1 June 2011

The Greenhouse

The second largest producer of palm oil in the world, palm plantations cover a massive 4,500,000 hectares of land in Malaysia. While our northern neighbour is home to an abundance of abandoned buildings scattered about the peninsular, many forsaken structures are hidden deep within these plantations, forgotten by mankind and left to decay.

"The Greenhouse" is no exception. Situated at a track junction between a rubber and palm plantation, the house was probably home to plantation workers, a humble abode for those who toiled under the scorching sun. Neglected by it's former residents, this derelict shack has been reclaimed by Mother Nature, its once eminent facade now camouflaged by overgrown vegetation. A kilometre further down the same track, a splendid domicle, one much larger and newer, provides a roof over the workers' heads now.

A simple dwelling with a relatively small living room and two bedrooms, the house has no attached bathroom nor kitchen. A simple, no frills wooden partition separates the front room from the living room, while the back room offers much more privacy with a brick wall parting the two.

Walls with peeling yellow paint and a floor speckled with dirt greeted me as I pushed aside the hanging creepers. Fascinated by the window grills being overrun by creeper plants, I admired the mesmerizing light peeking through the weeded entanglement.

Holes in the roof and ceiling allow rain to seep through, causing the wooden wall to warp, paint to peel off while facilitating plant growth within the compound. A creeper plant sidles along the floor, a reminder that even though the human occupants have moved out long ago, plants continue to thrive in this bereft place.

While being housed under the same roof, both rooms were in stark contrast to each other. The room in front was bathed in rich golden sunlight, while the room behind sat in perpetual darkness due to the densely overgrown weeds blanketing its windows. Interestingly enough, the front room had a wooden door, while the back room had a door-less, arched threshold.

A faded, empty cigarette packet.

Before I ended my exploration, I stepped out of the house and took a few more shots, fervently capturing how nature slowly reclaimed what it rightfully owned.

Shot of the "Greenhouse" taken from the rubber plantation.

The building has an outhouse located roughly about 10 metres away, near to the perimeter of the adjacent palm plantation. A crude wooden hut with a seemingly bottomless hole, this was the only toilet the occupants had. Nothing luxurious, but still somewhat effective.

[Photo Album]

[Slideshow of the photos taken]

Article & Photos copyright of Aaron Chan

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