B. Kedah, 1925-1977
Portrait of a Man and Portrait of a Woman
Signed “A.B. IBRAHIM” on lower left of each
Gouache and watercolour on paper
37 x 27 cm x 2 pieces
Private Collection, Australia
Two pieces are at hand, both straightforward but beautiful. One of them is a simple yet sophisticated piece is of an old lady’s side view. She seems to be amused, either at something someone said or at the recollection of something, or maybe even at the silent embarrassment of having her become the subject of the artist’s piece. The other piece is of a man, who smiles amusedly back at the viewer. Despite the simplicity of the subject, the artist manages to create depth and shading with the use of both gouache and watercolour, and with that alone, the artist manages to portray the warmth and cheerfulness that seem to be emitting from his subjects.
A. B. Ibrahim was a self-taught artist and was one of the founder members of Persatuan Pelukis Melayu (Society of Malay Artists, Malaya) that was based in Singapore. His work, “Malacca Gate” is a permanent collection of the National Art Gallery in Kuala Lumpur and at the Kedah State Gallery and the Royal Museum in Alor Setar. Although he was based in Alor Setar, he spent most of his time in Penang where he sold his paintings along Penang Road and Chulia Street.