Artist Background & Resume


Shahar Koyok was born on March 5th of 1985 at a small country hospital located in Banting, Selangor. His Aboriginal Village is situated about 15km away and it was there he spent his first 13 years living in the primitive setting of his aboriginal Temuan Tribe. (These beginnings and this setting are reflected in much of Shaq’s early work and continue to influence his art). That was the setting where he learned how to hunt small animals with a blowpipe; how to build traps for fish, wild boar and porcupines; how to recognize all the trees and foliage of his jungle area; how to create traditional aboriginal (Orang Asli) weaving; how to dig ditches for draining and watering vegetation in farming; how to plant vegetable trees (banana tree, tapioca tree, durian tree); how to plant herbs, peanuts, sweet potatoes, yams, sugar cane, and pineapple. One skill Shaq developed which was Very Traditional and mostly nowadays not really essential in village life: he learned from his mother how to collect palm leaves and stitch them together for replacing the roof on their village hut.

Although the evolution of Shaq’s talent continues through varied expressive phases, such experiences and traditions of his village life keep resurfacing in his artwork.

The Others
Oil on Canvas
153 x 92 cm

He spent virtually all his childhood’s spare time swimming and diving and jumping into water that had long ago filled up the river slough formed from the pit left after an old tin mine was abandoned and the river waters slowly found their way to fill it up. Shaq always felt that was a special place just made for him. This water theme can be seen over and over in his art.

Acrylic on Wood
91 x 91 cm
About the age of 5 or 6 Shaq began to draw. At first he used paper brought home from school by his older brother and with those scraps, he drew with pencil; he even drew on the walls of the house when paper scraps were not available. Sometimes he would not have anything to use so he would paw through the ashes of the last night’s fire and find some actual charcoal to use. What he drew were parts of his dreams and images of his heart: modern houses and people (usually forms of himself) as well as his chickens, dogs and cats………placing everything and everyone in a jungle Kampung but with more updated surroundings…..that was all part of a dream he was forming in his mind about a life he wanted to find one day. His frustrations and yearnings were released through his drawings….. Sadly none of these early artworks have survived the passing of time……

Lost in Abstraction
Oil on Canvas
132 x 132 cm
In Shaq’s early childhood he witnessed the forest around his village burning uncontrolled due to the foolishness of uninvited developers and that trauma has etched on his soul a passion for the land rights of his people. Often this concern surfaces in his art. In fact his favourite painting is “Burnt” which shows him standing alone in the glassless window of his hut feeling dismay and pain.

Oil on Canvas
61 x 61 cm

Shaq’s determination and adherence to his unique inner voice have found their destiny in expressions of inexplicable beauty on canvas. He does not follow anyone’s rules or demands. He expresses from his heart and what you see is what he feels. His art is his authentication. In Shaq’s work can be found heart, soul, and – as well - something that transcends.

From the Eyes
Acrylic on Wood
70 x 70 cm

At the age of 13 Shaq was transferred to a boarding school. He carried with him to the Boarding House an interest in English (not shared by most of his friends or family) as well as an intense love of watching television. The television watching was his window on a world apart; a world he never knew but wanted so desperately to explore. And he began to wonder if his art would give him access to the world outside. But he was sure that in order to walk down that path, he would need some serious English Skills and the knowledge of outside culture that television could bring him. These passions he kept quiet about because his friends were prone to poke fun at him when he was caught showing too much interest in the outside world. The yearning and the dreaming have formed concepts seen often in his paintings.

Contemplating Happiness
Acrylic on Canvas
121 x 81 cm
Shaq was proudly able to win for his secondary school several inter-school art contests. Later - while in University - he won two contests: A. A contest to draw in one hour a pastel portrait of the King and B. A two hour contest to draw a pastel portrait of the UiTM Chancellor.

After graduating secondary school in 2002, Shaq got a scholarship to enter UiTM and pursue a Diploma in Fine Arts at the Malacca Branch. Subsequent to his successful completion of that, he received another scholarship to attend UiTM Shah Alam where he completed his Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in November, 2009. He graduted in honors and this brought immense pride to both his family and his village!!

Oil on Canvas
81 x 121 cm

Shaq says that fame and fortune are not things he has ever strived for. Should both most certainly come to his life and career, he has many plans to explore the world personally and to reach back and do what he can to improve the lot of his people inside the Temuan Village.

Name: Shahar Koyok aka Shaq

Age: 26
Place Of Birth: Kampung Orang Asli Pulau Kempas, Banting, Selangor, Malaysia
Date of birth: 3 March 1985

Marital Status: Single

Race: Orang Asli (Temuan tribe)
Mobile No: +6012-233-8122

Residence Studio/Gallery :
Address SOHU 667, Axis Pandan, Jalan Cempaka, Ampang, Selangor

EDUCATION BACKGROUND (most recent listed first)

Education  University

Degree University Technology MARA (UiTM) , Selangor, Malaysia 2006-2009 Bachelor of Fine Art (Hons)

Diploma University Technology MARA (UiTM) , Selangor, Malaysia 2003-2006 Diploma of Fine Art


2011 Permanent Exhibition, Pahang Museum, Pahang Malaysia

2011 Upcoming Exhibition, Melbourne, Australia

2011 Dunia Seni Lukis Gallery, Ampang, Selangor, Malaysia

2010 WeSpeak! Art Group Exhibition White Box, MAP Gallery, Solaris Dutamas, Kuala Lumpur

2010 Art Accent Gallery, Bangsar Invitational Exhibition

2010 National Art Gallery - ArTriangle 3 National Art Gallery – ArTriangle invitational Regional South East Asia Exhibition

2009 International Art Expo Matrade, Kuala Lumpur Invitational Exhibition

2009 RA Fine Arts Gallery Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Invitational Exhibition
Through My Eyes, Shahar “Shaq” Koyok Solo Exhibition

2009 MiDF, Kuala Lumpur Ilham Art Exhibition

2009 RA Fine Arts Gallery Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia New Artist Show, “Unfolding” Exhibition

2009 Tunku Zahirah Gallery, UiTM, Shah Alam, Malaysia Degree Show “3 Views”

2008 Folk Art Gallery, Malacca, Malaysia Invitational Exhibition

2008 Galeri Sabah, Sabah, Malaysia Lakaran Semenanjung Exhibition

2008 Fine Art Department, FSSR, UiTM, Shah Alam, Malaysia Art Talk

2008 Fine Art Department, FSSR, UiTM, Shah Alam, Malaysia Mini Exhibition

2007 Fine Art Studio, Fine Art Department, FSSR, UiTM, Shah Alam, Malaysia Group Exhibition “04 Sekawan”

2006 Shah Alam Gallery, Shah Alam, Malaysia Open Show 2006

2006 Fine Art Department, FSSR, UiTM, Melaka, Malaysia Diploma Show

2005 UiTM, Melaka, Malaysia Art Competition “ Portrait Drawing of Pengarah UiTM, Melaka”

2005 Melaka, Malaysia Demonstartion for “Sehari Melukis Bersama TYT Melaka”

2005 NSTP, Bangsar, Malaysia Assistant Artist for Solo Exhibition Rosli Zakaria

2005 NN Gallery, Ampang, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Art Exhibtion of Accident Art

2004 Melaka, Malaysia “Sehari Melukis Bersama TYT” Demonstration

2004 UiTM, Melaka Malaysia Art Festival

2004 Bandar Hilir, Melaka, Malaysia “Sungai Kita” Art Competition

2004 UiTM, Melaka, Malaysia Group Exhibition “Exploration Techniques and Materials”


2011 Pahang Museum Permanent Collection

2011 TVi Malaysia Featured on June TV show

2011 Life Inspired Television Network, Featured on “Demon Chef Asia: Malaysia Focus”

2011 Art Malaysia, February 2011 Issue Cover and 11-page Article

2011 1001 Malaysian Artist art exhibition, Art Malaysia

2010 Star Metro: December, Feature Article with Artwork

2010 Senses of Malaysia: December Issues, 4-page Feature/Bio/Artwork

2010 The Expat Magazine: November, Cover Page and Feature Article

2010 Samadi Resort Corporation, Invitational Solo Artist: 10th Anniversary Festival

2010 UMW Selangor, Invitational Seminar Presenter

2010 National Art Gallery Invitational “ArTriangle” (mult-inational)

2009 Tell Magazine, Feature Article and Artwork

2009 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Solo Invitational Exhibition

2009 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia MIDF Gallery Showcase

2008 Shah Alam, Malaysia UiTM Gallery Showcase

2007 Melaka, Malaysia UiTM Gallery Showcase

2006 Melaka, Malaysia First Prize : Potrait Drawing of UiTM Melaka Principal

2004 Melaka, Malaysia First Prize : Potrait of TYT Competition