Sarkasi Said

b. 1940


© Sarkasi Said

Sarkasi Said (b. 1940, Singapore), known by his artist name Tzee, is a leading batik artist who is regarded for his unusual wax-resist techniques. Sarkasi is a self-taught artist who travelled extensively to learn from batik practitioners in the region. In the 1970s, Sarkasi’s batik design of the ‘Singapore orchid’ was selected by the National Trades Union Congress for a Singapore Dress. He then began his Tzee Creation label selling dresses with batik painting. Sarkasi’s work alternates between wearable design and decorative arts.

Sarkasi has served on the Arts Advisory Panel of the National Arts Council, and on committees of the Modern Art Society, Singapore, and the Malay Museum Committee.

Sarkasi’s awards include the Pingat APAD (APAD Medal) from the art group Angkatan Pelukis Aneka Daya (APAD) (1974), First Prize (Abstract) of the 8th UOB Painting of the Year (1989) and recognition in the Berita Harian Pioneer Generation Achiever Awards (2015). In 2003, he held the World Record in the Guinness Book of Records for the World’s Longest Batik (at 103.9 metres). 

Sarkasi has shown in solo and group exhibitions internationally as well as locally. Solo exhibitions include Sarkasi at the National Museum of Brunei (1996), Lyrics in Wax at the Singapore Art Museum (1997) and Batik Art – Sarkasi Tzee Said at the National Museum of Fine Arts, Valletta, Malta (2008). Group exhibitions include the ASEAN International Art Exhibition at the Tagawa Museum of Art (1991, Tagawa, Japan) and Glimpses: Selected Art Works of Singapore (2011, Berlin, Germany).

Sarkasi’s work has been collected by Singtel, the National Museum of Singapore, the Sultana of Johore, the Sultana of Brunei Darussalam, the late former Singapore President S R Nathan, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Singapore.