Malik, b.1960



Malik was born in Java, Indonesia in 1960. His father was an amateur painter, who painted his creations on the walls of Malik’s birthplace, always in black and white. As long as Malik can remember, these were the colours of expression. Inspired by his father, Malik began to paint as a hobby during his childhood. In high school he used his painting skills by selling his paintings to friends.


After graduation he kept his hobby aside and moved to Borneo to work for a company. It was here he met his wife in 1986 and they have lived there ever since. Originally Malik wanted to be a taxi driver, but following the advice of his family he took up his hobby full time. After selling his first work he decided to make art his way of living and has since enjoyed success around the world. 


Each ‘pen and ink’ takes on average six to eight months to complete depending on size of canvas, subject matter and of course Malik’s spirit. Malik is virtually blind in one eye, making each work a triumph of painstaking craftsmanship over personal difficulty.


While most artists express themselves through a wide variety of colours, Malik has chosen to work with a pen in monochrome on a white background. Years ago Malik started out with black because he saw black and white as the fundamental colours of all paintings. Over time, he started working in green and brown. 


“Green because it has the colour of nature and has a healing power for the soul.  Brown because it is the color of many antiquities” explains Malik.


The focus of Malik’s art is the beautiful scenery of rice fields, the temples, the people doing their everyday work, captured from curious angles made up by a myriad of dots and lines with incredibly fine detail. Malik's technique separates him from other painters. Their normal process is to start out with a pencil or pen and then continue with the actual paint. Instead, Malik begins with a pen and works his way to the final result also with a pen. There is no room for error.


“Other artists can correct their mistakes. I always have to be sure because I can never erase.  I would have to start all over again.  There is no shaking on the hands here!”


“In time I just got better and now I’m not painting cows like pigs any more!” he jokes.


His ‘pen and inks’ can be separated into two categories: one that expresses the scenery in a realistic way and one where nature and people spring from his imagination, often with a mood of meditation and calmness. When Malik is asked what he wants to give his audience, he replies, 


“I want to give them the three things that I like the most- peace, peace and peace.”