March 8 is International Women’s Day (IWD), a time of the year to celebrate women’s successes and contributions to society as well as to raise awareness and empower individuals to act on what needs to be done to achieve gender parity. This year’s theme is #BreakTheBias, which is a call for a gender equal world.
To commemorate this special day and global celebrations, Outlet, a Malaysia-based creative platform and local footwear label, Nelissa Hilman, collaborates with Malaysian artist Shafiqah Sharom or better known as Ika to showcase one of her mesmerizing artwork as part of store installation at the brand’s flagship at Bangsar Village II in Kuala Lumpur.
The 30-year-old visual artist and printmaker carved her way into the Malaysian art scene with her retro-inspired and intricate linocut artwork. Ika’s work is filled with whimsical storytelling and often features strong women, lush flora and fauna immersed in mystery and melancholy. Moreover,her work celebrates female empowerment, freedom and achievements which ties in perfectly with this year’s IWD theme.
Entitled ‘Tiga Pemimpi’ or ‘Three Dreamers’ the lino printed artwork depicts three women in a dream state dancing carefreely in the woods donning traditional Malay attires -baju kebaya and sarong batik- whilst being surrounded by nature and wild animals. According to Ika, ‘Tiga Pemimpi’ serves as a reminder of the importance of pursuing your dreams. “It all starts with a dream,” says Ika, “To be where I am today, I remember it used to be a dream. She hopes that through her artwork, she’ll be able to empower and inspire her audience to dare to dream, and at the same time appreciate and embrace Malaysian cultural heritage. “Always remember you have the strength, the patience and the passion to reach for the stars and make a difference in the world.”
ABOUT IKA SHAROM
Syafiqah Sharom is a Malaysian visual artist and printmaker. She discovered her passion for art at a young age and later pursued her bachelor’s degree in graphic design at University Selangor where she was introduced to lino printing as part of her course. Since then, Ika’s one-of-a-kind lino prints have garnered an avid following in the Malaysian art scene. All of her prints are designed, carved, and pressed at her Seremban-based studio. Her goal is to introduce Malaysia’s unique culture through her artwork.
You can learn more about Ika’s work and printmaking process by heading to her website,