ISMAIL MAT HUSSIN
B. Kelantan, 1938-2015
Pantai Sabak Fishing Village, 2011
Signed and dated “ISMAIL MAT HUSSIN 2011” on lower right
118 x 143 cm
Private Collection, Kuala Lumpur
Illustrated on page 8 of “SPIRIT OF THE EAST COAST by Ismail Mat Hussin” exhibition catalogue
Published in 2011 by KL Lifestyle Art Space
Back in the days, while other cities were progressing in art due to the colonial influence, the East Coast (Kelantan, mostly) never saw as much headway in modern and contemporary art, but it made its breakthrough, with its rich culture and heritage playing a pivotal role in motif, as seen in Ismail’s works. Home, tradition and culture shape his works.
Self-effacing and endearing are his works, and these qualities are often used to describe the man himself by those who have met him. His works are a personification of Ismail and his love for the East Coast, the atmosphere so palpable as if his entire being is present in these paintings. It is all a very intimate, moving and confidential affair. It is discernible, how his constant brand of paintings are constructed not merely for the sake of art, but comes from deep within his roots.
Ismail was born in Pantai Sabak, Kota Bharu in 1938. His calling was early, and at the tender age of 12, he developed an interest in painting. He signed up for art classes and was trained by Nik Mahmood, a teacher at the Sekolah Melayu Padang Garong in Kelantan. Later on, he took up the violin and obtained a Grade V certificate from London’s Royal School of Music. Through this, he worked with Radio Televisyen Malaysia Kota Bharu as a part-time musician, earning a living as well as sustaining his creative interest in painting.