Upcoming Exhibition > Crossing Boundaries -Sharifah Zuriah Aljeffri: Her Art and Life
Physical Exhibition: 7 October 2023 - 5 November 2023
Virtual Exhibition: 26 October 2023

Crossing Boundaries -Sharifah Zuriah Aljeffri: Her Art and Life

Sharifah Zuriah, who celebrates her 85th birthday this year, has dedicated 45 years to her artistic journey. This large-scale exhibition showcasing her artistic creations from various periods and features important images and documents highlighting her unwavering dedication to advancing art, humanitarian efforts, peace, and interfaith dialogue throughout her life. 

 

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FEATURED ARTWORKS

Landscape

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Chinese ink and colour on rice paper

136.5 x 69 cm

1978

Love Birds

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Chinese ink and colour on rice paper

71 x 38 cm

1980

Rasau

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Chinese ink and colour on rice paper

76 x 36.5 cm

1987

Sipiso Piso

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Chinese ink and watercolour on rice paper

33 x 29 cm

1979

Flame of the Forest

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Watercolour on paper

37 x 53 cm

1991

Autumn Leaves

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Watercolour on rice paper

23 x 33 cm

1990

Pristine Beauty

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Chinese ink and watercolour on rice paper

52.5 x 73.5 cm

1997

The Bayan Lepas Fall, Penang

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Chinese ink and watercolour on rice paper

62 x 47 cm

2005

Save the Limestone Hill

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Chinese ink and watercolour on rice paper

44 x 27 cm

2007

Flame of the Forest

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Watercolour on paper

48 x 63 cm

2006

Waterfall I

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Chinese ink and watercolour on rice paper

26.5 x 23.5 cm

2015

Waterfall II

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Chinese ink and watercolour on rice paper

25.5 x 23 cm

2015

Lotus

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Chinese ink and watercolour on rice paper

23.5 x 32.5 cm

1996

Passionate Encounter II

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Chinese ink and watercolour on rice paper

53 x 73 cm

2000

White Lotus with Companions

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Watercolour on handmade paper

41.5 x 51 cm

2008

Sweet Memories

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Chinese ink and watercolour on rice paper

49 x 60 cm

2009

Lotus I

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Chinese ink and watercolour on rice paper

63.5 x 46.5 cm

2015

Triumvirate in Bloom

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Chinese ink and watercolour on rice paper

65 x 50 cm

2015

Bosnia 31

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Chinese ink and watercolour on rice paper

62.5 x 39 cm

1993

Bosnia 09

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Chinese ink and watercolour on rice paper

48 x 48 cm ; 49 x 48 cm

1992

Yasin

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Chinese ink and watercolour on rice paper

37.5 x 59.5 cm

1996

The Just

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Chinese ink and watercolour on rice paper

55 x 33 cm

1998

Wither Compassion? Wither Justice? Wither Peace?

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Chinese ink and watercolour on rice paper

34 cm diameter x3

1998

Salam, Salam, Salam

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Chinese ink and watercolour on rice paper

49.5 x 30 cm

2003

In Search of Harmony 18

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Chinese ink and watercolour on rice paper

78 x 68 cm

2009

Leaves III

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Charcoal on board

23.5 x 18 cm

2006

Trumpet

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Charcoal on paper

41 x 59 cm

2006

Togetherness

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Charcoal on paper

58 x 41 cm

2006

Outstanding

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Charcoal on paper

59 x 41 cm

2006

Covid-19 I

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Crayon on paper

24 x 25 cm

2020

Covid-19 II

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Watercolour on paper

27 x 36 cm

2020

Disappearing Covid-19

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Watercolour on paper

26 x 36 cm

2020

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Pencil on paper

14.5 x 21 cm

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Watercolour on paper

23 x 30.5 cm

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Watercolour on paper

14.5 x 20 cm

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Watercolour on paper

21.5 x 14 cm

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Charcoal on paper

38 x 27 cm

Exhibition Introduction

Sharifah Zuriah Aljeffri is a female artist, writer, social activist, and peacemaker who has been active in Malaysia and internationally for many years.

She was born in 1938 in Sungai Petani, Kedah, Malaysia, a place surrounded by nature’s beauty. She grew up in a family that valued multiculturalism and inclusivity, which laid the foundation for her future artistic development. She later went to London to study law, a transformational journey that turned her into a modern female intellectual unafraid to confront social injustice. Upon returning to Malaysia, she actively engaged in humanitarian activities with the Malaysian Red Crescent Society, serving as a member of the Training Committee and Welfare Group. In 1971, she began a 21-year tenure as the Cultural Affairs Advisor at the United States Embassy in Malaysia.

In 1976, she began studying Chinese ink painting under the mentorship of the renowned child prodigy artist, Anthony Sum, through a fortuitous opportunity. Two years later, in 1978, she held her very first solo exhibition, causing a sensation in the art world. Prominent Malaysian artist the late Datuk Syed Ahmad Jamal (1929 – 2011), in a newspaper commentary, titled it “A first by a Malay artist”. In Malaysia’s multicultural and multiracial society, Sharifah Zuriah has acted as a cultural bridge, opening a significant chapter in cultural exchange and fusion. 

Sharifah Zuriah devoted her life to her artistic creations, curating and organising art exhibitions and exchanges both nationally and internationally. She also dedicated herself to activities involving interfaith dialogues and exchanges. She is one of the founding members of “Sisters in Islam (SIS)”, an organisation that has long been committed to upholding women’s rights within Islam and actively promoting women’s roles in the mission of peace. Additionally, she was also one of the founders of the “Malaysian Interfaith Network (MIN)”, organising annual interfaith dialogues and advocating on the role of religion in promoting peace. Her viewpoints and social commentaries have been published in newspapers and publications both nationally and internationally. 

Through her proactive efforts, she paved the way to awaken people’s moral conscience through compassion and love, and conveyed the message of peace and harmony  through art and religious teachings. She advocated for the utilisation of the power of art and faith to achieve nonviolent resistance, a principle that is in line with Tolstoy’s idea of “combating evil without resorting to violence” and aligns with the values and initiatives of Soka Gakkai towards transforming a culture of violence into a culture of peace in society through culture and education.

We firmly believe that the fundamental solution to resolve conflicts in the world, social division, and human anxieties and insecurities lies in eliminating the roots of violence stemming from animosity, hatred, exclusion, and mistrust from the depths of human hearts, as well as establishing a culture of peace that involves mutual respect, understanding, and tolerance.

Sharifah Zuriah, who celebrates her 85th birthday this year, has dedicated 45 years to her artistic journey. Soka Gakkai Malaysia is honoured to organise this large-scale exhibition and publish the art catalogue, showcasing her artistic creations from various periods. It also features important images and documents highlighting her unwavering dedication to advancing art, humanitarian efforts, peace, and interfaith dialogue throughout her life. 

The exhibition is divided into six sections:

  • “Sense of Harmony: Early Works”
  • “Colours of the Wind: Nature”
  • “Symbol of Spiritual Triumph: Lotus”
  • “Strokes of Compassion: Calligraphy”
  • “In the Footsteps of Georgia O’Keeffe: Charcoal Flora”
  • “Ode to Joy: Recent Works”

showcasing her unique portrayal of the harmony of a multicultural society and “artistic conception of peace”.

Exhibition opening hours: 11 am – 5 pm (Closed on Mondays)
Prior appointment is required for groups of more than 20 people. Please get in touch with us at https://b.link/WhatsApp_SokaPCE

Sharifah Zuriah Aljeffri

Sharifah Zuriah Aljeffri


Sharifah Zuriah Aljeffri (1938-) was born in Sungai Petani, Kedah.

During 1965-1967, she studied abroad on courses in Roman Law, Constitutional Law and Legal History, and Criminal Law at The Inner Temple, London, UK. Upon returning to Malaysia, she engaged in humanitarian activities with the Malaysian Red Crescent and served as the Cultural Affairs Advisor at the U.S. Embassy in Malaysia for 21 years, since 1971. In 1993, she went on a lecture tour in the United States of America under a Fulbright Scholar Program in Islamic Studies. Besides artistic creation, Sharifah Zuriah also dedicated herself to humanitarian activities and interfaith exchanges. She initiated “Sisters In Islam (SIS)” and is one of the founders of the “Malaysian Interfaith Network (MIN)”. 

Sharifah Zuriah’s skillfully blended Eastern ink and Western watercolours, infusing her pieces with vivid colours and vitality, showcasing the unique charm of multicultural harmony. While her calligraphy works exudes immense vitality and a unique artistic allure, which sought to awaken people’s moral conscience through compassion and love, and conveyed the message of peace and harmony. Her life and art prove that world peace begins within the individual, starting from oneself.