1940 , Singapore
Sarkasi Said, who goes by the artist name Tzee, is an internationally renowned batik artist known for his bold and vibrant abstract style, and mastery of unconventional wax-resist techniques. His works have been exhibited internationally and can be found in many public and private collections.
Sarkasi’s ‘Singapore orchid’ batik design was selected by the National Trades Union Congress for the Singapore Dress in the 1970s. During this period, he was known as the “Baron of Batik”. He set a Guinness World Record for the world’s longest batik painting in 2003. Sarkasi has also served on committees for the National Arts Council, Malay Museum Commitee, and the Modern Art Society.
A recipient of Pingat APAD (Angkatan Pelukis Aneka Daya) in 1974, his other awards include the Best Foreign Entry in the Sarasota Art Exhibition in the United States (1981), First Prize (Abstract) in the 8th UOB Painting of the Year (1989) and the Berita Harian Pioneer Generation Achiever Awards (2015).
Sarkasi also often donates his paintings to charitable organisations and volunteered to teach art classes at a drug rehabilitation centre.
Batik is much more than just an artistic technique. It involves everything such as philosophy and history. That is when a piece of work can be called batik—when it has everything. The design paints the social and cultural essence of a community and every symbol, every line has meaning to it. (Esplanade Offstage. www.esplanade.com, 2016)