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Zaim Durulaman


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ACTIVITY : 2004 ASEAN Creative Camp
Halong Bay,
Hanoi, Vietnam

Coodinator / Curator for Group Exhibition
(Colour of Thought)
Maju Junction
Kuala Lumpur

: 2003 Curator for group exhibition
(Bold & Beautiful)
Malaysian Tourism Center
Kuala Lumpur

: 2001 Orchid Festival (Life Drawing Competition)
The MINE Exhibition Centre,
Seri Kembangan, Selangor

: 2000 National day (Life Drawing Competition)
Shah Alam Gallery,
Shah Alam, Selangor

Orchid Festival (Life Drawing Competition)
Shah Alam Gallery,
Shah Alam, Selangor

: 1999 Panel of Judges for National Day 1999
(Poster Competition)
Together Into The New Millennium
DBKL, Kuala Lumpur

: 1998 A Day In A Life Drawing
Shah Alam Gallery,
Shah Alam,Selangor

AWARD/HONOR : 2005 Consulation

Life Drawing(figure)

National Art Gallery

: 2004 Honorarium

ASEAN Culture Week and Creative Camp

Hanoi, Ha Long,


: 2003 Honorable Mention

Philip Morris Malaysia-Asian Art Awards 2003,

National Art Gallery

Kuala Lumpur

: 2001 Honorable Mention

Philip Morris Malaysia-Asian Art Awards 2001,

National Art Gallery,

Kuala Lumpur.

3rd. Award,

Painting category,

Pertandingan Seni Khat, Arca & Lukisan

Yayasan Warisan Johor,

Johor Bahru

2nd. Award, Orchid Festival

Life Drawing Competition,

The MINES Exhibition Centre,


: 2000 3rd. Award, National day

Life Drawing Competition,

Shah Alam Gallery,

Shah Alam

: 1997 2nd. Award, Kesenian Budaya Kraf,

Painting Competition,

Kuala Lumpur.


: 2004 Tampan

TV Programme for RTM

Channel 1

VTV(Vietnam Television)

Channel 1

Radio Vietnam

- For Solo Exhibition

The visible world was made to correspond to world invisible and there is nothing in this world but is a symbol of something in that other world.
Algazel, Ihya, in Margeret Smith, al-Ghazali, the Mystic.

What drives Zaim Durulaman to be obsessed with images of fishing boats? Zaim was inspired by a Malay syair created in the early 17th century by a famous Indonesian Islamic scholar, Amir Hamzah Fansuri from Barus, Sumatera.

The poem entitled, Perahu has affected Zaim so much that he created images of boats as a homage to the poet and as a form of personal recognition towards the educational value of this poetry. It is an act of preserving the traditional religious values by depicting boats as to transcend one self -discovery. "A boat or a ship is a symbol of destiny", explained Zaim. In his statement, there is no denial on part of the artist to create paintings with a flavour of the Malay/Islamic centric world view.

The ingredient of his paintings comprised of interplay forms in a graphical approach. The selected subject matters such as the fishermen’s gasoline light, a stack of rope, and other fishing accessories or gadgets were among his early iconographic images. These images were organised in a harmonic organic unity. Later, he has developed his subject matters by the inclusion of a stack of bananas and a swivel chairs in his recent paintings (created since January 2004).

In tracing his artistic development, the artist attempted to create his visual manifestation by blending his selected subject matters with a multi-layered structural semiotic representation to convey his underlying meaning and significance. This preoccupation has flourished for the last decade and has resulted into a series of interesting formation of symbolism.

The quest for a personal creative identity in Zaim artwork was further extended into a personalised stylisation.. His attempt to collaborate with the Malay literary world was to reflect a parochial approach toward image making. It is evident that the usage of Malay pantun as a source of his inspiration becomes a complementary issue. In enriching the realm of Zaim’s art, he uses the image of a modern office swivel chair to symbolise the middleman syndrome. Every object is used to signify a symbolic representation of the reality that Zaim encountered in his daily life. This idea is not a new idea. Throughout the years, many Malaysian Malay/Islamic artists had pursued this line of thought and direction.

What moves men of genius, or rather what inspires their work, is not new ideas, but their obsession with the idea that what has already been said is still not enough.
Eugene Delacroix

by Rahime Harun
- Art Writer / APS Gallery

Zaim bin Durulaman

2-2-50, Wisma Rampai,
Taman Seri Rampai,
Setapak, 53300
Kuala Lumpur,

Tel/Fax :
603 41491593(studio)

Tel (hp):
012 2635664

e-mail :

Bachelor in Art and Design(Graphic Design)
MARA University of Technology (UiTM),
Shah Alam, Selangor

Present - Fulltime Artist/Painter

Part-time Lecturer
subject - Drawing Skill
- Illustration
MIIM (Akademi TV3)
Kuala Lumpur

Part-time Lecturer
subject - Illustration,
MIIM (akademI TV3)
Kuala Lumpur

1992 - Present - Freelance Illustrator / Painter

1988 - 1991 Illustrator

: 2004 ASEAN Art - Tradition and Modernity Exhibition Vietnam Exhibition Centre for Culture and Art (VECCA) Hanoi, Vietnam

:Creative Camp Exhibition, Tuan Chau Island, Ha Long Bay, Vietnam

Solo Exhibition
2005 :
Exhibition(charity) for Tsunami, National Art Gallery, Kuala Lumpur

2004 :
Recent Work, Gallery Citra, Kuala lumpur

Selected Group
:Malaysian Renowned Artist, Exhibition Art, Circle Gallery, Kuala Lumpur
:Colour of Thought, Maju Junction, Kuala lumpur
:An Assembly of Asian Art Exhibition, MCC Art Garden, Kuala Lumpur

:Muse - Inspire to Aspire, International Contemporary Art Exhibition, Gallery Tangsi, Kuala Lumpur
:Pameran Terbuka 2003, Gallery Shah Alam, Shah Alam
:Philip Morris Malaysia Art Exhibition 2003, National Art Gallery, Kuala Lumpur
:Below 2000, Group Exhibition, Art Case Gallery, Kuala Lumpur
:(History) Saksi, Art Exhibition & Competition, National Art Gallery, Kuala Lumpur
:Bold & Beautiful, Group Exhibition, Malaysian Tourism Center, Kuala Lumpur

:Private Exhibition, Galleriizzu, Kuala Lumpur
:Side by Side by Side (3 man Show), Art Case Gallery, Kuala Lumpur
:Poem On Canvas, Group Exhibition, ARTalk Gallery, Kuala Lumpur

:Terbuka Malaysia 2001, National Art Gallery, Kuala Lumpur
:Philips Morris Group of Companies, Malaysia Art Awards 2001, National Art Gallery, Kuala Lumpur
:Manusia (open show), NN Gallery, Kuala Lumpur
:Seni Khat, Arca dan Lukisan (competition &, Exhibition),Yayasan Warisan Johor, Johor Bahru, Johor
:Open Show,Galleriizzu, Kuala Lumpur
:Cigard 2, Havana Club/Galleriizzu, Concord, Kuala Lumpur

:Pameran Terbuka, Pekan Seni Ipoh, Ipoh, Perak
:Tanpa Tajuk, Shah Alam Gallery, Shah Alam, Selangor
:Art For Nature (WWF), Forests for Water, Water for Life Islamic Arts Museum, Kuala Lumpur
:Malaysia Tanah Airku, Bank Negara Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur

:Malaysia Toward The Millennium, Anugerah Gallery, Kuala Lumpur
:LIMA Art Exhibition, Pulau Langkawi, Kedah
:Pameran Seni Rupa, Pekan Seni, Ipoh, Perak
:In Different Being Different (3 men show),W.S Art and Gallery, Kuala Lumpur.
:Open Art Show, Shah Alam Gallery, Shah Alam, Selangor

:APEC Submit Art Exhibition,PWTC, Kuala Lumpur
:Image of Sports, Shah Alam Gallery, Shah Alam, Selangor
:Art for Nature (WWF), NN Gallery, Kuala Lumpur
:Art Exhibition, Kraftangan, Kuala Lumpur

:Painting Competition & Exhibition, Kraftangan, Kuala Lumpur

:Degree Show, MARA University of Technology (UiTM), Shah Alam, Selangor.


Zaim Darulaman

One cannot but admire Zaim work even by the sheer laborious and intricate details in his pieces that synergize figurative and abstract elements in perfect harmony. The inner dialogue he develops within himself is seem personal and esoteric but yet inviting others to interpret and share the journey, a term he affectionately uses when referring to his exploration.

The journey according to Zaim is his manifestation of life. A perpetual journey without destination, like the daily fishing trips fisherman make to sea. Embarking and embracing challenges life has to offer, where courage, skill, preparations, timing and luck all play a part in determining the final outcome.

The strength of his work is in the absence of life, but yet so evident through careful choice of elements and objects portrayed. The messages conveyed by these objects are subtle, like the lamp signifying life, light and illumination, the jetty, for a comfort zone to rest and recuperate, compass for direction and guide, the anchor and ropes for restrain and control, numbers for identity and individuality. All of which are part of the powerful cycle of life.

Zaim sees his work as a living art form, where it can be fragmented, rearranged and viewed separately or as a whole. He wants his viewers to freely interact to his pieces and even formulate their own interpretation, which is perhaps why his paintings are slowing evolving into installation. His paintings are well composed with an inapt sense of scale and proportion. The use of bold color and texture to compliment the serene and tranquil setting of the sampan in the dock create an irony and a sense of adventure, signifying the danger and violent state, as the sampans would be at sea. Zaim ability to imply and suggest life, conflict and chaos without portraying them has become a trademark of his work.

The honest, straight forward and almost nave approach adopted, creates a profound dialogue, which draws the viewers into the debate, inevitably coaxing and forcing one to questioning one own existence and destination.

By Syed Osman Syed Yusoff

Senior Lecturer (Universiti Perguruan Sultan Idris),



Artist Statement

Rows of fishing boats by the sea and river mouth against a picturesque view often captivates an artist. Serenity, the breeze and swaying palm trees create a certain mood that touches the innermost feelings of the artist. All these aside, the artist is also awed by the grit and determination of the fishermen who brave the unpredictable sea with all its lurking animosities. They would face the fiercest storms, crushing waves and the burning heat of the sun for the sake of their loves ones and the hope for a better future.

With empathy, the artist feels how small and insignificant he is in the world above and realizes that live is never without sacrifices. From this, he chooses boats as the subject and metaphor in communicating the unseen feelings and meanings through his paintings.

The artist is of the opinion that paintings and poetry are synonymous. With the mention of poetry, the artist paints a broader picture in his mind than the words themselves. These paintings of boats are of no exception in harbouring deep messages, perhaps even deeper than the oceans.

Within this trail of thought, the artist was influenced by Syair Perahu(Poem of Boats), a poem by Hamzah Fansuri that has similar implied meanings as those in these paintings.

In their overall concept, these boat paintings describe man journey of life towards the eternal hereafter. The flat backgrounds symbolize a huge stage for the journey, so huge that they seem endless. However, the truth of the matter is that the journey does not end at the four corners of the canvas as they transcend beyond the boundaries of time and space.

The tools depicted in the boats are preparations to withstand the stormy sea and the long journey. Dwelling and believing in Islam, the artist states these tools as representations to the five-pillars of the faith. The floorboards are the recitement of the syahadat’, the mast is solat or prayers, the ropes are fasting, the anchor is giving alms, and the rudder is pilgrimage to the holy land. The smaller equipment represents other deeds prescribed for mankind to perform on this earth. Not unlike the poet, the artist tries to bring the audience to level where all could grasp these implicit meanings.

The technique used by the artist is of realistic approach even though tactile texture is found on the surface of the paintings.

Zaim Durulaman

Ministry Art & Culture Vietnam, Ministry of Foreign Affair Malaysia, Balai Senilukis Negara, Malaysian Embassy(Cuba,China,UK), British American Tobacco Group, Citi Group / Citi Bank, Australia High Comission, Swiss Reinsurence,Bank Negara Malaysia, PKNS, WWF, Yayasan Warisan Johor, Oscar Advertising, WS Art & Gallery, APS Gallery, Galleriizzu, Gambar Tanah Licin Sdn Bhd, Prima Resort, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohammed(Former PM), Dato Seri Ramli Ngah Talib, Toh Puan Mahani, Dato Param, Tan Sri Wan Azmi and Private Collections(New York, UK, Australia, Singapore).