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Celebrating Penang in Penang

The Hin Bus Depot gallery in Penang gets back to its old town roots with a community-centred group show, featuring four artists. A splash of watercolour never hurts, while egg shell art, with its intricate details, will continue to fascinate art lovers.

The exhibition, themed Celebrating Penang, features a diverse spread of works – mostly paintings – from Jason Min, Lim Jee Yuan, Yeoh Suan Choo and Tan Kuan Aw.

The show, initiated by Tan, brings together some 60 paintings of iconic buildings, street corners and places in Penang that carry historical significance. For the artists, this is their love letter to the island state.

Each artist has a completely unique style, but the unifying factor is the backdrop of Penang, which is lovingly recreated on canvas and beyond.

For instance, Yeoh, 71, started with Chinese brush painting and now dabbles in watercolour. In this show, Yeoh’s Chinese brush painting background is reflected in her charming watercolour works which are in subtle colours and have no sharp outlines.

Yeoh with her works using Chinese brush painting style at the ‘Celebrating Penang’ exhibition.

Yeoh Suan Choo with her work using Chinese brush painting style at the ‘Celebrating Penang’ exhibition.

Min, who is the youngest artist in the group at 35, is by no means new to the art scene in Penang.

He has brought a completely new and refreshing approach to art. He draws murals in Penang and is known for his matchstick style. Min has done watercolour paintings of Penang and is currently into painting George Town’s classic destinations with egg shell art.

His intricate works will surely catch the eye of art lovers. Min says he usually takes about a week to complete his egg shell artwork.

“The egg shells vary in sizes, and the smaller they are, the harder the work will be,” says Min at the gallery.

“So far, I have used all kinds of eggs – from chicken, duck, ostrich and lizard eggs. They are all present in my artworks,” he adds.

Hin bus depot

Lim Jee Yuan with his watercolour paintings that celebrate classic architecture in Penang.

Lim, 64, who has a keen eye on classic architecture, contributes several watercolour paintings, which sport clear cut outlines and strong colours.

Elsewhere, Tan, 65, is a man who continues to find joy through art. Despite an illness, about 10 years back, which made his hands weak, Tan remains true to his craft. He has adjusted to this setback by coming up with paintings using dots and lines. The shapes are not clearly defined, and the colours often do not follow the shapes, but Tan has created a unique and delightful art style.

Tan says all of the artists in this show have different painting styles.

“However, our aim is the same, that is to celebrate Penang,” says Tan, before adding, “We want art lovers to enjoy the beauty of this state through our paintings.”

Celebrating Penang is on at Hin Bus Depot in George Town, Penang till Feb 14. The exhibition is open to the public from noon to 8pm on weekdays and noon to 9pm on weekends. Admission is free.

Hin bus depot

‘Our aim is the same, that is to celebrate Penang,’ says Tan Kuan Aw, who initiated the group show.

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