Fai Zakaria’s Journey from Hobby to Fulltime Artist

Last update: 19/05/2014

By Nurul Nadiafathirah

KUALA LUMPUR – The Women in Art 2014 exhibition was held at the Seri Pacific Hotel recently. The 15-day event which ended on April 29, was officiated by Nori Abdullah who is the daughter of former Prime Minister, Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

According to event organiser Fai Zakaria, the exhibition serves to highlight the creative works by women in the field of art.

The works of talented women such as Zanubah Hamzah, Najihah Lee, Ngdawiyah Ismail, Amanda Zulkifli and Fai Zakaria herself were put on display. Their creations were spread over five different genres comprising batik, minimalism, abstract, experimental art and coffee painting.

Malacca born Fai Zakaria first started to dabble in painting in 2005, upon returning from a one-year stint as an interior designer in Jakarta. It started out as a hobby and having had no formal art training, she was too shy to show her work to anyone.

Little did she realise that art would eventually be her passion and full time profession.

In 2008 a journalist friend suggested that she display her work online, including taking part in selected art competitions in Shah Alam, Langkawi, Kedah, Johor, with the Penang museum being the latest venue.

Inevitably her circle of artist friends grew and she established contacts with art competition and exhibition organisers. By 2010 Fai began selling her art works to interested buyers.

"So far I have had two solo exhibitions displaying a collection of 952 paintings that I’ve done over the past 8 years. I managed to see 800 of my paintings at these events,’ she said.

Fai has also done a fund-raising art exhibition in Kuantan in 2012 in aid of Adam Azfar, who suffered from brain tumour. Sadly, Adam gave his last breath on the last day of the exhibition. He was just 5 years old.

According to the 37-year old painter, to be a good artist one has to do a bit of research in what it is that they want to paint. The aspiring artist must also be diligent in frequenting art galleries to gain as much exposure as possible.

“Hopefully such exposure will lit that elusive spark of inspiration,” she added.