Much to see between the lines

  • Metro News
  • Monday, 02 Mar 2020

Camera-shy artist Trexus posing with a large work of a tiger’s mouth, in a matching T-shirt.

PENANG’S unique urban environment has long been a fertile ground of inspiration for creative minds, the latest being Lithuanian artist Trexus.

A three-month residency at the Hin Bus Depot in George Town saw him producing 13 line-based art pieces, currently on display in a solo exhibition.

Titled ‘Between The Lines’, it explores how thin the divide can be between concepts of normal and acceptable, culture and being cultured, or too much and too much to care.

“My works are about fitting into and surviving in society today. I was exposed to street culture and graffiti from young, and always have a spray can in my pocket.

“Being from another part of the world, I’ve found Asia and Penang very different but inspiring, ” said the 27-year-old, whose real name is Kipras Petrulis.

Trexus came to the island in November 2019 for the Hin Artist Residency programme, the latest stop in a globe-trotting art adventure that began back in 2007.

“Asia exudes a positive energy. Perhaps because it is always sunny here, there aren’t as many angry faces. People seem less worried and live more in the moment.

“It is about enjoying the simple things in life. This environment has influenced my style, as I used to paint angrier, ” Trexus quipped at the show’s recent opening.

His featured works range from large to small, including one on a kalimba (an African musical instrument) and others inspired by tigers, lions and phoenixes.

Locals will also notice some familiar elements like Penang’s shophouses and temple Qilins, incorporated into some pieces.

“I found the old buildings and temples here most inspiring. After this, I plan to do some murals, ” added Trexus, whose detailed lines have become a signature.

This has earned him commissions with renowned companies such as Uber, Adidas, Danske and Uniti Technologies, as well as collaborations for album covers of LTZOO (Lithuania), No Baking Soda (UK), Wzrd Yoshi (UK) and Endangered Species (Canada).

Besides the displayed artworks, the gallery had also collaborated with two partner outlets - The Swagger Salon and Disinilab - to produce accompanying merchandise such as stickers, posters, T-shirts and art prints.

Hin Bus Depot programme manager Khing Chuah said of the items, “We want to try encourage people to buy and own a piece of art.”

The opening also featured a sound and visual performance by Germany-based Kindred, and music by DJ Josh Mosh.

Hin Bus Depot is located at 31A, Jalan Gurdwara in George Town.

The exhibition continues until March 22 and is open for viewing from noon to 8pm on weekdays, and 11am to 8pm on weekends.

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