(b. Pahang, 1978)
Zulkifli Lee holds a Master’s in fine art and technology (2013) and a bachelor’s in art and design (2000) from Universiti Teknologi MARA, Malaysia. His practice explores the dynamic between personalised and impersonalised forms using the language of materials. His work juxtaposes the beauty and paradoxes of the relationship between humans and nature. Bridging Islamic aesthetic philosophies with contemporary principles, Lee references traditional Islamic and Malay folk art to create minimal yet intricate compositions, often involving systematic and rhythmic geometric patterns. Rather than striving for total control, he embraces the element of chance in the medium. Playing into the phenomenological aspect of the materials’ naturally occurring properties, Lee shares part of the image-making process with nature.
Since 1999, Lee has exhibited extensively in galleries and institutions in Malaysia and abroad. As Rimbun Dahan’s Yearlong Resident Artist for 2017, he presented works inspired by the natural and built environments surrounding the private arts facility in his first solo exhibition material, “Order and Chance” (2017). In early 2021 he presented a solo sculpture exhibition titled “Interdependences” at TAKSU Gallery, Kuala Lumpur.
He was selected to participate in the Asian Students and Young Artists Art Festival (ASYAAF) 2021, held at the Hongik Museum of Art in Seoul, South Korea. His selected group exhibitions include “Re-interpreting Minimalism” (2019) at Segaris Art Centre, Kuala Lumpur; “New Generation” (2019) at Tang Contemporary Art, Bangkok, Thailand; “What You See Is What You See” (2019) at Pearl Lam Galleries, Singapore; “Lingering Manifestations” (2018) at Pearl Lam Galleries, Singapore; “Frictional” (Duo exhibition) (2018) at Pearl Lam Galleries, Singapore; “The Unreal Deal” (2017) at Bank Negara Malaysia Museum and Art Gallery, Kuala Lumpur; and “Young Contemporaries ’16” (2017), National Art Gallery, Kuala Lumpur.