Lot 70 | Auction XIX

LOT 70

B. Kelantan, 1938-2015

Siri Bunga Api, 2010

Signed, titled and dated “Siri Bunga Api ISMAIL MAT HUSSIN 2010” on lower right


126.5 x 85 cm

Provenance Private Collection, Kuala Lumpur

RM 24,000 – RM 36,000

This piece evokes a familiar feeling.

It seems to be emanating warmth and noise that accompany tradition, the rustic and simple life and nostalgia.

In his usual browns and energetic yet earthy tones he illustrates a group of villagers and friends bedecked in comfortable attire and barefoot and they are all occupied with the traditional game of fireworks. Ismail’s piece comes alive as if it has its own spirit, or perhaps it is Ismail’s fondness for the East Coast that got manifested into something tangible. The colours used in Ismail’s works are often described as being pleasant, steady and modest – something that resonates with the life and people in the countryside, someone like Ismail Mat Hussin himself as well.

Ismail Mat Hussin’s mentor was renowned artist Khalil Ibrahim. Despite learning batik skills and the art of picturing human figures from him, Ismail Mat Hussin’s work – especially the depiction of humans – is more realistic compared to Khalil Ibrahim’s mosaic-like appearance. Ismail’s painting’s can be found in various galleries, a few being PETRONAS, Bank Negara, ESSO, Maybank and the National Art Gallery of Kuala Lumpur.