Born in 1934 in kubang kerian, Kelantan, Khalil Ibrahim, a prominent Malaysian artist known for his batik paintings, landscapes, portraits, and abstracts that explored a deeply authentic Malaysian identity and vision, has died. He was 84. Khalil died of natural causes at Universiti Malaya Medical Centre in Petaling Jaya, Selangor, on May 15, 2018 Khalil began as a self-taught artist who painted with his left hand. 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.