Russian artist adds more colour to Penang cityscape

GEORGE TOWN - A once quiet corner between Lorong Lumut and Lebuh Toh Aka in the heritage zone here is now abuzz with visitors eager to see Russian artist Julia Volchkova's latest work.

Many have come to pose with and photograph her 1.5m high mural of an old Indian woman doing a welcoming gesture which was completed over the weekend.

It is her third mural in Penang, following her famous Indian boatman in Stewart Lane and little boy near Sia Boey, and perhaps the most stunning yet.

Her subject's hair seems to flow naturally into tree roots ingrown into the wall. It was a feature that caught her eye from the start.

"I saw this a few weeks ago, and thought of a suitable subject to paint here.

"Then one day I went for a walk with a camera through the streets of George Town. In Little India, I saw a charismatic Indian fortune teller lady.

"She was consulting someone but allowed me to take some photographs of her with her hands clasped.

"That very moment I knew it was ideal for my next project," she said.

Volchkova, 28, said drawing on the street was challenging due to the weather, and it took her roughly eight hours spread over two days, to complete the piece.

"Passers-by were rather curious when I was working on it. And once it was done, I received a lot of praise from people.

"Their reaction took me by surprise. I wish to thank the people of Penang for all their kind comments and warm welcome," she added.