Nik Zainal Abidin

(b. Kelantan, 1933 – d. 1993)

Nik Zainal Abidin was known as the “Painter of the Epics”, a pioneer who illustrated the wayang kulit theatre and its characters onto canvas and paper. He worked as a set designer for RTM from the 1960s until his retirement in 1988. As a promising young artist in 1957, his potential was recognised when he won a prize in the Merdeka Independence Fair and First Prize in the Joy of Living exhibition in 1964. He was a member of the Wednesday Art Group, one of the earliest art groups that was formed in 1955. He was selected for a German cultural tour in 1970 and represented Malaysia in the Expo 1970 in Osaka, Japan. He is also known for his design of the Kunci Ibu Kota, the cokmar (royal mace) and the royal throne for the Yang di-Pertuan Agong in 1960 and the mural for the West wing of Muzium Negara. He created the mosaic glass mural at the West Wing of Muzium Negara in 1962.

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