b. 1978, Malaysia
Zulkifli Lee is a versatile multi-disciplinary artist working in the mediums of painting, sculpture, print, and installation. Lee graduated with MA (Fine Art and Technology) from Universiti Teknologi MARA, receiving the Master’s Excellence Award in 2013. Prior to that he received his BA in Art and Design (Fine Art) from the same university, in 2000.
Lee’s practice explores the dynamic between personalised and impersonalised forms, using the language of materials. Working with ranges of materials from nature and also man-made, juxtaposing the beauty of the relationship and paradox between humans and nature.
Bridging Islamic aesthetic philosophies with contemporary principles and execution, Lee references traditional Islamic and Malay folk art to create minimal yet intricate compositions. His motifs usually involve systematic and rhythmic geometric patterns, but rather than striving for total control, he embraces the element of chance in the medium itself. Playing into the phenomenological aspect of the materials’ naturally occurring properties, Lee shares part of the image-making process with nature itself.
Since 1999, Lee has exhibited extensively in galleries and institutions in Malaysia. As Rimbun Dahan’s Yearlong Resident Artist for 2017, he presented works inspired from the natural and built environments surrounding the private arts facility in his first solo exhibition Material, Order & Chance (2017). In 2019, he completed his art residency with ACME Studio in London, UK.
His recent selected group exhibitions include S.E.A New Generation (2019) Tang Contemporary, Bangkok, Thailand; Frictional (2018), Pearl Lam Galleries, Singapore; Lingering Manifestations (2018), Pearl Lam Galleries, Singapore; Bintang 5 (2018), Segaris Art Centre, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Locals Only! (2018), TAKSU, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; The Unreal Deal (2017), Bank Negara Malaysia Museum and Art Gallery, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; and Young Contemporary ’16 (2017), National Visual Arts Gallery, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Lee’s artworks are also in the public collections of Khazanah Nasional, Malaysia; Singapore Art Museum (SAM), Singapore; Rimbun Dahan, Malaysia; Four Seasons Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; and Banyan Tree Signatures Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Lee currently lives and works in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.