b. Selangor, 1944
Signed and dated ’24.11.59 ISMAIL M’ lower right
Inscribed 'Ismail Mustam Malay Boys' Hostel Suleiman
Road K.Lumpur "Ribut" Oil' on reverse
Oil on board
34cm x 45cm
Private collection, Kuala Lumpur.
ESTIMATE RM 3,000 - 5,000
PRICE REALISED RM 17,600
With its heavily chiselled lines, Ismail Mustam’s Ribut painting looks like a woodcut print. But it was actually done in oil on plywood during Ismail Mustam’s secondary-school days at the Victoria Institution where he had the guidance of his art teacher Patrick Ng Kah Onn, who was also there to help him at the Wednesday Art Group (WAG). Both teacher and student were members of the WAG, and Ismail was one of Patrick Ng’s favourites. Ismail, now an advertising entrepreneur, remembers creating this stormy scene as a metaphor of his anxiety while preparing for the then Lower Certificate of Education examination. The strong wind blowing to the right was accelerating the gait of the two figures making their way through the meandering path.
Ismail Mustam was trained in Advertising Design at the Art Centre College of Design in Los Angeles from 1969 to 1971. In 1961, he won the Mural Design Competition organised by the Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka (DBP). He worked at DBP doing illustrations and book designs and later the Mara Handicraft Development Centre as a textile designer before becoming an Art Director at Leo Burnett Advertising and an Associate Creative Director at Johan Design Associates. He set up his own Ismail & Associates and is its Creative Director. He had won First Prize in Batik Category in the prestigious 1968 Salon Malaysia. He also did a mural for the Malay Youth Hostel Association and the United Malayan Banking Corporation in Bangkok.