Nurshirah Adnan

Artist Biography
Having attained a Distinction in Art and Design for her ‘O’ levels, Nurshirah Adnan pursued her aspirations of becoming an artist at the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts. Upon graduating with a Diploma in Fine Art, Nurshirah is currently pursuing her Bachelor of Fine Art at the University of Melbourne Victorian College of the Arts majoring in painting.

Nurshirah has been doing commissioned portraits and also worked as an art trainer in various primary and secondary schools prior to her degree course. At the age of 22, Nurshirah has participated in five exhibitions. Some of her works have been displayed at The National Museum of Singapore, Sculptures from the Louvre, Greek Impressions exhibition. She has also sold paintings to organisations like the Energy Studies Institute, National University of Singapore.

Apart from her artistic flair, Nurshirah’s passion in playing the saxophone has also earned her a music certification from the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music (ABRSM).

Her upbringing in a close-knit matriarchal Malay family has greatly influenced her creation of art pieces. With intentions to bring out a certain Malayness in her paintings, Nushirah underlines the feminine strength through her bold gestural strokes manipulated in the versatility of oils.

Artist Statement
In my current pieces, I choose to portray female subjects with a strong emphasis on their Malayness, which I hope will strike a chord with the Malay community.

Working around notions of portraiture, I choose to paint subjects who exude a certain aura. Painting people close to me, take my grandmother for instance, enables for better expression due to our understanding and intimacy cultivated over the years. Posed in her most natural stance, the background is stripped of any distractions, leaving the viewer alone with the portrayed. Markings deliberately left on the painting hint of the ambiguous nature of painting – in that the creation process is likened to getting to know a person. The clothes on my subject act as reference to her status, character and personality. My portraits reveal the range of emotions implicit within the ‘painted’. I attempt to underline the feminine strength of my subject through bold gestural strokes manipulated in the versatility of oils.

Art Works