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Penang International Container Art Festival To Add More Colours To The Streets

Hello, everyone! In a blink of an eye, we’re already more than halfway through January. If you’re still wondering where and what to do for the remaining weekends or for the coming CNY, fret not to visit this new event in Penang.

The Penang International Container Art Festival (PICAF) is the latest attraction in Penang that is said to be the first in Asia to feature vibrant urban art on container installations. Spread across five locations throughout Penang island and the mainland, some are still in the progress to complete. Nevertheless, here are some stories behind the completed and to-be-completed artwork!

1. Balik Pulau (Kampung Terang)

Photo: Penang International Container Art Festival (Facebook)

With a theme of ‘Penang Local Identities’, this exciting festival involves 12 international and local creative artists where each container installation will feature local artists on one side and international artists on the other side. The first location we are going to start off is at Balik Pulau.

Photo: Penang International Container Art Festival (Facebook)

Situated in this beautiful paddy field, this piece of artwork is to pay respect to the hard-working farmers in Balik Pulau. Showcasing this popular site where high-quality durians and corn are cultivated every season, it’s quite a scene to see as you reflect on the rural and urban parts of Penang.

2. Georgetown (Prangin Mall)

Photo: Penang International Container Art Festival (Facebook)

Resting along the bustling streets of Georgetown, this is the artwork that depicts the rich heritage element of Penang. Featuring a local trishaw rider that stops by a heritage site to explain the short history behind it, this living heritage has incorporated into the culture of Penang. For some of us, it’s a nostalgic memory that remains in our hearts.

Photo: Penang International Container Art Festival (Facebook)

Flip to the other side and it’s an elegant piece of artwork to pay tribute to the Father of Batik Art – Chuah Thean Teng. Featuring a Malay lady inking Batik of her self-portrait, who is milking a toddler, it’s a mural that mirrors our rich mix of cultures and how this unique culture is passed down to the next generation.

3. Jelutong (Karpal Singh Drive)

Photo: Penang International Container Art Festival (Facebook)

Another rising popular spot that PICAF has settled in is at Karpal Singh Drive. Here, there’s a little Malay girl that is trying to build structures of her dream city from her toy blocks while gazing over Karpal Singh Drive. Just like how she picturises her dream city, it’s also a mural that let us step back to appreciate the development over the past few years and to envision the future of Penang.

Photo: Penang International Container Art Festival (Facebook)

While the internationally renowned artist, Julia Volchkova showcases her artwork on one side of the container art installations. Our local artist from Sabah will soon complete his mural on the other side of the installation. So stay tuned to another amazing artwork in town.

4. Batu Kawan (Aspen Vision City)

Photo: Penang Global Tourism (Facebook)

Another artwork that tells a truly heartwarming story is at Aspen Vision City in Batu Kawan. This spot houses a beautiful enchanting garden that has dangling flowers from the top too. Created by a Canadian artist, it illustrates a local fisherman getting ready to fish in the Penang Straits to supply the locals. Just like this fisherman, it’s like telling us we can contribute to our society too.

Photo: @syf.sham (Instagram)

On the other side of this container installation is a local artist, Caryn Koh paints a girl that looks down on a braided rope to convey a strong sense of connection. Just like Second Penang Bridge that links Batu Kawan on the mainland to Batu Maung on the island, Caryn tries to illustrate the connection that is around us.

5. Butterworth (Dataran Pemuda Merdeka)

Photo: Baharu Butterworth (Facebook)

Last but not least, it’s the artwork installation at Butterworth. With paintings and work still in progress, we are still unsure what kind of amazing artwork is waiting for us. So let’s all wait patiently because good things are worth waiting!

Photo: Penang Global Tourism (Facebook)

Here comes to the end of a little guide to understand a new type of urban artwork on container installations. It’s located in different parts of our little state of Penang, which is just nice for an adventurous evening to spend with your friends and family. And as CNY is approaching, why not take this time to take a short visit there!

Date: Now until the end of May 2020

Location: Prangin Mall, Karpal Singh Drive, Kampung Terang, Dataran Pemuda Merdeka and Aspen Vision City.

Links: Facebook | Instagram

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