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Shaq Koyok

Shahar Koyok, better known as Shaq Koyok is an activist and award-winning indigenous artist who paints and weaves. He hails from Pulau Kempas, Banting and is from the Temuan tribe.

A series of traumatic childhood events fueled Shaq Koyok’s passion to champion Orang Asli (OA) rights. He was close to being displaced by land developers when builders encroached into the jungle area close to his village. That incident left an indelible mark on his young mind, and he channelled those feelings into artistic impressions. Shaq is also a familiar face at protests that seek to restore justice for the OA people.

His art is a reflection of the OA people and their dependence on the rainforest and nature. It also captures the struggles that OA communities face – issues such as poverty and inequality.

With over 10 years of experience in the arts industry, his work has been showcased in over 40 venues throughout Malaysia. His hard work and dedication as an indigenous artist have led to deserved recognition. Shaq bagged the Indigenous People Icon Award and the indigenous People Excellence Award by Tourism Selangor in 2015, Merdeka Award Grant for International Attachment (2017), and the Eco-Business A List Award in 2021.

To me making an impact is when my efforts finally materialize and especially fighting the indigenous rights in this melting pot country. Let’s hope I have enough space and energy to do more and inspire others to do the same.

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