This show is a joyous celebration of the last five years of Hin Bus Depot. Looking at the work on the walls I felt as if I was with old friends, as so many were imbued with happy memories from the past. Hin Bus Depot opened five years ago and since then they have become one of the most influential and active art spaces in Penang, continuously growing and hosting everything from live bands to fine dining, and wood working to bubble wrap yoga.
Tan Shih Thoe is the humble and friendly proprietor of the space and he as really worked hard to make this a vibrant hub of the arts, giving a strong voice to up and coming artists in Penang, myself included. The show is curated by another two of the hardworking team, Wanida Razali and Khing Chuah, and the feeling I have always had when working with Hin Bus Depot, is that they are a family not just a gallery.
This exhibition features 33 artists and more than 70 pieces of artwork. It is a mish mash of the past glories for the space, which opened five years ago. The space has then been divided into three sections:
Section one is an exhibition of Tan Shih Thoe’s collection. These are not for sale but it is a great opportunity to see work from esteemed artists including Ernest Zacharevic, Kenji, Philip Hemnell, and many more. Within this section is a second section selling prints that are a collaboration between Hin Bus Depot (designed by Hafiz Lian, another dedicated team member) and Azmal Mashudi of www.dirtydonuts.my. These are part of 100 limited edition prints, and are available to purchase throughout the exhibition and beyond, in order to raise money for the new artist in residence project. Then, behind a mysterious curtain is section number 3, which contains items from his collection that are also for sale to raise money for said artist in residence project.
Section 3 is where I find some of my favourite contemporary artists. There is more Philip Hemnell, everybody’s contemporary pop art favourite. There is also some of Elena Kravshenko’s animal shapes that playfully mix childish shape and colour to a mature realisation. There is also some exquisite detailed fantasy work by the internationally acclaimed artist ERYN, as well as loose messy line work by the amazing Ch’ng Kiah Kiean. One of the most exquisite pieces was a huge photograph by KC Chong called “Sacred River VI” which was so emotive and filled with the story of cacophony of noise and rhythm in the work the subjects are doing. There was also work by Ajim Juxta which is a chaotic yet structured mess of shape and line, and black and white.
This is truly a show for those who want to know who is who in the young Penang art scene. It is also a great walk down memory lane for those who have been here before. Looking at my own art collection I realise now that I have many of the same names as here. This is partly because of the great influence that this space has had on my own life, and partly because these are just really great artists.
Information on the artwork is available in the exhibition booklet which can be purchased for rm20 so as to continue to raise funds for the residency project.
If you are interested in purchasing artwork and prints but cannot make the show, there is an e-catalogue which can be obtained by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
A Collector’s Show is at Hin Bus Depot, Jalan Gurdwara, until January 27th 2019. The gallery is open: Mon-Fri 12pm-8pm and Sat-Sun 11am-8pm.
By Lusy Koror