficult to reach workplaces on island, you will regret as one day the access improves (sea channel etc) the cost of mainland becomes expensive on par with island.
        By that time, its to late to invest.

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