Born 1963 in Singapore
Mastura Abdul Rahman was born into a family of craft persons, especially on her mother’s side. Her grandfather and uncle were known in the village where she grew up as birdcages makers, while her mother as a tailor specialized in women’s decorative garments. As a young girl she was active in her school’s art club, painting posters and murals for her school.
Mastura started studying art formally in 1982 (drawing, painting, sculpture and print making) when she joined the Department of Fine Art, MARA University of Technology as an undergraduate student. There, she was introduced to Persian and Mughal miniature paintings, Ukiyo-E prints, and the Malay traditional architecture and decorative arts, which influence her works greatly. In 1985, she was chosen to participate in the 3rd ASEAN Youth Painting Workshop and Exhibition. Her experience with the decorative arts especially with textiles (batik) started to dominate her works. Mastura’s standing as a Malaysian artist start to be known when she won a major prize in the prestigious Malaysian art award: the Young Contemporaries Art Award in 1986.
Mastura got married in 1987. After she became a mother in 1991, she started to include her children’s toys, as objects of interest, to her paintings, making her compositions more lively with family life. Starting 2002, she uses narratives in her paintings, drawing from her childhood stories and her everyday life.
Currently Mastura is a senior lecturer, teaching drawing at the Faculty of Creative Multimedia, Multimedia University, Cyberjaya, Malaysia.