B. Selangor, 1974
Bumi Bertuah, 2006
Signed and dated “Rafin 506” on lower right
Watercolour on paper
56 x 76 cm
Provenance Private Collection, Kuala Lumpur
RM 3,000 – RM 5,000
Born in 1974 in Petaling Jaya, Nik Rafin has always had a love of the arts since he was a young boy. Urged by his architect father to pursue art even further, he started off by tracing anything that he could find from magazines, which made drawing an easier task to learn and do. Upon finishing high school, Nik Rafin studied Advanced Photography in the USA, before pursuing a Minor in Fine Arts from the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design. He would then graduate with a Bachelor of Arts in Advertising and Mass Communication from Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in the USA. He once worked as an illustrator for Milwaukee newspaper The Marquette Tribune before being offered a job that other people would kill for, a seven-year contract by Walt Disney as a graphic designer and illustrator. He turned it down due to his dad’s insistence that he was to go back to his home country and contribute something to Malaysia. He did manage to illustrate a Winnie the Pooh promotional board, which is something that he is proud of having done.
Stints as an animation executive with a local TV company as well as a photographer for a local magazine followed. Nik Rafin then had to face the loss of his mother, before finding solace in getting married, which re-invigorated him. When before he was painting and sketching in black and white from the photos that he would take by himself, now he was filled with vim and vigor, a phase which led him to see the world in a more colorful vantage point. It also helped that his wife is also an artist who is part of a family that has made it into the Malaysia Book of Records as the family with the most number of artists. The nuptials made him the ninth member of the family who is an artist.
His paintings are a reflection of the scenes and subjects that he captures through his camera lens, reinterpreted and reproduced in painting form with added emotions – as seen in this piece that speaks of familial love and togetherness.