Ismail Mat Hussin
B. Kelantan, 1938 – 2015
Seaside Scene, 2001
Signed and dated “ISMAIL MAT HUSSIN 2001” on lower right
Watercolour on paper
27 x 36 cm
Provenance Private Collection, Kedah
RM 2,000 – RM 3,500
For some artists, art is a diary or a vessel of thoughts, emotions and beliefs transferred onto canvas via paintbrush. With every stroke, they convey subtle ideas, feelings or gestures. Art may, at other times, work as an ephemeral journey of the self, through all the trials and tribulations that have scarred and dented the psyche. Some may choose to ceaselessly flitter from one subject to another, relishing in adversities and such. Ismail Mat Hussin, however, paints the ‘constant’ in his life, which are the sceneries of the rustic life.
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.
He began actively producing and exhibiting his paintings around the region and eventually joined the Angkatan Pelukis Semenanjung (Peninsular Artists Movement) or APS, having made the decision to become a full-time artist. While he was participating in competitions, he met fellow artist Khalil Ibrahim, with whom he forged a close friendship before Khalil left for London. For a brief time in the 1990s, he also worked as a graphic designer and illustrator for the Kota Bharu-based Syarikat Percetakan Dian, created a MAS-TDC calendar for Malaysia Airlines and the Tourist Development Corporation, designed playing cards for Malaysia Airlines and featured in an ESSO advertisement.