b. Kelantan, 1934
Signed and dated 'Khalil Ibrahim 96' (lower right)
Watercolour on paper
25cm x 25cm
Private collection, Kuala Lumpur.
ESTIMATE RM 3,000 - 5,000
|Kelantan women folk are known for their industry, especially those in the Kota Baru market squatting for hours selling vegetables, fruits and all kinds of wares. To Khalil, there is another set just as diligent helping their fishing-trade men on the beach, but under Khalil’s dexterous hands, invested with a romance and even some sensuous quality. Often half-naked or only with a bra on top and often drapings over the heat to shield from the sun, these women are often decked in gaily-coloured sarung. But it’s their work, carrying stuff on their head or arms, and their posture and strut that interest Khalil more.
Khalil Ibrahim was educated at the St Martin’s School of Art and Design in London 1964 (National Diploma of Design, post-graduate, 1965) and turned fulltime on his return to Malaysia in 1966 when he was surprisingly relieved of his contract commitments. He never worked in any other job other than painting ever since. His first solo, of his batik and watercolours, was held at the Samat Art Gallery, Kuala Lumpur, in 1970. He was also the first Malaysian artist to have exhibited in Indonesia, in 1970. His major exhibitions include Khalil Ibrahim: The Art Journey in Petaling Jaya (2015), and Khalil Ibrahim: A Continued Dialogue at Galeri Petronas in 2004. He is also the co-founder Malaysian Watercolour Society.