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Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Iban Dancers in Batik Painting

One man's junk can be another man's treasure...

Well in my case it would be a woman's treasure. Yesterday my fiance surprised me with a painting, not just any painting, but a painting of Iban dancers. The painting was bound for the dumpster at his Panasonic office until he rescued it. Let's have a look at the painting..                                                                                               

The vintage painting

This batik painting was painted by Mr. Ismail Mat Hussin (his biodata)

Mr Ismail Mat Hussin
 
Ismail Mat Hussin is today said to be Malaysia’s most senior living master of batik painting. Born in Pantai Sabak, Kota Bharu, Kelantan in 1938, he developed an interest in painting at 12. He took up weekly art painting classes at Padang Garong Malay School under the tutelage of Cikgu Nik Mahmood between 1954 and 1955.
His creativity was further enhanced through music. He took up the violin in 1962 and obtained a Grade V certificate in the instrument from The Royal School of Music London. Being able to play a musical instrument allowed him to sustain his creative interest in painting. As well, he was able to support himself by becoming a part-time musician with Radio Televisyen Malaysia Kota Bharu.
Three years later, in 1968, he took the plunge and took up painting full-time. At that time, experimentation with batik painting among artists in Malaysia was building strongly. Ismail’s mentor was Khalil Ibrahim. Ismail became very good at batik painting, having patience in spades and an innate talent for combining warm tones and earthy hues from a restricted palette of colours to depict everyday rural scenes with lively good humour.
Khalil was trained in rendering human figures and Ismail followed suit, but he did not embrace Khalil’s lightly stylised depiction of them. Looking at Ismail’s batik paintings, one sees real-looking people rather than the doll-like figures that Chuah favoured. To draw them into the spotlight Khalil tends to juxtapose the figures against vibrant solid colours whereas Ismail dulls the background surroundings.
Ismail’s trademark is heavy limbs with the muscles rendered mosaic-like on every part of the body that is visible. In outlining the muscles, Khalil’s influence can be seen but Khalil does not “break” the muscles into pieces. Languid postures and fluidity in the movements of the figures is apparent in the works of both Khalil and Ismail. Recently, KL Lifestyle Art Space sent Ismail a photograph of his batik painting “Playing Gasing” (1982). Ismail told us that it was Khalil Ibrahim’s painting. KL Lifestyle Art Space had to send Ismail a photograph of his signature on “Playing Gasing” before he would acknowledge that the painting was his!
Ismail’s batik paintings may be found in the art collections of the National Art Gallery Kuala Lumpur, Petronas, Bank Negara Malaysia, ESSO Malaysia and Maybank among others, including a clutch full of notable individuals. They include N.A. Rahman, Tan Sri Abdullah Ayob, Muhammad Haji Saleh and Tan Sri Eric Chia.
For a short spell in the 1990s, Ismail also worked as a graphic designer and illustrator for the Kota Bharu-based Syarikat Percetakan Dian. He has created a MAS-TDC calendar for Malaysia Airlines and the Tourist Development Corporation, designed playing cards for Malaysia Airlines and been featured in an ESSO advertisement.
Taken from KL Gallery website 
Until now I am still wondering when was the painting created...I must say it is vintage, though initially it was a junk, now it's a treasure to me...

8 comments:

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