Lot 003

b. Kelantan, 1934


Signed and dated ‘Khalil Ibrahim 83’ (lower right)
Watercolour on paper
39cm x 55cm

Private Collection, Penang;
acquired through Art Point Gallery, Penang.

ESTIMATE  RM 7,000 - 10,000


A group of topless men wearing only sarongs tied above their knees, some with their heads wrapped with a cloth to protect from the heat, while others have the cloth over one arm to wipe off sweat, working as a team to mend a large fishing net – lined vertically on the sandy beach leading the eye into the distance. Ten figures in the foreground and four in the background are painted in hallmark Khalil Ibrahim – figures built with strong brush strokes enunciating masculinity and landscape marked loosely by small short strokes - of green, brown, and yellow to illustrate the golden sand and grey and blue washes to construct shadows, the sea, the sky and the clouds. Boats are moored at the shore and clouds turning dark afar. Fishing is not a recreational activity for this group of men. A laborious means to make ends meet, fishermen in the East coast often depend on the weather for a rewarding day at sea. The artist often depicts the daily lives of common people of the East coast as his subject of interest.

Khalil Ibrahim graduated with a National Diploma of Design in Fine Arts at the prestigious St. Martin’s School of Art and Design in London in 1964 (post-graduate in 1965). He turned into a full-time artist in 1966. Khalil was a co-founder of the Malaysian Watercolour Society and had his first double solo of London works and Malaysian batiks at Samat Art Gallery, Kuala Lumpur in 1970. That year, he also had a solo exhibition in Indonesia, the first Malaysian to have done so. He has participated in numerous solo and group exhibitions in Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and Switzerland and his works have been collected by the National Museum in Singapore, Fukuoka Museum of Art in Japan, New South Wales Museum of Art in Sydney and the Royal National Art Gallery of Jordan.