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Sculptures At Work

Penang’s embrace of street art is quickly turning the island state into a centre of attention for the artistically and culturally curious. Hot on the heels of Ernest Zacharevic’s greatly popular paintings, the Penang Municipal Council continues its work in preserving Penang’s special status as UNESCO World Heritage Site with the Marking George Town project, aimed at giving a strong identity to the heritage area as well as spreading awareness of the city’s cultural and historical significance.

The Marking George Town project originally started out as a competition in 2010, which was won by KL-based company Sculpture at Work with its wire art sculpture idea beating 167 other entries.

Costing over RM1 million, Sculpture at Work’s concept is a caricature of traditional Penang culture across multiple significant areas in the city. Many of them are also created by well-known Malaysian personalities from the creative and cartoon industry, such as Reggie Lee and Baba Chuah. What’s unique is that the “artwork” is made from wires twisted into the desired shape, giving it a fascinating feel as well as enough durability to last outdoors.


The sculptures range from documenting traditional Penang life such as One Leg Kick All (referring to domestic servants who does everything in the house), Ting Ting Thong (rock candy, a popular confectionery) and My Five Foot Way (a trader running his small business by the five-foot way), to making fun of modern life such as Kopi-O (a kopitiam translating a teenager’s order for espresso into kopi-o-kau), Jimmy Choo (a woman admiring shoes designed by the Penang born shoe designer Jimmy Choo) and many more.


Over 51 sculptures are said to have been completed by December 2012.