Updated: Sep 6
Muar is a small town to the north of Johor, Malaysia, with a small population. It is a popular destination for most Malaysians and Singaporeans, especially for pilgrimage. Apart from the numerous Chinese and Indian temples, mosques and churches, the town is also popular for its food and pre-war buildings. Street arts are flourishing in recent years too.
After trying the delicacies at Muar's "Glutton Street" (or 贪吃街) along Jalan Haji Abu, a little walk to hunt for street arts is good for burning some calories. Majority of the murals in Muar concentrates around the town centre, so it's easy to hunt them down. And most of them are gigantic, occupying the walls of multi-storey buildings fully. Missing any of them are almost impossible.
And more importantly, these murals are mostly a year old — completed in 2016. If you are interested in street arts, do check them out before they are weathered out over time.
The giant mural above is titled "Loving Sisters", painted by Julia Volchkova, a Siberian artist. Here's a close up photo.
Find articles with Julia Volchkova's artworks. Some of her artworks can also be found in Penang.
Not too far away, another large size mural can be found on a wall. "The Bond" was painted by Sabek, a Spanish street artist. The mural depicts the bond between the girl and the black tiger. Some of Sabek's works can also be found in Penang.
In a narrow alley besides Public Bank is the mural of a ferry pier with part of a real-life row boat. This is the only 3D mural in Muar.
The following two giant murals are on the walls of a shopping complex (Komplexs Legenda) at the intersection between Jalan Ali and Jalan Haji Abu. You will not miss it if you are gorging yourself along Glutton Street.
The first artwork (title unknown) is done by Caratoes, a Belgium-born artist with Hong Kong roots. I will just call it the "Opera". Note the paper cranes and the red Malay kite in the mural.
And the second one is titled "The Root of World Furniture". This is a long piece of artwork on two walls that is the work of 4 artists. Check out the two parts of the murals.
The first part of the mural (above) shows a woodcutter with an axe. The second part (below) shows a Malay man carving a peace of wood.
Further along Jalan Ali, but hidden in the parking lots behind Kwong Siu Building (麻坡广肇会馆), is the mural of an "Action Actress" (刀马旦) in Chinese operas. This is the only mural that cannot be seen from the streets. You will need to know exactly where to find it before you go. Look for a blue building and walk to its rear. Hint: Opposite Kwong Siu Building is a food centre.
Less than 100 metres away from Kwong Siu Building, still along Jalan Ali, a mural depicting the street scene of Jalan Ali can be found on a wall just off a side alley.
And lastly, the following mural is the furthest piece from the town centre. "Bangsa Johor" is painted on the clock tower in Tanjung Emas Park, on the west side of the town centre — about 1.2Km away.
Below is a close-up look of the "Bangsa Johor" mural on the clock tower. The mural depicts racial harmony in Malaysia. This is the smallest artwork among all the murals in Muar — a stark contrast to all the large ones. And you may need a telezoom lens to get just the mural in the camera view.
And that's about all of the public murals in Muar town centre. Yes, there are private murals as well but inside private compounds, let's not worry about them.
How to get from Singapore to Muar? Check the article below on how to get to Malacca from Singapore by intercity buses. Get a ticket to Muar (RM$17 one-way, 2.5 hours non-stop) instead of Malacca. Bentayan Bus Terminal in Muar is within easy walking distance to most of the murals.