Monday, January 1, 2007

The artist, a biography

Zainal Abidin Musa was born in Batu Gajah, Perak, in 1960. With a deep interest in art, he enrolled at the Institut Teknologi MARA (ITM) to pursue a degree in Fine Art. He graduated in 1983 with a promising career as an artist, having just won an award from the Malaysian Young Contemporary Artist competition – one of Malaysia’s more prestigious art competitions.

However, the Malaysia economy was in recession at the time. For practical reasons, he decided to join the workforce as a designer in an advertising firm, leaving behind, temporarily, his desire to paint.

From there on, Zainal continued to pursue his career in advertising, eventually setting up his own business in the industry. Perhaps sixteen years of being in the hectic business took a toll upon this gentle soul who finally returned to painting, at first only as a means to unwind.

Zainal found himself drawn once again to his innate passion for paintings and since then, there has been no turning back as he renders his acrylics and oils on one canvas after another.

Architect Hajeedar Abdul Majid, an avid collector of Zainal’s works, mentions that Zainal’s paintings celebrate his commitment and passion for art as testified through hi formal artistic grooming and natural development over the years.

Artist and personal friend of Zainal’s, Tengku Sabri Ibrahim, has seen the artist through his years as a student, businessman and artist. Of Zainal’s recent return to art, he says, “Zainal studied and rediscovered the science of colours, the dynamic strokes and the glittering lights from amongst our own landscapes…He chose to ignore the contemporary excitement of experimenting, exploring and working with ‘modern’ or ‘expressive’ images and approaches as practiced by many artists of today. He hung on to his romantic attitudes in reading and representing landscapes.”

Zainal is currently a full-time painter.


Marcy said...

Well said.

visualcrackers said...


mike beranak di batugajah ke atau parit/paris. PERAK.

Zainal said...

Teman beranak di Batu Gajah. Ngaji di sana sampai darjah enam. Kemudian pindah ke Parit, Ngaji di SMPM tiga bulan, Iskandar Shah setahun setengah.

rejal said...

Sdr Zainal,

I heard you in conversation over bfm this evening and thought I should get into your blog.
I am glad I did to find that you are also born in Batu Gajah. I was born in no 5 Jalan Tanjung Tualang near the bakar sampah old town dalam perkampungan my greatgrand parents, Kerani Ariff. In fact the cucu, cicit etc of Tok Ariff will be having our second family gathering at Bukit Cerakah next Sunday Dec 13.
Both my greatgrand parent were very productive having 13 children. So you can imagine how big the cucu cicits are.
But I consider I am from Alor Star since all my nine siblings were born and bred there. But I did my schooling at MCKK.
Sorry for being so long winded but just to add that I am very much older than you in fact 20 years older.
Thank you and all the best in your calling.


Zainal said...

Saudara Rejal,

Salam...I apologise for this late reply.

Thanks for visiting my blog. Yes, I was born in Batu Gajah at Changkat Hospital and grew up in the Perak River Hydro quarters. I studied in Sultan Yusuf Primary school till Std 6 then left to Parit. Don't have much memories of the people in Batu Gajah, but I'm sure the name Tok Ariff must ring a bell among my elders.

I come from a large family, too... 12 siblings...and that's only from the 2nd wife! Recently, we had a gathering too on my grandfather's side, Itam Daim Imam Shekol. So I can imagine how large your own gathering will be on Dec 13!

If you are in KL, perhaps we can meet for a cup of coffee...