Besides Armenian Street, George town, some wall art specimens are in Hinn bus depot too, armed with this little piece of information we reached  the site of Hinn bus depot. The building, outside which was written Hinn Bus depot, was closed. We could not see any sign of entrance or gate and were thinking perhaps we have not properly read and the place had closed down it’s shutter. But then suddenly we saw this old model car embedded in the ground and started clicking photo, thinking that at least we got something unique there. Strolling down suddenly I saw this big open space  which was nothing like a formal gate but looked like there must have been a gate there at some time. This led me to big old hall where on one side antique items of various kinds were displayed and two young girls were working on the laptop. On the other side two young boys sat behind a large old table . I excitedly called others inside and after that we were face to face with the real personality of present day Hinn Bus depot.

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What does it’s expression say to you? I think it’s a bit puzzled, donning it’s new Avatara yet happy that it has not been thrown out rather preserved and cared. We all want that. Don’t we?

 

Hin Bus Depot site is located outside the main UNESCO heritage area of George town but it is equally interesting place exuding the local character of Penang. The building was erected as long back as 1947. It is in an art -decor style and was  a centralised repair, maintenance and storage site for Hin Bus Company.  Once  the Blue buses of Hin Bus Company were a popular transport for locals , who commuted by public transports. However between 1999-2004 bus companies here started closing down due to heavy losses. Hin Bus company too faced similar fate but fortunately the premises is  reinvented and Hin Bus Depo was established in 2014.

The place started  off as an exhibition space and an outdoor stage  but it evolved to represent the art nurturing , promoting traits of Penang. Now exhibitions, theaters, plays, music gigs, festivals, fashion events, are held and  dilapidated walls of the historical building display astonishing art pieces by local and international artists.

  We came to know that on Sundays a pop up market selling coffee, cakes etc happens here. I felt that it was good that we entered there on a quiet afternoon on a week day. We had the place almost entirely to ourselves.

 

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All these antique items, so diverse and different were not only for display, these were to be sold. I was a bit intrigued, who would buy these and to what use these could be put. May be somewhere in some kind of museum. Whatever might be the outcome , it was heartening to see youngsters devoting their time and efforts to preserve their heritage, the old way of life, scribbling some text of history in their own way.

crossing this hall we strolled to a big open ground dotted with green patches, trees, plants , portions of dilapidated structures . Here was this big platform. It was covered with sheets . This space is perhaps used as stage for performances etc. Rows of coloured chairs were stacked at one side of this platform. Two three benches were placed at another side. Pedestal fans were placed near these benches. I saw passers by entering from another end of the compound on their way to somewhere else stopping by to rest on the benches. Each of them put on the fan while they sat and put it off while leaving. What an admirable civic sense and responsible attitude towards public properties. A place survive and flourish when the inhabitants foster that feeling of belonging towards it. They own their share of responsibility and feel a pride towards it’s uniqueness. Two young girls , may be in their early twenties were sitting on chairs on one corner, talking, discussing and throwing soap bubble in the air. Some how their placid, calm way made me smile. In today’s time when everywhere youngsters lives are defined by a fast pace the girls were enjoying the forming and floating of soap bubbles. They definitely must have been carrying their own share of worries, problems and stress too but stopping by once in a while and enjoying little pleasures of life is a reassuring, soothing .

The walls in the compound displayed various paintings, some small ones and some covering almost entire length and breadth of wall.

 

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I liked this lady in sitting posture and placing of that chair to complete it. This usage of real objects with the wall paintings is the unique feature of Penang street art. Such a simple way of drawing but so expressive. Admirable indeed. some pieces of wrought iron too are found in the campus.

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The little door has become so significant by the painting of lady in this posture and the entire frame says so much. one is free to make one’s own interpretations.

 

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And this one— perhaps conveying the message of wild like conservation, maintaining our ecological balance etc.IMG_8125nw (1)

a view of a portion of the compound.

malaysia_18 (2)w (1)”creativity is thinking new things..” and presenting the old in new way warms up the heart.

 

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Two young girls relaxing

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The cool corner and a perfect relaxing seat

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The restaurant in the compound.

 

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This sculpture piece is a powerful commentary on our present day way of life.

This sprawling open space with a shabby chic look, awesome paintings on the walls, sculptures scattered over the lawns, cool shady tree, a well furnished restaurant, shady green trees, creepers and plants, turned out to be a perfect place to dwell upon the art pieces, appreciate the creativity in a calm, relaxed way.

All the pics by Sunder Iyer