Malacca has its share of street arts amidst the street art craze that took Malaysia by storm. Unlike the creative 3D murals — that have parts of real-life objects embedded in them — in other old towns, the murals in Malacca are mostly paintings and categorically more diversified.
Check out the murals around Malacca Old Town. A map is included at the end of this post.
The "Welcome to Malacca" mural (above) is located on the wall of 906 Riverside Hotel.
1. Lorong Seni Art House
This mural is the easiest to spot when in Malacca Old Town. Despite the fact that most people do not understand this abstract artwork, the large colourful mural is still a major feat and attracts crowds, especially on weekends.
2. The Orangutan House
The Orangutan House is the name of a gallery selling t-shirts with arts of local essence. It has a huge orangutan painted on its outer wall. And its located just across the road from Lorong Seni Art House.
The Orangutan House has a couple of other branches in the old town and on the wall of one of its branches along Jalan Tokong is this painting. It may seem like an advertisement for the shop's products but it is still a piece of art.
3. The Boat
This Chinese painting seems to be a recent addition depicting workers carrying cargoes off a boat. To understand what it really means, you will need to decipher the Chinese poem.
4. Eight Running Horses
This Chinese painting of Eight Running Horses symbolises the seeking of success and fame. Can you identify the 8 horses?
5. Freedom of Speech
This painting should be self-explanatory. And it is done by Charles Cham, the same artist who painted the Orangutan t-shirts (scroll up).
So far, the murals above are standalone artworks around the old town. We will go on to areas with sheer numbers of murals.
6. Murals along River (near Old Town)
To find these murals, simply follow the river from the Dutch Square to the ferris wheel near The Shore Hotel. When going on mural-hunting, walking along the river bank is better than taking the river cruise.
There are so many murals along the river and you can take your picks of those you like. I will just show a small one here: Ladies in Costumes.
7. Ladies in Costumes
"Ladies in Costumes" depict a Malay lady and a Chinese lady in their traditional costumes.
No, there is nothing wrong with your eyes nor my photo, the mural itself does look blurry — not sure if it was an intended effect or due to the weathering.
8. More Murals along River (opposite ferris wheel)
Further along the river and nearer to The Shore Hotel, there is another stretch of buildings with murals. The murals here are mostly about the history of Melaka and some on Malay culture.
Don't worry about the lack of crowds in my photos, I was there on weekdays.
9. Interactive Murals Lane
Back in the old town itself, along a little back alley off Jalan Hang Kasturi, are several simple murals. These murals are intended to be interactive — visitors should pose with the artworks when taking photos. Shooting just the murals themselves are a little too plain.
Below are some of the murals along the alley. Take a look and understand why you should bring a companion here.
The mouse-deer(?) jumping out of a window is a painting. The other two are real windows.
In the mural below, the wooden barrel floating in the air doesn't make any sense unless someone is holding it. The carpenter is also sawing the wooden plank in a very odd way. Help him!
These murals require you to pose creatively! And that's the idea behind this mural lane.
10. Girl Looking Up
If you are adventurous and hungry for more murals, find this girl who looks through a hole in the ceiling — in an abandoned house. There are some graffiti in the house too — but, do observe your own safety in the broken house.
Locations: See our Google Map.
Most of the murals are near to the river. You can use the river as a guide and hunt down all the murals outside the old town. Happy mural-hunting!
Check out an art cafe too: