•  #ArtForLifeArtEventsThings I Make • January 2018  •
Exhibition: Marini Maiden Show – ‘Reflections of Peacock Butterfly’ (2016)

March 2016

I hosted this exhibition at  my own studio (Studio 267) and it featured my paintings that were also translated onto fabric and developed into lifestyle products (innovating my art). The entire exhibition was spread out throughout the studio (3 floors) in a series of capsule displays ; each with it’s own accompanying story.

Stitched together it would reveal me, my art & my journey so far.

What will follow below is the actual copy I shared in the show.

Floor 1

Above: Entrance to exhibition, Studio 267

Being true

It’s been four years since my solo in 2012! If I were a full-time artist I would have had a complex about that but considering the fact that I actually have a day job, I think this show is happening exactly when it should.

Many people know me for different things – media, fashion and maybe art. Not many realise that the latter is my truest self. This exhibition is about paying attention to my true self and sharing my love for art with you. So here I am everyone, this is what I can do. #artforlife

A big warm THANK YOU to my Epson Malaysia family for enabling me to create this show. With your technology (dye-sublimation printing) my world has broadened – off the canvas and onto different surfaces. You have enabled me to realise many of my secret dreams and will forever play a role in my growth as an artist.


“The Painting Collection”

‘Marini – Reflections of a Peacock Butterfly’ is my journey towards unveiling who I am as an artist. It features a small collection of paintings inspired by what I experienced in recent years.

My paintings are typically colourful with black lines and the occasional sprays of paint. I’ve consciously been developing my own style which is best described as “illustrative”. It is an outcome of a game I play, imagining as if I’m drawing on a large piece of paper with my indian inks but using paint instead. Acrylics are my choice as they are quick drying and practical as I can get involved with four pieces as a time.

When I paint I am free and happy. The colours I use are spontaneous and unconscious. I used to sketch out my paintings first but I find that I am “livelier” when I freestyle. In recent years I have changed my colour scheme and travelling to places like Bhutan and Iceland has greatly helped.

I find inspiration in nature like textures of flowers, leaves insects, rocks and wood. I don’t have the patience to duplicate. So I observe, soak in the details and release them on canvas, free from rules and restrictions. My paintings reflect emotions and I find great joy when others can relate to them.

Floor 2

“The foundation”

I studied Visual Communications in university so I am not a classically-trained artist although I’ve always practiced my art.

My sketchbooks are the most important things to me. I love leafing through them just to stay in touch with that girl who just loved to draw growing up.

You can see my influences/obsessions that span from animation to fashion illustration with recurring images of trees, eyes, faces, butterflies – all the things I love.

“About Creative Collaborations”

“Don’t say NO. Say “Why Not”. Why the hell not? I have nothing to lose. I cannot dismiss what I have not considered. – Marini ”

I started “creative collaborations” the same time I started working in media (1999). I figured it was a good way for me to practise my art while working. There are also deadlines in creative collaborations, which is good for any artist because it makes you stay focused.

Thanks to friends, family and brands I have delved into areas like mural paintings, editorial illustrations, textile design, sneaker art, phone covers, tile printing and many more. I’ve had the honour of working with brands like Fendi, Piaget, Levis’ and Nike. It has shaped my style and identity as an artist.

For more info on previous work please visit www.ninimarini.com


For this show I thought of creating a creative collaboration starring four Malaysian designers whom I have had magical moments with in the past and they have become special friends to me – Syaiful Baharim, Faizal Hamid, Alia Bastamam and Adila Long.

Previous collaborations with them had just been about wearing their clothes for photo shoots or me adding my art onto clothes. For this creative collaboration, the dream was to invite them to sew my paintings! I was thankful that everyone I approached said yes immediately to the idea and it was then a question of them selecting which painting they felt most connected to and what type of fabric they wanted to use. Enjoy the results of this effortless collaboration.

All fabric have been printed using Epson SureColor F Series dye-sublimation printers.

Syaiful Baharim x Marini

Syaiful Baharim has been dressing me in his beautiful gowns since the start of my social life! In 2009, he invited me to play #dressup with him for his couture collection. I can’t tell how special that photo shoot was for me and I was in heaven trying out his beautiful dresses. He is a magician who twinkles and shines when he creates his clothes; he inspires me with his passion & happy self. He has supported my work for a long time and it has been an intention of mine to work with him in this collaborative manner.

Thank you Syaiful for your magic.

Syaiful chose Silk lady Chiffon, Italian Paloma, Plain oasis Dubai moss

Syaiful Baharim www.syaifulbaharim.com

Faizal Hamid x Marini

I met Faizal Hamid for the first time as a stylist for a reality show I was working on for TV3 back in 2008. We hit it off really well and used to spend long hours in the wardrobe room trouble-shooting outfits for my talents. I share his love for art education, fashion aesthetics and editing. I love his serious soul & he inspires me with his sincere concern over the general direction of Fashion se the country as a whole. He’s made beautiful gowns for me too, adding to the story of not just to my style but to the person I am and I am sure he’s given quite some thought to the story he wants to put together for this collaboration.

Thank you dear friend for saying yes to this! To ever evolving!

Faizal chose ‘Batik’ as his pattern and we printed it on two types of fabric – Plain Oasis Dubai Moss & Matt Satin



“I was inspired to derive my piece based on the archetypal female Malay and elements from local folklore, myths & legends. It will embody and project themes of the female aristocratic beauty, strength and qualities; drawing parallels between ancient Malay aristocrats and princesses to the modern day woman.

This artwork invites the audience to peek into the female psyche and delve into the feminine mystique that has transcended time and place – from the old to the new, from grand halls and palace grounds to metropolitan cities and urban jungles.

The end experience to the audience is an immediate and intimate understanding of how the story of fashion is interweaved between emblems, paraphernalia and symbols of aristocratic and royal status, culminating in a sense of being transferred through time and space to the contemporary and the here and now”

– Faizal Hamid


Faizal Hamid has been an active figure in the fashion industry for over 20 years. He has worked for various international fashion houses based in Paris, London and New York. He holds a Master’s Degree in Environmental Arts (Fashion) from Syracuse University and a Bachelor’s Degree from UiTM.

He is at present a Fashion lecturer at UiTM, fashion consultant and writer.

Alia Bastamam x Marini



Alia Bastamam and I met through mutual friends but I really got to understand her work upclose when we created an orchid-inspired Kimono dress together for ELLE Malaysia. She made a beautiful kimono dress and I had the pleasure of painting it. It was a lovely experience and Alia to me is so effortless as a designer & a person. Her clothes are really for the goddess she envisions everyone to be – confident, ethereal, strong & incredibly in touch with her own sensuality. I love her spirit and I just had to see how she would infuse herself into my paintings.

Thank you Alia the Beautiful, I am in awe of the things you have done and are about to do.

Alia chose ‘Iceland Rhythm’ as her pattern, which we printed onto two types of fabric – Plain Oasis Dubai Moss & Matt Satin


“The dress is largely inspired by the print and the artist herself, Nini Marini. Incorporating the accordion pleat techinique from the SS16 collection, the dress exudes the charisma and vibrance of the artist’s personality, complementing the wild freedom of her artwork”

– Alia Bastamam

Adila Long x Marini


I met the effervescent Adila Long through my mother and I was taken in by her strong love for traditional Malaysian textiles and crafts; something I have in common with her. I wear her bomber Tenun jackets and Songket tops to work every other week. It makes me feel creative, traditional and current all at the same time. She’s full of enthusiasm and I love the way she lights up when she talks about fashion. She is currently on her own artistic journey and I am curious to see how she would adapt my work to her style.

Adila made up her mind about which painting she wanted to use for her dress almost immediately. She chose one of my favourites which is Weaving Iceland” and we printed it on plain dull satin for her. Thank you Adila for your infectious energy and sense of wonder!

“This piece is all about movement and motion, its identity is about ‘balance’, and i think it’s quite a perfect character to identify in a ‘fine lady’. that balance between being powerful and fierce yet also refined and poised ( you could see from the high collar cut, The high slit cut of the dress with the details on the collar, and the flow of the whole dress). The organic lines of nini’s painting and the combination of colours can be quite intense yet still very approachable and warm once you really get the flow of the motion. All in all, This dress speaks about being confident and having a tenacious principle but also still able to be serene, suave and elegant”

Adila Long

Ground floor – From art to application

On this floor you will see the complete translations of my artwork onto different surfaces.

There are 3 sections on this floor.

i) Marini Tiles

Collection 1 was released organically in November 2014. It features 36 square designs based on various surface textures and nature I photographed during my creative walks specifically from Malaysia to South of France, Hong Kong and Japan. It started as a game I would play of being able to create images out of the things I saw or experienced; my own “kaleidoscopes” of inspiration if you will!

I adapted Collection 1 into ceramic tiles and coasters, created using sublimation printing. This involves transferring images using high heat onto specially-treated surfaces.

Collection 2 (March 2016) was created based on my latest paintings which I had created with a small thought that one day I would use to make patterns and prints!

ii) Marini Lifestyle

My amazing team led by cousin Nyna together with graphic designer Fara came up with a series of products using Marini prints. This is quite possibly the “funnest” section for us to do as we’ve always wanted to see what my work would look like in various lifestyle products. All printed using Epson (sublimation printing).


iii) Marini – Global Beachwear

I’ve collaborated with my cousin Izadaura to visualise our very own ‘MARINI’ clothing collection.

First of all, I’ve had a secret dream to have my own line one day but never quite knew how that would come about. Then this exhibition happened and I had the idea of printing my art onto fabric and making generic tops and bottoms for myself.

Enter Mom who said that I should come up with a resort collection for a fashion show. Typical of Mom, always telling me what I should do and as much as I hate to admit it, it has become a very good idea in the end. But who would design for me?


Enter cousin Izadaura, a trained fashion designer who, like me took the corporate route and never got the chance to truly exercise her degree. Izadaura is like an older sister to me and like all little sisters we love everything about our kakaks including the way they dress. Her taste and mine are very similar and I was extremely happy when she actually agreed to give designing a clothes line a go.

I gave her a free reign in coming up with a line for Marini. Here is what she said about it:-.

“Marini’s fluidity in her strokes, lightens the bold lines in my designs…when the Sea meets the River!

 A Global Girl that trots around the world finding answers through beauty, colour and touch while transitting it through her creative sponge on a blank canvas.

 ….and that is my inspiration, being inspired by my beautiful cousin’s work. Grateful for this opportunity to work with an amazing artist of her caliber and passion. My muse is always you Marini! “– Izadaura

Supereka x Marini


Supereka – the design firm owned by my studio buddies Lukas Lim and Danny Koshy. How can I not do a creative collaboration without them?

They have added much enjoyable to my studio life with their cool use of space and style. It is effortless when we are together – white wash industrial with a mad dashes of color and pattern.


Thirtyfour x Marini Limited Edition Leather Illustrations

Thirtyfour is my family in whom I owe my creative growth. It started with me modelling their wonderful leather creations over 10 years ago to eventually creating jewelry together. I just had to have them with me on this journey also. For this show, our creative collaboration is to transfer my illustrations onto their leather. Thank you Linda Chong for doing this project with me and for bringing the girls back to life with Thirtyfour’s signature feel. I always feel cultured when I work with you guys! HUG.

To finish it off, these are my cousins who helped me create this wonderful exhibition. I would not have been able to do it without them. THANK YOU kazengs.