Timothy Tye
Louis Gan: "Brother and Sister on a Swing" Mural

Full-frame shot of Louis Gan and the Brother and Sister on a Swing mural (14 November, 2012)

"Brother and Sister on a Swing" (GPS: 5.41394, 100.34072) is a mural by young local deaf-mute artist Louis Gan. It graces the wall of the printing warehouse in an alleyway off Chulia Street Ghaut, in George Town, Penang. This is by far the most exciting mural to have appeared in George Town since Ernest Zacharevic burst on the scene.

Brother and Sister on a Swing depicts two young children, a boy and a girl, standing on a swing. It celebrates the intimacy of sibling relationships, just as Louis has with his brother. The subjects are the children of the proprietor of the printing firm, SBS Paper Products. Having learned about Louis from news articles of him appearing in The Star and Kwong Wah, he invited Louis to paint the mural depicting the children. The printing firm had already installed a swing set and even created a street sign called "Step by Step Lane" on the otherwise nameless back alley.

Close-up of Brother and Sister on a Swing, with Louis's signature (14 November, 2012)

What I love about this mural is its joyous celebration of life in George Town, something which was started by Zacharevic. It is a theme that endears the city to both the locals as well as tourists; any aspiring artist wanting to leave his mark on the walls of George Town should find ways to interpret this theme in his own way.

I visited Brother and Sister on a Swing and managed to get some photos of Louis on the swing set itself. This is priceless!

Penang Hokkien Section

This section is in Penang Hokkien and is part of Learn Penang Hokkien. It helps you practise reading in the language. Refer to the Penang Hokkien Dictionary for words that you are not sure.

Sio1 Tee33 kah1 Sio1 Moi3 ceh3 Chien3chiu1

"Sio3 Tee33 kah1 Sio1 Mio3 ceh3 Chien3chiu1" si3 pun1tay3-eh3 wa3tor3ka1 Louis Gan-eh3 te1-it1-leh3 piak1 tor3wa33 ti1 George Town. Cit1-leh1 tor3wa33 tua3 ti1 cit3-leh3 piak3 ti1 Cha3 Lor3thau3 (Chulia Street Ghaut). Cit3-leh3 cua1 chniau3-eh3 tau3ke1 chnia4 Louis Gan lai3 wa3 ti1 ie1-eh3 piak3 eng3goay3 ie1 hien3tiok3 Louis ti1 po1cua4. Louis se1han3 eh3 si2 huat1 tang3 sio1 liau4 sa1 ae1kau4 khee3. Ta1pi1 cit1-leh1 boon3tay2 boh3 thnae3 Louis pien1 a1nae1 li3hai3 wa3tor3wa33. Tha1na1 Louis Gan uh3 snar3-leh3 piak1 tor3wa33 ti1 George Town. Nor3-leh2 ti1 Cha3 Lor3thau2, cit3-leh2 ti1 Kinta Lane.

Brother and Sister on a Swing is the first mural by local artist Louis Gan in George Town. This artwork is on a wall at Chulia Street Ghaut. The proprietor of a paper factory invited Louis Gan over to paint on his wall because he saw Louis in the newspaper. When Louis was small, he had a bad fever which rendered him mute. However this problem has not prevented Louis from excelling in art. Now Louis Gan has three murals in George Town. Two are at Chulia Street Ghaut, and one at Kinta Lane.

For more reading material in Penang Hokkien, go to Reading Material in Penang Hokkien. View also the Penang Hokkien Video Guides for video readings in Penang Hokkien.


15 November 2012: SBS Paper Products has installed a banner over the back alley so that people can locate the mural more easily.

Banner facing Chulia Street Ghaut to the Step By Step Lane (15 November, 2012)

People visiting the Brother and Sister on a Swing mural has been invited by SBS Paper Products to leave their signature on their back door. This has resulted, the rusty double door is now well adorned.

Mr Loo Lye Hock of SBS Paper Products with the well-adorned door to the warehouse of the printing firm (15 November, 2012)

I also left my mark on the door, of course.

Tim was there at SBS Paper Products (15 November, 2012)

Getting there

From the Weld Quay Ferry & Bus Terminal, take the pedestrian bridge across Weld Quay. Then head west down Weld Quay until you reach Chulia Street Ghaut. Walk a short distance down Chulia Street Ghaut until you arrive at the alleyway, on the right side of the street. You should be able to see the mural from the street. It is on the wall on the right side of the alley.

Louis watches as admirers have their photos taken with Brother and Sister on a Swing mural (14 November, 2012)

Location map of "Brother & Sister On A Swing" Mural

Louis Gan's Murals

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