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Hin Bus Depot

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Hin Bus Depot’s story began with one artist’s search for an exhibition location. Known as the man who introduced murals to Penang, Ernest Zacharevic, a young Lithuanian artist, was searching for a space for his first solo exhibition. Numerous sites were turned down until the shabby, abandoned Hin Company Bus Depot came to mind. It was love at first sight. Art Is Rubbish Is Art opened its doors to the public on 17 January 2014, featuring works of art made from preloved junk, discarded treasures, and overlooked street items. The venue itself seemed an integral part of the exhibition’s theme—the original structures of the once-abandoned depot had been retained, with only necessary repairs and additions made for operational purposes.

Having poured so much love, time, and effort into the project, the team of local artists who helped Zacharevic couldn’t just let the space go. The exhibition had been very well received, garnering interest and coverage from the public and the press—both local and international—providing them the impetus to propose something more permanent: an independently run gallery for artists to express themselves. They organized concerts, workshops, and other events, all with the goal of bringing people together and fostering a sense of community.

The people behind Hin Bus Depot are driven by a deep passion for art, culture, and community. They believe that art is a powerful force that can bring people together, inspire change, and enrich lives. The passion of the team is evident in the wide range of events and activities that are hosted at the Depot. From visual art to music, dance, and theatre, there is always something new and exciting happening at the Depot. The team is always looking for new ways to engage with the community and share their love of art.

Began as a space run by independent artists, Hin Bus Depot has since evolved into a community project run on the belief that there should be no limit to the expression of art—and that each person, no matter their profession, is an art lover and collector at heart. Today, Hin Bus Depot is managed by a small but passionate creative collective working together with the community to sustain the depot as a space which supports and showcases progressive and upcoming artists, artworks, events, and art forms of all kinds.

Hin Market

Hin Market is a platform for entrepreneurs, small business owners, craftsmen, artisans, musicians, performers, and makers of all kinds to showcase their products, crafts, and talents.

Every Saturday and Sunday
11am - 5pm
Admission is free.

Hin Bus Community & Directory

At Hin Bus Depot, the community offers a diverse range of services, from F&B and art & craft retailers to artist workshops and studios. Please note that most of the outlets are closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. For more information on individual outlet operators, please refer to their respective page.

Where You’ll Be

Meet Your Local

Tan Shih Toe

Although Hin Bus Depot is now a trendy space that welcomes creative entrepreneurs and artists from around the world, it was a dilapidated hovel just six years ago. The depot, on what used to be known as Brick Kiln Road, housed the Hin buses that plied the Tanjung Bungah and Teluk Bahang routes. When operator Hin Company was dissolved in early 2000, the garage was abandoned and almost two decades of neglect turned it into a huge dump — so much so that its new landlords bought the space for its size and location but were at a loss as to how it could be rejuvenated and used. It remained a health and safety hazard until Zacharevic approached the owners seeking venue suggestions for his first solo exhibition.

Tan Shih Thoe, managing director of Lum Choon & Co Sdn Bhd and part of the trio of families who invest in property on the side, showed the street artist a few possibilities from his portfolio but it was the Art Deco structure that caught his eye.  Zacharevic’s insistence that his show was “rubbish” and befitting of the grimy site was the motivation the landlords needed to consider future plans for the lot. They did the bare minimum in repairs, merely enough to make it safe for temporary operation with the intention of possibly tearing it down after the event.

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