Fatimah Chik

(b. Johor, 1947-2023)

Born in Pontian, Johor, in 1947, the late Fatimah Chik was a celebrated artist whose technical speciality as a “resist artist” encompasses batik, Shibori, screen print, and textile art. Hailing from a family of talents, her mother was adept in embroidery and tailoring traditional Malaysian clothing, and her grandfather was a woodcarver who built houses without nails. In 1971 she graduated with a Bachelor of Design in Textile from the MARA Institute of Technology. She married Redza Piyadasa, her former art history lecturer. She accompanied him to Hawaii in 1974, where she began researching the Southeast Asian textile and motif traditions – significantly represented in her work. Returning to Malaysia in 1977, she transferred her motif designs onto batik blocks and began transitioning from batik as a craft to fine art in the 1980s. In the 1990s, she began painting large serial artworks incorporating batik collages. She was also an art educator at her alma mater and later at the Malaysian Institute of Art. She also served as a member of the judging panel for the Piala Seri Endon batik competitions. In April 2023, she participated in a women’s group exhibition titled “Hawwa”, organised by Galeri Puteh in Kuala Lumpur, where she exhibited several of her iconic series, such as “Gunungan: Collage” and “Alunan: Shibori” before her untimely demise on May 26, 2023.

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