The Kecik-Kecik group art exhibition was conceived as a way to bring contemporary art to a wider audience in Penang. The show opened at Ming Fine Arts in Straits Quay in August 2019, with works from around 25 Malaysia-based contemporary artists. It then moved to Gurney Plaza, and to Sunway Carnival on the mainland, before settling back on the island with a grand finale at Hin Bus Depot. The number of participating artists has swelled enormously to around 140, and the total number of works displayed to around 200. The exhibition thus represents a pretty comprehensive cataloguing of Malaysia’s (mainly Penang’s) most active art practitioners today.

The 200 or so works fill the walls and sculpture podiums of the Hin Bus Depot gallery space. Conveniently for collectors they have been arranged by price, with for example everything with a price less than RM 500 displayed together. Surprisingly it is possible to pick up small works by some of Penang’s best known contemporary artists for as little as RM 100!  

The exhibits cover a huge range of styles and media, so every visitor is able to identify something to their taste. Each work is identified by a number and an 8-page A4 catalogue allows you to check the name, artist and price of each one. The largest footprint is taken by featured artist Tang Tze Lye’s Metamorfosis, actually 50 individual pieces, and is his exploration of the experience of “digital queerness”. He will be giving a talk at Hin on Saturday 19th October at 4pm about his work and his journey as an artist.

Other pieces that were attracting attention included From Within, a digital media collaboration by two artists who like to be known as “White Bones”, Wajahati by Mohd Safuan Bin Azman, The Malayan Tiger by Ivan Gabriel, Utopia by Abdulrashade, and Rights by Taro Hooi. Bastions of the Penang art scene such as Aboud Fares, Howard Tan, Thomas Powell, Sliz, Kangblabla and Ch’ng Kiah Kiean are all represented, as well as many newcomers.

Kecik-Kecik, a joint initiative by the Penang Arts District and Hin Bus Depot, is open until November 3rd 2019. Gallery hours are 12pm until 8pm on weekdays, and 11am until 8pm on Saturday and Sunday. Hin Bus Depot is at 31a Jalan Gurdwara. More information can be found on their website and facebook page.