KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 13 -- The creativity and artistry of the late Ismail Zain, a talented artist who pioneered digital art in Malaysia can be seen at the exhibition 'Membayang Maksud' at Balai Seni Negara which started in August until Nov 17.
Balai Seni deputy director of operations Amerrudin Ahmad said the exhibition, held in collaboration with the Fergana Art and Maybank Foundation, features 77 works of art and digital collages by Ismail.
"Ismail has been leading the exhibition of contemporary thinking with the production of contemporary works using spray, stencil and 'hard-edge' techniques, which reject the conventional painting style or brush," he said at the exhibition officiated by former Government Advisory Council chairman, Tun Daim Zainuddin.
According to Amerrudin, Ismail's art has now become a study and reference for art and visual art students as a result of his artistic mind often considered way ahead of his time where Ismail believed in the role of culture in the production of a work.
"Therefore, I invite all to see this exhibition and to make Ismail's artistic work a reference point because the questions raised by him are closely related to the issue of tradition and its ability to survive in the modern times," he said.
Among Ismail’s artworks on display are 'Cindai' produced in 1988, 'The Teratai Circuit', 'The Marriage of Sultan Mansor Shah' and 'Hanya Dinda Sajalah Untuk Kanda'.
According to Amerrudin, since the exhibition, the number of visitors has been impressive between 500 to 600 visitors on weekends and weekdays, 150 to 200.
Meanwhile, Daim hoped the exhibition would give added value to the country's visual arts and produce more visionary and innovative artists such as Ismail.
Born in 1930 in Kodiang, Kedah, Ismail was the first to be appointed Balai Seni Negara director (1972-1975) and passed away in 1991.
Educated at three institutions in the United Kingdom from 1953 to 1966, the digital artist was also awarded the Ahli Mangku Negara (AMN) award in 1973 and then the Kesatria Mangku Negara (KMN) award in 1975.