B. Kelantan, 1939
Padang Merdeka, Kota Bharu, 1970
Signed and dated “MOKH. ISHAK 70” on lower right
Oil on board
50 x 78 cm
Private Collection, Kelantan
Rather innocent and upfront, this historical piece was a showcase of Mokhtar Ishak’s skills on canvas, as well as the beautiful landscape in Kota Bharu, of the most important historical site in Kelantan. Captured here is the Padang Merdeka in 1970.
Lined with trees and bushes, Padang Merdeka is an open field that has been the venue for many historical events. Located close to a number of old palaces and museums, it was accorded various names before the powers-that-be settled for the present name to denote the 1957 declaration of independence. Other historical events linked to the site include the hanging of local hero Tok Janggut, who led a group of rebels against the British in 1910. Today, the field is a popular venue for state celebrations and festivals.
With precise brush strokes and vibrant colours with soft hues, he brings these sceneries to life, doing its natural exquisiteness justice. Mokhtar Ishak is a self-taught artist, the only education in art was brought on by an art course organised by the Ministry of Youth and Sports in 1973. His works are exhibited and showcased by the PETRONAS Gallery in Kuala Lumpur as well as Bank Negara in Langkawi.