A R I F I E N was born in 1955 in Surabaya. Since he was young, he has developed a keen interest in drawing eventhough his mother did not allow him to do so. “It is better for you to help me to do the housework,”said his mother. The more he was forbidden to draw, the more he wanted to learn it even further. He made every effort to find time and ways to practice his skills. In such conflicting circumstances with his mother, he was able to stay focused and even more eager to explore his interest as he reached his teens.
He received a number of awards during his school years. The cheers when he received the awards has made him proud but uncomfortable being in the spotlight as he was, in fact, quite shy. He went further by using a different name so that people did not recognise him. That was how the name NEIF was found, which was the reverse spelling of FIEN, his nickname.
After school, to expand his knowledge, Arifien often visited AKSERA (Akademi Seni Rupa Surabaya or Surabaya Arts Academy) to observe classes from the window when the security was not around. When he was in Jakarta LPKJ, he often sat in a cafe at TIM, where Affandi, one of Indonesia’s legendary painter, had discussions with his friends. Arifien used to sit closer to them and quietly listen to them. With only a cup of coffee, he could stay in the cafe for hours.used to sit closer to them and quietly listen to them. With only a cup of coffee, he could stay in the cafe for hours.
As he got older, Arifien wanted to pursue higher education but did not have sufficient funding. At that time, in Jakarta, the easiest job to get was as a construction worker. He used his wages to buy arts supplies. Painting has become his medium of self-expression allowing himself to forget the hardship of life in Jakarta.
In his free time, Arifien likes to socialise and mingle with friends who come from different fields to exchange ideas and learn from each other. For example, he admitted that he gained a great deal of knowledge about lines and colours from his architect friends. The influence is often apparent in his work.
The ways he maintains his circles of friends, and always believing in the beauty of his dreams and doing the best he can to realise them step by step every day are his secrets in developing his main source of ideas, strength and support in reaching his goals to success.
Arifien always believes that interaction between cultures can be learned through history. Artists can also learn and get their ideas from other painters who may come from different periods in history. “I admire Picasso, Matisse and Affandi. They have influenced me in various ways to become who I am today. However, TO STAY TRUE TO YOURSELF IS WHAT IS MORE IMPORTANT“ as that is what it takes to be a real artist.
Jagakarsa Jakarta Selatan Indonesia 12630