The V.I. Image Gallery

Dzulkifli Buyong, Artist

Dzulkifli Buyong


Dzulkifli Buyong received his art education at the Victoria Institution from 1961 to 1965, studying under V.I.'s well-known artist and art teacher, Patrick Ng, and was a regular member of the Wednesday Art Group.

Before he was nineteen years of age, he had already been exhibiting publicly and had won many prizes. Hailed as a prodigy, he was regarded as a teenage sensation of the Malaysian art scene and the darling of the Kuala Lumpur art circles.

Dzulkifli describes himself: "I like to paint children, colourful games, and subjective paintings about my surroundings. Beauty is not important. Better common things that other people don't see. Everyday happenings, children particularly, their gaiety and liveliness." In her biographical note on Dzulkifli, Dolores Wharton adds to the observation: "Dzulkifli's work is part of the community. Neighbours and children enjoy posing for him while he sketches."

Another art critic describes Dzulkifli as " exceptional presence, almost a freak, resistant to any attempt to squeeze him into unilinear historical schemes employed to account for modern Malaysian art.

"It is evident that he is clear-sighted in his thoughts, purposeful in his practice and decisive in aesthetic preference. ...He aims at depicting the vivacity, particularly of everyday life which, he correctly observes, tends to be ignored or neglected. Dzulkifli's 'surroundings' are peopled and shaped by children; he digs deep into the domain of children, especially into the realm of play; he also dredges events and memories from his own children. What he constructs in his pictures is an intense, absorbing world nourished by experience as well as an objective yet empathetic observation of his environment..."


1962: 4th Young Friends' Art Competition: Challenge Trophy presented by the Minister of Education Enche Khir Johari, and 1st, 2nd, 3rd prizes for pastels;
Malaysian Childrens' Painting Competition: Gold medals from Her Majesty the Raja Permaisuri Agong and the Prime Minister, Tengku Abdul Rahman, for the best overall entry;
Young Artists' competition: 2nd prize (pastel)

1963: "Mother and Child" Competition: 3rd prize (oil); 3rd prize (pastel);
5th Young Friends' Art Competition: 1st and 2nd prizes (pastel);
Bulan Bahasa Kebangsaan Poster Competition; 3rd prize.

1964: "Joy of Living" Competition: 2nd Prize (Pastel);
Inter-Schools Art Competition: 1st Prize (Oil), 2nd prize (Crafts).


1962 - 1963: Young Friends' Exhibitions sponsored by the Arts Council of Malaysia;
1962 - 1965: Young Artists' Exhibitions sponsored by the Arts Council of Malaysia;
1962 - 1966: Annual Wednesday Art Group Exhibitions;
1965: Angkatan Pelukis Semenanjong Exhibition; Contemporary Art in Asia; Exhibition of Malaysian Art for Australia sponsored by the National Art Gallery;
1964 - 1965: National Art Gallery Annual Exhibitions and the Open Malaysian Artists' Exhibitions, sponsored by the Arts Council of Malaysia.


Dzulkifli Buyong is represented in the Permanent Collection of the National Art Gallery by six works, including Paper Boats (1964), Mosquito Net (1964) and Burning Ants (1967). His pastels are also included in a number of private collections.

Theme: Children, currently - cats

Inspiration: Patrick Ng

Dzulkifli greeting the Sultan of Selangor at the opening
of his one-man exhibition on 21st February, 1967,
at the Samat Art Gallery.

VI The V.I. Web Page

Created on 07 February 2000.
Last update on 24 November 2003.

Contributed by:
Chung Chee Min

Ooi Boon Kheng