Amok Di Pair Salak Series: II, 2007 by Zulkifli Yusof

Zulkifli Yusoff’s diverse portfolio traverses painting, mixed media, sculpture and installation to form a cohesive study of Malaysia’s past through the lens of the independent nation. Born in Kedah in 1962 he obtained his Master of Art from Manchester Polytechnic United Kingdom (1991) before returning to Malaysia to work as an artist and academic. Zulkifli is widely acknowledged as Southeast Asia’s leading installation artist, a fact bolstered by the plethora of awards and exhibition invites he has received for his multi-disciplinary tendencies.

In both 1988 and 1989 Zulkifli was presented with both the Major Award and Minor Award at the prestigious Young Contemporaries Competition at National Art Gallery Kuala Lumpur. In 1992 he garnered three prizes at Salon Malaysia- the Grand Minister’s Award, Major Award and Consolation Prize- and had his award winning installation ‘Power I’ featured on the competition catalogue cover. In 1995 Philip Morris Art Competition awarded Zulkifli the Honourable Mention in Painting.

That Zulkifli’s works are emblematic of a Malaysian contemporary art movement is evidenced in his frequent inclusion in international events and shows. He is the only Malaysian artist to exhibit twice at the prestigious Venice Biennale, first with his installation ‘Don’t Play During Maghrib’ at ‘Modernities and Memories: Recent Works from the Islamic World’ (1997) and again at the inaugural Malaysian Pavilion with ‘Kebun Pak Awang’, loaned from The AFK Collection, in 2019. He has shown at 1st Asia-Pacific Triennale of Contemporary Art in Australia, Biennale of Visual Arts Seychelles and the exhibition ‘Writing Power’ at National University Singapore. Tate Britain and National Gallery Singapore included his seminal painting ‘Huajn Lembing di Pasir Salak’ from the ‘Pasir Salak’ series at the ‘Artist and Empire’ exhibition which was held between London and Singapore in 2016.

Selected collections that house Zulkifli’s works include The AFK Collection, Singapore Art Museum, National Art Gallery Kuala Lumpur, Fukoka Asian Art Museum and Hiroshima Prefectural Art Museum.