Ibrahim Hussein (1936-2009): A tribute

Ibrahim Hussein, My father and the astronaut, acrylic painting, 1970.

FEB 19 — Ibrahim Hussein, who died early this morning, was the artist almost every working Malaysian artist, especially the Malays, looked up to in terms of local and international artistic achievement and financial success.

The price of his works, before his untimely death, is easily above RM500,000 and this is also why his works are well sought after as an art investment.

In my opinion, he was undoubtedly seated at the head of the artistic table before his death. In the second place, the position was open and it was a choice between Latiff Mohidin and Syed Ahmad Jamal. Now that the first place is vacant, who will take the spot is a matter of interest and for another article.

Why was he at the top?

Well, he started his artistic career in the ‘60s together with Anthony Lau, Jolly Koh, Cheong Laitong, Latiff Mohidin and Syed Ahmad Jamal, the six major creative personalities at that time. They had all just returned from their art training abroad and the National Art Gallery and art community welcomed them with open arms.

The emergence of this young — and at that time new — talents somewhat overshadowed the pioneer painters like Yong Mun Sen, Hoessein Enas, Chuah Thean Teng, Tay Hooi Keat and a few more artists.

But it was these older artists that first started Ibrahim or Ib’s interest in art.

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One thought on “Ibrahim Hussein (1936-2009): A tribute”

  1. Victor, you wrote an article about Dato’ Ibrahim Hussein some time ago. Do you really think it is that good? Now that he is gone, who is the rightful owner of his pieces? He hasn’t a son has he? I sincerely hope that the wife doesn’t control his pieces as she has certainly looked down on other local artist and isn’t in favour of having shows in Malaysia as I believe it is her opinion that we are just not good enough to organize or simply to view Ib’s paintings.

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