Friday, February 20, 2009

Ibrahim Hussein (1936-2009)

Ibrahim Hussein, Malaysia's most famous artist of international renown passed away quite suddenly on Thursday 19 February following a heart attack. The 72-year old late artist was buried at the Bukit Kiara Islamic Cemetary.

On the website of Ib's Ibrahim Hussein Museum and Cultural Foundation are these words:

"To me, painting is like praying. When I paint, I am dealing with my heart, my work and God. There is deep joy and gratitude. Each piece frames a moment in my life."

My wife and I had the privilege of visiting the Center in Langkawi in 2005 and thinking to myself, what is this world-class art center doing here in Langkawi? Malaysians ought to be better acquainted with this much-awarded artist and his art, I thought. And this remote outpost on Langkawi - though wonderful for artistic pursuits - would merely reduce the great man into an inconsequential footnote. Indeed as the website reveals, the last Langkawi International of Arts organised by the Center was in 2000!

The artist himself met us at the door on that hot afternoon after we pulled up at the driveway and rang a bell. He smiled sheepishly and welcomed us in explaining that no one was around because of the holidays (Chinese New Year then). We paid him our admission tickets and after a few words, shuffled away leaving us to explore and view the displays on our own.

We bought a book and had him autograph it. He obligingly posed for a photo. We said goodbye, he thanked us for visiting. I think I left feeling a little envious that here was a man who did what he loved, and found both joy and great success along the way.


Fellow artist Victor Chin's obit here.

7 comments:

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Arief Afandi said...

Hello there, i'm arief and now i'm doing an art project based on late Ibrahim Hussein's paintings. do you know the name of his painting that i posted in my blog under the post 'I'm lost in Ib's puzzle...'. i've got the photo from internet but i don't know the name. im desperately need to know the name of the painting. hope you can help me. Thank you for your time!

David BC Tan said...

hi arief,
the painting is most likely LANGKAWIRA 1993

Arief Afandi said...

Thank you Mr David BC Tan! Its really helpful. Yayyy~ (^.^) now I can do my art project confidently.. thank you2!!

jenc-id said...

hello. just like arief. i am doin the art project titled 'an ode to ib" too. however, even after visiting Ib's museum, i just can't find the name of that painting. i posted it in my blog www.jenc-id.blogspot.com. under teh title Ib. hopefully i can get the anme before this wednesday. thank you very much for your help.

jenc-id said...

sorry. it's http://jenc-id.blogspot.com
thank you very much. sorry for teh inconvenience