Mohd Zain Idris (M. Zain) is best known as the rare ‘State artist’ appointed by the Terengganu Menteri Besar and given his own studio cum residence in Kuala Terengganu, complete with a stipend. He had gone full time after being discovered by art-critic cum gallerist Frank Sullivan, then Press Secretary to Malaysia’s first Prime Minister Tunku Abdul Rahman.
Dubbed the Fisherman Artist, he had his first solo at Sullivan’s Samat Art Gallery. Many of his works were sold at the MAHA agricultural market and to a frame shop in Kuala Lumpur. He had a joint exhibition with Kasim Abas at the Equatorial Hotel, Kuala Lumpur, in 1984, and at the Shangri-La Hotel, Kuala Lumpur, in 1987.