Khalil Ibrahim is a Malaysian artist, born in 1934, in Kelantan. Khalil began as a self-taught artist who painted with his left hand. He is well known for his colourful semi-abstract paintings of fishermen on the East Coast of Malaysia. A versatile artist, Khalil does batik, prints, drawings, and paintings and excels in them all. His style ranges from realism to abstract.
In the 1950s, he painted regularly while working as a teacher in Kelantan and Pahang, before he was awarded a Pahang state scholarship to study art in England. In 1960, Khalil enrolled at St Martin’s School of Art in London, where he received his formal training and developed his artistic style. He travelled across Europe during those student years, expanding his creative outlook.
He returned to Malaysia in 1966 and taught art at a school in Temerloh, Pahang, before moving to Kuala Lumpur in 1968 and embarking on an illustrious career that spanned over 50 years. He has exhibited in Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, and Switzerland, and participated in group exhibitions in many other countries. His works can be found in major corporate collections and museums, including the National Art Gallery of Singapore.