B. Kelantan, 1934
Mother and Child, 1968
signed and dated “Khalil 68” on lower right
42.5 x 26.5 cm
Private Collection, Switzerland
RM 18,000 – RM 35,000
Described by KLAS as Malaysia’s Father of Figurative Painting, the late Khalil Ibrahim was born in 1934 in Kubang Kerian Kelantan. He was one of the earliest Malaysians who receive a full state scholarship in 1960 to study art at the prestigious Central St Martins School of Art and Design in London. His masterful skills in drawing, watercolour and acrylic, were styles that moved from the almost real to the almost abstract. While the late Chuah Thean Teng pioneered the art of batik in the 1930s, it was only accepted as a medium of artistic expression by the 1960’s. Somewhat later, Khalil Ibrahim also depicted Malay life, primarily that of the fisherman fraternity, through the batik technique — in a more real sense. While colour and texture became the primary fascination with Khalil, he remained true to — firstly, the human figure albeit fragmented and secondly his people of the East Coast. Unlike Teng’s subjects who reflected a lazy contentment about kampong life, Khalil’s interpretation, seemed somewhat more involved. Even if rather romanticised in gesture and cluster and vibrant colour, they are possessed in their stance – notions that highlight their industriousness. This ‘Mother and Child,1968’ batik work is endearing, portraying a mother’s love for her child, cradling the child with utmost care.