M. Zain Idris

(b. Terengganu, 1939 – d. 2000)

Mohamed Zain bin Idris was born in Kampung Nail, Besut, Terengganu in 1939. He attended Sekolah Melayu Kuala Besut, Terengganu from 1947 until 1954. A self-taught artist, M. Zain excelled in watercolour technique illustrating nostalgic and tranquil landscapes of fishing boats amidst white sandy beach; scenes of fishing villages; idyllic kampung sceneries and rural farming activities. Frank Sullivan acknowledged his contribution to the early development of Malaysian art through his poem titled Fisherman Artist. M. Zain had exhibited at Samat Art Gallery in 1971 and 1972. It was the first commercial contemporary art gallery in Malaysia opened by Frank Sullivan in 1967. M. Zain was honoured as the Terengganu state’s Guest Artist by the 10th the Chief Minister of Terengganu, Tan Sri Haji Wan Mokhtar bin Ahmad between 1991 and 2000. As the state’s guest artist, he resided and worked in a double storey wooden house and gallery called Pelukis Tamu Negeri near Jalan Kamaruddin in Kuala Terengganu and was provided a monthly stipend.