Farouk Khan

Art collector and co-founder, AFK Collection


A power couple in the world of art, Farouk Khan and his wife Aliya own the largest private collection of Malaysian contemporary art in the country, documented on the AFK Collection

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Over 25 years, Farouk and Aliya Khan have assembled an art collection comprising more than 1,000 artworks across a variety of mediums, produced by local artists from the 1980s until today. Besides being the largest, their collection is also a record of the history and development of art produced by first-generation Malaysian contemporary artists.

Their passion for collecting art began with their move from Singapore to Malaysia in the ’90s, when the artwork Diskette Series by Ahmad Shukri piqued their interest and inspired them to learn about the local art scene. Impressed by Malaysian art, which they deemed as works of international standard with a unique voice, they decided to focus their collection on contemporary art—a genre that was still new, lacked appreciation and needed support. Now that the genre is well recognised and the artists are established, the Khans’ advocacy has paid off.

With the combination of Aliya’s passion and Farouk’s calculated strategy, the couple says part of their success is owed to taking the time in the beginning to research the genre instead of rushing to buy, and also cultivating a relationship with the artists. Besides buying art, they also provide patronage to artists they see potential in, attend prominent art shows and share their expertise at round-table discussions like Terrace Talks at Art Dubai.

In 2020, the couple digitised their art collection and launched the AFK Collection website. Managed by their daughters, it intends to make Malaysian contemporary art more accessible and provide exposure to artists—an approach that has already garnered enquiries from the international art world.


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Did You Know?

Farouk is a born collector and has collected many things throughout his life, from stamps and Marvel comic books to carpets and precious stones.

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